Vlastimil Lejsek (1927)
Vlastimil Lejsek was born in 1927 in Brno as the son of the well-known Moravian choirmaster Frantisek Kvetoslav Lejsek. He studied at the Brno Conservatory and the Academies of Music in both Prague and Brno with Frantisek Schafer, Jan Erml and Frantisek Maxian. During his studies he received awards at many competitions, such as the International Smetana Competition (Prague) and Franz Liszt Competition (Budapest).
With his wife, Vera Lejskova, he established a famous piano duo, collaborating with composers such as Milhaud, Britten, Lutoslawski and Shostakovich, and recording for the first time Dvorak's 4 hand works and many more. As a solo pianist, he premiered many works of his colleagues, as well as of his own.
The main body of his musical output consists music for piano duo (like Brasilian Dances, Dances of Masters, Inventions, Moravian Ballades) and piano solo (Preludes, Sonatella, Pianists and Horses, The Moon Suite).
Besides being a composer and a performing and recording pianist, Lejsek also served at the music faculties of the Conservatory and Janacek Academy of Music in Brno. He is a member of Moravian Composer's Club (founded by Janacek) and also founder of the International Schubert Competition for Piano duos in Jesenik (Czech republic), one of the foremost music events of his country.
His wife is, besides a pianist, a writer, journalist and critic working for both press and radio. Together they are an important and inspirating couple in Czech musical life. Their life and work is depicted in the book "Interviews without piano" by Jan Trojan.
Lejsek died in 2010 in Brno, the city where he was born.
(Text: Richard Pohl)