... czech and slovak music guide ...

Emil Frantisek Burian

born: 1904-06-11
died: 1959-08-09
birthplace: Plzen
diedplace: Praha

Czech poet, publicist, singer, actor, musician, composer, dramaturgist and stage manager. He came from musical family (father Emil Burian and his brother Karel were top Czech opera singers). He studied at the conservatory of Prague and Masters' School under J.B.Foerster. He was a member of several progressive groups of poets and musicians. In 1926-27 cooperation with the Liberated Theatre. In 1927 he founded the group of music and recitation "Voiceband" that became famous abroad. At the same time, he was a leader of the jazz band of Red Seven. However, he spend most time and energy on theatre and all related matters. That is why his most famous musical works were dramatic ("singspiels", operas, ballets etc.). He was influenced by many genres of his time incl. music of Foerster, Janacek, Stravinskij, jazz and ethnic music. In non-musical area, he got inspiration in Dada, Futurism and Poetism. Before World War II he became dedicated communist. During war, he was held in concentration camps in Terezin, Dachau and Neuengamme. After the war he became prominent communist politician. In the 1950's he was mostly concentrated on political work; his composition activity was reduced to political mass songs and choirs. His son is the well-known singer and songwriter Jan Burian.

  • Operas
    • Before Sunrise , 1924
    • Mastickar (Medicaster) ( ), 1925
    • Bubu of Montparnass (jazz comedy) , 1927
    • Marysa , 1939
    • others less omportant ones (Emperor's New Clothes, Opera of the Fair, May You Forgive)
  • Vocal writings
    • polotocal songs and chorals
    • chamber song cycle Aby lidi nezabijel mrak/Don't let people get killed by Cloud , 1955
    • Cantatas (On the Union of Workers and Farmers 1952, Peace on Steel 1955)
  • Orchestral Works, concertos, Chamber music
    • e.g. 8 string quartets
    • symphony with solo piano , 1948
  • Other Musical-dramatic works
    • "Singspiels" (Milenci z kiosku/Lovers from Kiosk, Vojna/War)
    • ballets (Fagot a fletna/Bassoon and Flute 1925, Autobus 1927)
    • movie music (Zlate ptace/Golden Bird, Peed maturitou/Before Graduation, Sirena)


Mala encyklopedie hudby/Little Encyclopedia of Music (dr. Jar. Smolka; &col., Supraphon 1983)
Kniha o hudbe/Book of Music (V.Holzknecht &col., Orbis 1964)


Last update 2012-07-09