From the Land of Amber and Song to Prague

By Mikes, Vitezslav | Czech Music, January-February 2003 | Go to article overview

From the Land of Amber and Song to Prague


Mikes, Vitezslav, Czech Music


Giedre Luksaite-Mrazkova was born and grew up in "the land of amber and folk songs," as Lithuania is sometimes called. After studies in Vilnius and Moscow, fate brought her to Prague in 1970s, and she still lives and works here. Today she has a very high reputation, and not just in the Czech Republic, both as an outstanding harpsichordist (on historic instruments) and organist, and as a teacher at the Prague Music Faculty of the Academy of Performing Arts (HAMU). She has performed and still performs in many concert halls, records CDs and is training a whole series of new musical hopes. And she is also an extremely interesting person, for whom human factors are important as well.

You come from an intellectual family. Has this background helped to form your character?

My parents had a university education, worked in university environments and were members of the Lithuanian intelligentsia. The numbers of the intelligentsia had been seriously reduced during the war by deportations, and so only a handful were left. There were so few in fact, that they all knew each other. Many of them used to come to our house -- composers, writers, artists. It naturally had a clear influence on me. For example, it was tremendously interesting to watch an idea being born or developing. For example the composer Julius Juzeliunas used to come and visit us, just at the time he was writing his opera Sukileliai (Rebels). The story and libretto were created by Vincas Mykolaitis-Putinas, who was another regular guest at our house. Seeing an opera or libretto born in this way was a precious experience, and one that inevitably had an effect on me.

I know you've often answered this question, since Lithuania is still a rather exotic place for Czechs and your country and story make an appealing theme for journalists. But despite this I hope you'll forgive me if I ask you about your personal and musical path from Lithuania to Bohemia...?

I believe we all of us have a certain path that we've chosen in life. Things that look like accidents in my view aren't accidents at all, but impulses that lead us in a certain direction. In the 1 950s Professor Zuzana Ruzickova came to Lithuania with her harpsichord and so did Professor Jiri Reinberger, who played the organ in the concert hall in Vilnius. And it was precisely after the organ concert that I enthusiastically decided I would become an organist. Another such impulse was when the Soviet government allowed the opening of an organ class at the Vilnius Music Academy in 1962. I entered the academy in the same year, joining the piano and the organ class. In 1967 I finished my studies at university and wanted to go on to do a doctorate, but I didn't know which of the two instruments to choose. The impulse turned out to be a free place in the organ class at the Tchaikovsky Conservatory in Moscow, which I gladly took up. In the same period I was offered a chance of a short visit to Prague. When I arrived , it was like a long cool draught of freedom. Compared to Lithuania Czechoslovakia seemed to me a completely free state. I toured around the country a little and I said to myself -- even though only on the basis of an immediate reaction that if I ever had to emigrate somewhere, then only Bohemia would do. After I returned to Lithuania I was able to keep in contact with Reinberger, who used to come to Vilnius to play in concerts. In 1972 he invited me to the summer master classes in Prague, where I was very successful, and in 1973-19741 had a year's scholarship here. It was a very fruitful year, and one thing I did during that year was take up the harpsichord. And at the end of the scholarship year there was also a fateful meeting, and the result was a wedding a year later....

After you came to the country you tried to make a name with Lithuanian compositions and the music of other Baltic nations, but this was not much of a success, despite the fact that excellent music has been written there and still is. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

From the Land of Amber and Song to Prague
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.