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The Leoš Janáček Memorial


SMETANOVA 14


When the Organ School started its courses in its new home at the  Chleborád Villa in 1907, Janáček, as the director, found his home in Old Brno was quite far from the school. He walked on foot and did not travel using the electric trams because they were German. Therefore, the school founder, the Association for the Promotion of Church Music in Moravia, decided to build a small house for the director in the school garden in place of the wooden stables. The house was designed and built by Alois Horák. Janáček, along with his wife, Zdenka, and their housekeeper, Marie Stejskalová, moved there in 1910, and Janáček spent the last eighteen years of his life here. This new home, which was comfortable for its time, was where Janáček wrote all of his major works - the operas The Excursions of Mr Brouček, Káťa Kabanová, The Cunning Little Vixen, The Makropulos Affair and From the House of the Dead, the orchestral compositions Taras Bulba and Sinfonietta, and the cantata Glagolitic Mass. Today it is the site of the Leoš Janáček Memorial, complete with his study as it was, including Janáček's piano, which the maestro received as a wedding present and was where he composed nearly all of his works.

Leoš Janáček with his wife Zdenka in the garden of the director's house of the Organ School (1927) © Moravian Museum
Leoš Janáček with his wife Zdenka in the garden of the director's house of the Organ School (1927) © Moravian Museum

We moved on Saturday the 2nd of July. We were ready early; we had already measured everything and decided where things would go. And after Mařa and I had spent some time putting things in order after the workmen had left, then our "little house", as we started to call it, started to become quite charming. At that time the garden was full of fruit trees. In the area overlooking Giskrova (Kounicova) street, my husband had 14 boxwoods planted, as was to his taste. [...] Our dog Čert (Devil) lorded over us from the veranda.

Memoirs: Zdenka Janáčková - My Life (1998)


The interiorof Janáček's house © Moravian Museum

Giskrova (today's Kounicova) street from the Hotel Continental view. In the middle is the no longer extant villa of the famous physicist George Placzek, behind it is the Organ School © archive JZ
Giskrova (today's Kounicova) street from the Hotel Continental view. In the middle is the no longer extant villa of the famous physicist George Placzek, behind it is the Organ School © archive JZ
 Leoš Janáček in front of the director's house in the garden of the Organ School (around 1924) © Moravian Museum
Leoš Janáček in front of the director's house in the garden of the Organ School (around 1924) © Moravian Museum
Leoš Janáček in his garden with his dog Čert (around 1910) © Moravian Museum
Leoš Janáček in his garden with his dog Čert (around 1910) © Moravian Museum
Birdsong melody: Leoš Janáček noted on 10. 6. 1923 on Smetanova street: The female janitor calls out to her son, Petr, whose father is taking him to the nursery: "– and be good there – !“ The janitor is originally from Újezd u Sokolnic. © Moravian Museum
Birdsong melody: Leoš Janáček noted on 10. 6. 1923 on Smetanova street: The female janitor calls out to her son, Petr, whose father is taking him to the nursery: "– and be good there – !“ The janitor is originally from Újezd u Sokolnic. © Moravian Museum
Speech melody: Leoš Janáček noted on 25. 2. 1926: In my garden, the trimmed chestnuts, the limes as bare as broomsticks, the frozen lawn, the path filled with water – and a blackbird calls with its pretty melody from the wall © Moravian Museum
Speech melody: Leoš Janáček noted on 25. 2. 1926: In my garden, the trimmed chestnuts, the limes as bare as broomsticks, the frozen lawn, the path filled with water – and a blackbird calls with its pretty melody from the wall © Moravian Museum