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ChleborádovaVilla - The Organ School


SMETANOVA 14


The Neo-Renaissance Chleborád building, or "Greek Villa", has been situated on the corner of Smetanova (formerly Haberlerova) and Kounicova (formerly Giskrova) street since 1891. It was designed by the architect Antonín Tebich for the important Czech lawyer and politician František Ladislav Chleborád. In 1906 the Association for the Promotion of Church Music in Moravia, the founder of the Organ School, purchased the villa and by doing so finally established a permanent site for the school. From the first days of its establishment, Janáček was the school's headmaster and one of its teachers, and in 1919 it was transformed into a private conservatory and then the State Conservatory. The Organ School not only taught organ playing, but also the piano, violin, singing, composition and theoretical subjects. The school produced many prominent musicians and composers, such as Oskar Chlubna, Vilém Petrželka, Václav Kaprál, Břetislav Bakala and Jan Kunc. From 1920, Janáček's "Master Class", which was run by the Prague Conservatory, was also sited in the villa alongside the Brno Conservatory, and which produced composers such as Pavel Haas. Today the Moravian Museum's Department of the History of Music is located in the building, part of which also contains the Janáček archive.

The Organ School at the corner of Smetanova and Kounicova street © Moravian Museum
The Organ School at the corner of Smetanova and Kounicova street © Moravian Museum

Janáček looked after us like a father at school. He knew each one of us and he knew about our circumstances. If someone was ill, he would come to our flat to find out how we were, which was not always particularly pleasant, especially if we were not feeling that bad and he did not find us at home. The following day would then be a stormy one at school and many of us were thrown out of the class. Usually, however, that wouldn't last long as Janáček's temper soon quietened.

From an article by the composer Jaroslav Kvapil "Leoš Janáček, director of the Organ School" (Hudební rozhledy)


The Organ School in Brno, historical postcard © archive JZ
The Organ School in Brno, historical postcard © archive JZ
Front page of the Organ School curriculum (1896) © archive JZ
Front page of the Organ School curriculum (1896) © archive JZ
Classroom in the Organ School © Moravian Museum
Classroom in the Organ School © Moravian Museum
Classroom in the Organ School © Moravian Museum
Classroom in the Organ School © Moravian Museum
Leoš Janáček with graduates and teachers of the organ course 1905–1906 © Moravian Museum
Leoš Janáček with graduates and teachers of the organ course 1905–1906 © Moravian Museum

 Invitations to public concerts by the Organ School in 1908/1909 and 1909/1910 © Moravian Museum

Janáček's note in the Organ School class register 29. 10. 1918: "Holiday on the day the Czechoslovak state was proclaimed." © Moravian Museum
Janáček's note in the Organ School class register 29. 10. 1918: "Holiday on the day the Czechoslovak state was proclaimed." © Moravian Museum