Educated at the Abbey of St. Thomas in Brno where he developed his musical abilities as a choirist and pianist, Janacek then studied at the Prague Organ school. He was expelled from school after he wrote a criticism of his teacher Skuhersky, but was later readmitted and graduated in 1875 at the top of his class. Thereafter, he taught music privately and at the Brno Teacher's Institute. He returned to his musical studies in 1879 at the Leipzig Conservatory and the following year composed his Zdenka Variations in tribute to Zdenka Schulzova, who would become his wife in 1881. That year he was also appointed director of the organ school in Brno, remaining in that position until 1919. During this period, Janacek was very productive, introducing his first opera, Sarka in 1887. He was often very critical of others' work and made a number of enemies during his career. nevertheless, he became close friends with Anton Dvorak and was influenced by him. Janacek's greatest orchestral work was the Sinfonietta which made its debut in 1926. His operas include Destiny (1904) and From the House of the Dead (1927). Janacek died after contracting pneumonia.
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