WHO IS JURAJ FILAS?
JJJuraj Filas’ compositions are inspired by his faith in music’s power to heal wounds, open hearts, and bring peoples together. The works of Juraj Filas have been performed five times in Carnegie Hall over the last thirteen years. His music is encompassed by one philosophy: Harmony is the needed balance for the universe.
Whether crafting new symphonies and operas, teaching the next generation of composers at the Prague Academy of Performing Arts, or performing his own works in private concerts, Filas seeks to inspire both imagination and compassion.
Juraj Filas is the author of more than 120 opuses across the genres of concerts, symphonies, cantatas, operas, and chamber music. His requiem, Oratio Spei (Prayer of Hope), dedicated to the victims of terrorism, has been performed at the Church of St. Ignatius of Loyala and at Carnegie Hall by the Oratorio Society of New York. With a cast including Susanna Phillips, Matthew Plenk, and under the hand of conductor Kent Tritle, Allan Kozinn of the New York Times drew parallels to the "melodic litheness" of Mozart's, and "soul-shaking percussion," in which, Kozinn wrote, Filas "actually outpaces Verdi.”
Juraj Filas was born in 1955 and grew up in Kosice, Slovakia. He first graduated from the Prague Conservatory with a degree in voice, but harmful coaching robbed him of his ability to perform. Yet it was this misfortune that led him to study at the Prague Academy of Performing Arts, where he was discovered by the great professors Jan Zdenek Bartos (a student of Josef Suk who was a student of Antonin Dvorak) and Jiri Pauer. It was under their tutelage that Filas discovered his lifelong passion for composition. Filas soon found acclaim in Czechoslovakia, three times winning the title of young composer laureate in Ostrava (Generace), and then found international renown when his TV opera Memento Mori won the Jacobs-Suchard Prize at the International Music Competition in 1989. As lauded by Matthew Gurewitsch, Filas is the rare composer of our own day bold enough to compete on equal terms with the likes of Mozart and Verdi.
Juraj Filas lives in Prague. Apart from composing, he also lectures on composition at the Prague Academy of Performing Arts.