Biography

Czech composer, born 13. September 1928 in Opočno in East Bohemia.
After studying at the real grammar school in Rychnov nad Kněžnou. For six years he worked in his father’s printing house in Opočno. After its violent destruction in 1950, he went to the Prague Conservatory, where he obtained three diplomas in conducting under Prof. Špidra and A. Klíma (1954), percussion under Prof. Špaček and composition under Prof. F. Pícha and M. Krejčí (1955). He graduated from the Academy of Performing Arts in composition under Prof. J. Řídký and P. Bořkovec and in film and stage music under Prof. V. Trojan in 1959.

Although he spent most of his life as a freelance composer, he also served in several important capacities. He was the dramaturge of the Čs. television, editor-in-chief of Pantone, chairman of the Association of Music Artists and Scientists. Since 1994 he has been a member of the Mondays.
In 1951 he was accepted in Paris by Arthur Honegger as his pupil, as well as by Georges Auric as his assistant. He was prevented from staying in Paris for political reasons. Sluk’s work is very extensive and varied in genre. It is dominated by chamber music (4 string quartets, duos, trios, sonatas, where the cello one in particular achieved worldwide acclaim, no doubt thanks to Pablo Casals, who performed it on his courses).

Vocal works are represented by 14 song cycles, a number of choruses and four cantatas. His works for children and young people (Piano School, Games and Dreams, Piano Breviary, Returns) are highly acclaimed. Symphonic music is represented by 10 compositions (Orava Ballad, Journey of Healing, From East Bohemia, Sinfonietta, Lento affabile). 85 scores for films of all genres, 30 television productions, 6 TV series and more than 130 chansons and popular compositions only illustrate the wide spectrum of Sluka’s work. His compositions, especially from the field of classical music, are preserved on more than 25 gramophone records (also in Russia, USA, Japan, Germany), 18 CDs (in France, Japan, Germany, Canada, USA, Holland, Belgium, Switzerland) and a complete edition of Sluk’s entire work is being published by EDITIO MUSICA HUMANA (106 volumes have been published so far).A number of Sluka’s compositions have been awarded various prizes in the world (Moscow, Warsaw, Vienna, Cannes, La Plata, Milan) and at home (Prague Conservatory Prize, Czech Music Fund, Panton, Minister of Culture, etc.). In addition to musical awards, he was awarded the T. G. Masaryk Medal of Honour and in 2003 the International Astronomical Society named a newly discovered asteroid in his honour (LUBOSLUKA).

The music of L. Sluka has never succumbed to any of the modern compositional techniques or trends, but, having learned from their existence, he consciously follows the best traditions of some of the classical composers of the 20th century. century, from the Czech ones especially the aesthetics and diction of Leoš Janáček and the deep and genuine sensibility of Josef Suk and Bohuslav Martinů. Sluka is also an artist and writer (he has published three collections of poetry in the classical Japanese haiku form).