Alois Hába

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Hába, Alois


Born June 21, 1893, in Vizovice; died Nov. 18, 1973, in Prague. Czech composer, musicologist, and teacher. Honored Artist of the Czechoslovak Socialist Republic (1964).

Hába studied under V. Novák and F. Schreker. From 1923 to 1945 he was head of the department of quarter-tone and sixth-tone music at the Prague Conservatory; he held the same post at the Academy of Fine Arts from 1946 to 1949. His students included K. Reiner, J. Pauer, M. Ristić, and M. Kolessa. From 1945 to 1948, Hába directed the Fifth of May Grand Opera, now the Smetana Theater.

Hába was an originator of the quarter-tone system. A representative of the Czech musical avant-garde of the 1920’s and 1930’s, he composed numerous works with a progressive ideological content, including the operas The Mother (1931, libretto by the composer) and The New Land (1936, based on the novella by Gladkov). His other compositions include A Working Day (1932), a choral cycle written in honor of the 15th anniversary of the October Revolution in Russia; the cantata For Peace (1949); chamber music, including 16 string quartets; and vocal works, including choral works for children. Hába was the author of The Harmonic Foundations of the Quarter-tone System (1922), My Path to Quarter-tone and Sixth-tone Music (1971, in German), a monograph on V. Novák, and articles for the Czech and foreign press.


Vysloužil, J. Alois Hába: Životadtto. Prague, 1974.