Edvard Schiffauer

Tomáš Edvard Schiffauer (born 26 March 1942), more commonly known as Edvard Schiffauer, is a Czech composer of classical music. Schiffauer is mainly a composer of music for theatre. He moreover composed vocal pieces like operas, an oratorio, a mass and others, along with chamber music, such as sonatas, sonatinas, a string quartet, pieces for a brass quintet, a wind octet, a string trio and more.

Edvard Schiffauer
Photograph of Edvard Schiffauer in 2011.jpg
Photograph of Edvard Schiffauer in 2011
Tomáš Edvard Schiffauer

26 March 1942
OccupationComposer, professor of composition
Notable work
Rural Christmas Mass (op.4), Children's opera Vrat' nám, ptáku, Hastermana! (op.5)
Spouse(s)Věra Schiffauerová
ChildrenJakub Schiffauer, Filip Schiffauer, Sylvie Schiffauerová
  • Leopold Schiffauer (father)
  • Marta Schiffauerová (mother)


Edvard Schiffauer was born in Ostrava in an educated upper-middle-class family. However, the family's living standards degraded after the communist 1948 Czechoslovak coup d'état. In 1960, Schiffauer started his study at the Technical University of Ostrava, which he discontinued,[1] but he completed his Master's degree at the Pedagogical Institute of the University of Ostrava in 1964.[2] He also started studying musical composition in the Academy of Performing Arts.[3]

In 1961, Schiffauer and other students established the theatre Divadélko Pod okapem (Little Theatre under the Gutter), which became an Ostravian version of Prague's Semafor Theatre. Furthermore, he was involved in the foundation of the theatre Divadlo Waterloo (Waterloo Theatre) and he composed music for the musical Syn Pluku (op. 3) (Son of the Regiment) in 1968. This theatre became banned by the authorities during the normalization era in Czechoslovakia and a large-scale court trial was held with those who had been involved in this theatre. Schiffauer was expelled from the Academy of Performing Arts and sentenced to nine months of imprisonment for having composed music for that musical. He served his sentence in the prison in Pilsen-Bory, where he wrote a children's opera Vrat' nám, ptáku, Hastermana! (Bring us Hasterman back, Bird!) with his friend and later Charter 77 signatory Ivan Binar.[4] During the normalization era, Schiffauer was employed as a worker and he was being permanently interrogated by the State Security Police.[1] This experience was briefly summarized by Schiffauer in an interview published on YouTube in February 2019.[5]

After the Velvet Revolution, Schiffauer was allowed to complete his university education (Janáček Academy of Music and Performing Arts) and could fully engage himself into composition of music. He was teaching in the Janáček Conservatory in Ostrava and in the Silesian University (Opava).[1]


Opus Number Title Year Notes
1 Agent 3,14159 1969
  • This is music for a theatre play.
  • This piece was premiered on 2 December 1969 in the theatre Waterloo.[6][7]
2 Pamphlets 1969
  • Czech/original: "Pamflety". This is a collection of scenic music and songs.
  • This piece was premiered on 14 January 1969 in the Theatre Waterloo.[7]
3 Son of the Regiment 1969
  • Czech/original: "Syn Pluku".
  • This satirical musical was the cause of Schiffauer's arrest in 1972.[1]
  • This music was premiered 1 April 1969 in the Theatre Waterloo.[7]
4 Rural Christmas Mass 1969
  • Czech/original: "Venkovská Vánoční mše".
  • Words by Ivan Binar.
  • This is one of Schiffauer's most well-known compositions.
  • This piece is included in a CD named "Vánoce" (Christmas) (the CD also contains op.17 and op.21) released in 1998.
  • This mass was premiered in the Church of Mokré Lazce by the Kostelní sbor a orchestr v Mokrých Lazcích (Church Choir and Orchestra of the Mokré Lazce).[8]
  • Otherwise, this composition was performed in churches of Moravia, Silesia, Poland, Slovakia and even the Netherlands and Denmark.[9](p. 17-18)
  • This piece was also published on Youtube.[10] Listen to this mass
5 Bring us Hasterman back, Bird![4] 1973
  • Czech/original: "Vrat' nám, ptáku, Hastermana!".
  • This is an opera for kids.
  • This is one of Schiffauer's most well-known compositions.
  • Schiffauer wrote the plot of this opera in prison with Ivan Binar.
  • This piece was released on a standalone CD named "Vrat' nám, ptáku, Hastermana!".[11]
  • This opera was premiered on 4 September 2015 in the Puppet Theatre of Ostrava.[12]
  • And under the title "Zob, Zob, Zoban!", this opera was premiered in the National Moravian-Silesian Theatre (in the Theatre of Antonín Dvořák), on 24 September 2017.[13][14] Also, under the name of "Nøkkemannen Lucian", this opera was premiered in Norway in the Ringsaker Opera Theatre, in Ringsaker, on the 29th May 2019.[15]Listen to a part of this piece.[16]
6 Teasing 1975
  • Czech/original: "Škádlení".
  • Written for 3 mixed choirs and a Capella.[17]
7 Sneers 1982
  • Czech/original: "Jízlivosti".
  • Written for male voice and harp.
  • This Composition was premiered in 1982 in a festival named "Hudební současnost" (Musical Contemporaneity), in Ostrava.[18]
8 Small evening entry fees 1983
  • Czech/original: "Malé večerní vstupné".
  • Written for a French horn quartet.[19]
9 Sonata I for Violin and Guitar[20] 1984–1985
10 Zoo Suite 1984
  • Czech/original: "Zoologická suita".
  • Written for a brass quintet.
  • This suite was premiered in 1985 in a festival named "Hudební současnost" (Musical Contemporaneity), in Ostrava.[21]
11 Hymn of Morava 1985
  • Czech/original: "Hymnus Moravy".
  • Written for fourteen brass instruments.[22]
12 Sonatina I for French horn and Guitar 1985
13 String Quartet: "Vzepětí" 1989
14 Music to Go with White Wine (Best if from a Barrel) 1992
  • Czech/original: "Hudba k bílému vínu (Nejlépe sudové)".
  • This composition was included in a CD.
15 ...and the Flower Remains 1993
  • Czech/original: "...a kytička zůstává".
  • Written for flute, cello and piano.
  • Upon the death of Schiffauer's mother, Marta Schiffauerová, he was very sad. But when he composed this piece, it put his sadness aside. The origine of this title is Schiffauer's memory of his mother's funeral, at which he saw a flower that became, to him, a symbol of his mother. This is what this piece is named after.
16 Crusade 1994
  • Czech/original: "Křížová výprava".
  • This is a scenic oratorio buffo.
17 Christmas Singing at Home, or Elsewhere 1994
  • Czech/original: "Vánoční zpívání doma, i jinde".
  • Written for mixed choir.
  • This collection of carols from all over the world edited by Schiffauer was included in a CD named "Vánoce" (Christmas) (the CD also contains op.17 and op.21) released in 1998.
18 A Hare, a Hare! 1995
  • Czech/original: "Zajíc, zajíc!".
  • This is music for theatre.
19 Ondras and Juras; Lord of the Bald Mountain 1996
  • Czech/original: "Ondráš a Juráš; Pán Lysé hory".
  • This is a tragic opera comedy.
20 Whispers 1996
  • Czech/original: "Šepoty".
  • Written for female voice and a string trio.
21 3 Small Christmas Pastorels 1997
  • Czech/original: "3 malé Vánoční pastorely".
  • Written for a wind octet.
  • These three pieces were included in a CD named "Vánoce" (Christmas) (the CD also contains op.4 and op.17) released in 1998.
22 Clevernesses 1998
  • Czech/original: "Chytrosti".
  • Written for 3 female voices and a magnetic tape.
23 Singing about Rusalka 1998
  • Czech/original: "Zpívání o Rusalce".
  • This is music for theatre and for musical preparation.
24 Czardas for solo tuba 1999
25 Preludium and Toccata for Organ: "Sinful Toccata" 1999
  • Czech/original: "Hříšná toccata".
26 Nausikaa 1999
  • This is music for theatre.
27 Sonatina II for French Horn and a Student Orchestra 1999
28 Returns 2000
  • Czech/original: "Návraty".
  • Written for solo bayan.
29 Variations on a Folk Song 2000
  • Czech/original: "Úlety s lidovou písní".
  • Written for a female vocal trio, viola and guitar.
30 Pictures to Vernissage II, Correctly Music to Vernissage II 2001
  • Czech/original: "Obrázky k vernisáži II, správně Hudba k vernisáži II".
  • Written for harp.
31 Scream 2002
  • Czech/original: "Výkřik".
  • Written for a string orchestra.
32 Fragment of a Neu-Baroque Sonata 2002
  • Czech/original: "Fragment neubarokní sonáty".
  • Written for a string orchestra and violin.
33 Little Moravian Suite (or) Moravian Suitek 2006
  • Czech/original: "Moravský Suitek".
  • Written for a clarinet quartet.
  • The "Suitek" is the name of a musical form invented by Schiffauer. The suffix "-ek" basically means "little" in Czech. Thus, "suitek" means "little suite".
34 Slépky 2006
  • Written for three flutes, a string orchestra and a whip.
35 Maid in Trouble 2008
  • Czech/original: "Komorná v nesnázích".
  • Written for a soprano and violin.

Unknown Dates

Title Notes
But I, I...
  • Czech/original: "Ale já přece...".
  • This is a dark grotesque opera.
Just like Tree Trunks
  • Czech/original: "Jako kmeny stromů".
  • Written for a symphonic orchestra.
Sonata II for Solo Cello: "Jotunheimen"
Moravian Boy on a Crossing in Sydney
  • Czech/original: "Kluk z Moravy na přechodu v Sydney".
  • Written for solo piano.
About Love with Us
  • Czech/original: "O lásce u nás".
  • Written for singing and piano.
A Fairytale about Love (A fantasy in three parts)
  • Czech/original: "Pohádka o lásce (Fantazie ve třech částech)".
  • This piece appeared in a CD released in 2011 named "Czech and Moravian Oboe Music".[23]
  • This composition was once performed on 11 January 2013 by Czech oboist Marlen Vavriková in the Madsen Recital and was assisted by BYU faculty pianist Jeffrey Shumway.[24]
Seven Variations for Piano
  • Czech/original: "Sedm variací pro klavír".
Music for Oscar Wilde's Tale "Happy Prince" from his Book "The Happy Prince and Other Tales"
  • Written for two female voices, recitation, violin and guitar.
Christmas Flute Trio
Monologue from Mrštík brothers’ play for solo voice "Maryša"[26]
  • This piece was premiered on 13 November 2019 in the Gallery, Academy of Performing Arts.[26]
Opera "Brenpartija", or "Scenes from Slag Heap"
  • Czech/original: "Opera "Brenpartija", aneb "Scény ze struskové haldy"".
  • This composition was premiered on 26 May 2009 in the Lower Vítkovice.[27][28]
  • Later, it was premiered on 30 October 2009 in the Komorní Scéna Aréna (Aréna Chamber Theatre).[29]


  1. ^ a b c d "Edvard Schiffauer (1942)". www.memoryofnations.eu.
  2. ^ https://www.lko.cz/pedagogove/lidova-konzervator/hudebni-obory/139-edvard-schiffauer
  3. ^ https://www.pribehynasichsousedu.cz/media/Životopis_edvarda_schiffauera.pdf
  4. ^ a b "Schiffauer, Binar: Vrať nám, ptáku, hastrmana (představení není v současné době na repertoáru)". Dismanův rozhlasový dětský soubor. 7 January 2008.
  5. ^ https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OS6MtB0LClU. YouTube (28 February 2019). Retrieved 26 December 2019.
  6. ^ "Agent 3,14159 - hudba k představení (1969) :: Edvard Schiffauer". m.schiffauer.webnode.cz.
  7. ^ a b c "Divadlo Waterloo". 21 December 2019 – via Wikipedia.
  8. ^ "Venkovská vánoční mše, pro sm. sbor, symf. orch. a varh. | musicbase.cz". www.musicbase.cz.
  9. ^ https://theses.cz/id/hm35we/diplomov_prce.pdf?lang=en
  10. ^ "Chrámový sbor a orchestr v Hluku: Venkovská vánoční mše - půlnoční 2015" – via www.youtube.com.
  11. ^ "Ivan Binar, Edvard Schiffauer, Dismanův Rozhlasový Dětský Soubor, Petr Matuszek, Archioni Plus, Michal Macourek - Vrať Nám, Ptáku, Hastrmana". Discogs.
  12. ^ "Vrať nám, ptáku, hastrmana". www.dlo-ostrava.cz.
  13. ^ "Zob, zob, zoban!!! (Edvard schiffauer)". www.operamusica.com.
  14. ^ Bátor, Milan. "Se skladatelem Edvardem Schiffauerem na pár slov před premiérou dětské operky Zob, zob, Zoban!!!". ostravan.cz.
  15. ^ http://ringsakeroperaen.com/arkiv/tsjekkisk-kulturuke/
  16. ^ "Edvard Schiffauer". schiffauer.webnode.cz.
  17. ^ "Škadleni | musicbase.cz". www.musicbase.cz.
  18. ^ "Jízlivosti, pro mužský hlas a harfu | musicbase.cz". www.musicbase.cz.
  19. ^ "Malé večerní vstupné, pro 4 lesní rohy. | musicbase.cz". www.musicbase.cz.
  20. ^ "Sonáta pro housle a kytaru | musicbase.cz". www.musicbase.cz.
  21. ^ "Zoologická suita pro žesťové kvinteto | musicbase.cz". www.musicbase.cz.
  22. ^ "Hymnus Moravy, pro 14 žesťových nástrojů. | musicbase.cz". www.musicbase.cz.
  23. ^ "Czech And Moravian Oboe Music - Centaur Records: CRC 3079 | Buy from ArkivMusic". www.arkivmusic.com.
  24. ^ "Czech oboist Marlen Vavriková plans BYU recital Jan. 11". 4 January 2013.
  25. ^ https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g-NHcL0jkmk. YouTube (26 December 2014). Retrieved 26 December 2019.
  26. ^ a b "Days of Contemporary Music: new pieces by Karel Mirošník, Marek Pavlíček and Edvard Schiffauer". musica.cz. 14 November 2019.
  27. ^ televize, Česká. "Janáčkův máj se vydal za brenparťáky ze struskové haldy". ČT24 - Nejdůvěryhodnější zpravodajský web v ČR - Česká televize.
  28. ^ "Opera Brenpartija pojednává o ostravských bezdomovcích ze struskové haldy - Novinky.cz". www.novinky.cz.
  29. ^ "Aréna - Brenpartija". divadloarena.cz.

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