List of selected works
Concerts and events
Lenka Nota, Czech composer and musicologist
Lenka Nota, nee Foltynova, studied musicology (1989-96) and theatrology (1989-1992) at the Faculty of Philosophy of the Masaryk University in Brno where she also continued her postgraduate studies in musicology (1997-2003; PhD dissertation Galina Ustvolskaya: Her Life and Work).
Nota studied composition with Jarmila Mazourova (1989-92, Music School, Brno), Prof. Frantisek Emmert (1992-97, Faculty of Music, Janacek Academy of Performing Arts, Brno), and participated in composition master classes with Sofia Gubaidulina, Viktor Suslin and Marek Kopelent (1996) and with Luis de Pablo, Jean-Yves Bosseur and Marek Kopelent (1997) in Cesky Krumlov, Czech Republic.
Since 1998, she has been the member and co-founder of the women composers' group HUDBABY (MusiCrones).
She produced their CDs HUDBABY/HUDBABY (Prague: Lotos, 2003) and HUDBABY: Cekam Te! I Am Awaiting You! (Prague: Radioservis, 2009). From 1999, she has been member of the Authors' Rights Union (OSA) in the Czech Republic.
Since 2009, she has been freelancing as composer, musicologist, publicist, and also as proofreader for the publishing house Universal Edition in Vienna, Austria, where she currently resides.
Mgr. Lenka Nota, PhD (nee Foltynova, born 1971) started her music education at the age of four, studying piano performance under Vlasta Komzakova at the Music School in Brno (1975-89).
After finishing a Brno grammar school in 1989, she continued her studies at the Faculty of Philosophy of the Masaryk University in Brno,
graduating first in theatrology (1989-1992, with a bachelor's degree), then in musicology (master's degree 1990-1996, thesis Redukcionisticke tendence v artificialni hudbe po roce 1960 a jejich odraz v hudbe ceske / Reductionism tendencies in contemporary music after 1960 and their reflection in Czech music; doctoral degree 1996-2003, PhD dissertation Galina Ivanovna Ustvolskaya: Life and Work).
During 1992-97, Nota studied composition at the Department of Composition and Conducting under Prof. František Emmert at the Janacek Academy of Performing Arts in Brno. She graduated with her master's degree thesis Ticho v hudbe 20. století (Silence in the 20th-century music) and the composition Kviti milodejne (Love Awakening Flowers) for two female voices, one male voice, violin, cimbalom and orchestra.
Nota's musical education also includes cimbalom performance studies with Milada Kapitanova (1985-89), composition with Jarmila Mazourova (1989-92), organ with Marie Karasova (1989-92) and flute with Bohumil Kutnohorsky (1992-94) at the Music School in Brno.
Nota was a member of the folklore group Brnensti gajdosi (1988-1995) and participated at the International Folklore Festival in Dijon, France (1989), Izmir, Turkey (1991) and Straznice, Czech Republic (1992).
During 1991-97, she was a member of the musical workshop at the theater studio "Studio Dum” (The Studio House) led by stage director Eva Talska and composer Milos Stedron.
Nota composed music for theater performances produced by the studio, and participated in two television documentaries about Studio Dum for Czech Television and in the International Theater Festival in Grenoble, France (1993).
From 1990 to 1997, Nota worked as organist at the Jesuit church of The Assumption Virgin Mary in Brno. During 1992-95, she collaborated with the Moravsky podzim (Moravian Autumn) Festival as a publicist. In 1995-97, she worked as accompanist at the Ballet School of I. V. Psota at the National Theatre in Brno.
After finishing her studies, Nota started her career as Manager of the CONCENTUS MORAVIAE Festival in Brno (1997-1999). Later she worked as a music manager for the Concert Department of the Brno Philharmonic Orchestra in Brno and for festivals EUROPAMUSICALE and Prague Spring Festival in Prague.
Before her maternity leave, Nota worked as musicologist at the Bohuslav Martinu Institute in Prague where she was responsible for the digitization of Martinu manuscripts as well as for the production of several Martinu Festival editions in Prague.
In 2005, Nota moved to Ankara, Turkey with her (now former) husband. Since 2007, she has lived with her daughter Aylin in Vienna where she works as freelance composer, musicologist and publicist.
From 2011 to 2014, Nota worked as organist at the Zwinglikirche in Vienna. From 2009 until today, she has been working for the publishing house Universal Edition as freelance proofreader.
As a publicist, she writes for music magazines Harmonie, Opus musicum, Hudobne rozhledy and Slovenska hudba.
She also collaborates occasionally on projects of the Czech Radio 3 (Vltava).
In the fall of 1998, Lenka Nota co-founded (together with Katerina Ruzickova and Marketa Dvorakova) the women composers group HUDBABY (MusiCrones). In 2003 and 2009, Nota produced the group’s two CDs (HUDBABY and Cekám Te/I Am Awaiting You!).
Since 1999, she has been also member of the Authors’ Rights Union (OSA) in the Czech Republic.
The unique character of Lenka Nota’s music is readily discernible in her vocal pieces. She leads the voice in a specific way which does not follow the classical harmonic scheme but pursues the voice naturally, creating a special melodic line as a result. Rather than working with particular tonal groups, Nota works with free modality which is inspired by the folklore music of her homeland, South Moravian region.
Although Nota does not have her own specific compositional method, her compositions share several distinct characteristics. Besides a particular affinity for specific melodies, linear-horizontal leading of the voices is also typical for her compositions.
Her music is visual, lyrical, and always in correspondence with its subject or the source of inspiration. She pays close attention to orchestration, and the choice of instruments as well as the way they express a certain musical idea are very important to her.
Nota’s style is often determined by the subject of her composition, invariably lifted from literature, theater or visual art, and often inspired by different women and their lives.
Her musical heroines include Sofia Gubaidulina, who inspires Nota with the spirituality of her music and a very special color and density of sound; Galina Ustvolskaya, whom she admires for the economy of musical phraseology and inner strength of her compositions; and Meredith Monk, whose music she values for its simplicity and vitality.
List of selected works
"Before starting a new piece, I try to find a theme which would support and hold together the whole composition.
When I receive a commission from the musicians, I ask them what the piece should be about.
Then I think about the subject, take inspiration from readings or simply from my life, and slowly start to make the first,
rough sketch of the entire piece. When this is done, I am able to envision the music in my head so that the compositional
means follow naturally. Perhaps that is why my music may not sound as 'contemporary;' it may be more scenic or lyrical,
but nevertheless truthful. In every composition of mine there is a story behind the music, there is a piece of me there.
I try to do the best work I can with an open heart and clear mind."
The thematic catalogue of Lenka Nota’s music can be divided into four categories:
1) music for the theater
2) spiritual music
3) compositions inspired by women
4) folklore and world music
Works for orchestra
Kviti milodejne (Love Awakening Flowers) for two female voices, one male voice, solo violin, cimbalom and orchestra (1997)
Pet invenci pro klavir (Five Inventions for piano) (1993)
Gitandjali for flute, viola and women’s choir, set to words by Rabindranath Thakur (1993)
Suite for flute (1994)
Zrozeni duhy (Birth of Rainbow) for mezzo-soprano, vibraphone and marimba on the text of the North American Native poetry (1994)
Missa brevis for mixed chorus and organ (1994)
Miniatury pro marimbu a cimbal (Miniatures for marimba and cimbalom) (1995)
Zrcadleni (Mirorring) for two violas and harp (1995)
Vedlejsi priznaky (Side Effects) for four percussionists (1995)
Stabat mater for solo soprano, solo alto, women’s choir, two violins, violoncello, vibraphone and piano (1995)
Canti on the text by Hildegard von Bingen for soprano, alto and three violoncellos (1996)
Missa brevis for two sopranos, alto, baritone, bass, cimbalom, two violins, oboe, violas, violoncellos, double basses (1996)
Uvazany listek (Tied Leaf) for female voice, cimbalom and B-flat saxophone (1999)
Nanook Stories for two violoncellos and percussion (2000)
Safranbolu for violoncello solo (2003)
Brnenske pisnicky pro Mariku a Zdenka (Songs from Brno for Marika and Zdenek) for mezzo-soprano and piano, on text by Leos Bacon Slanina (2003)
Magnificat for male vocal quartet a capella (2004)
Song Cycle on Poetry of Zdenek Rotrekl for male vocal quartet a capella (2005)
Ejasa, Hojasa for piano, inspired by Moravian folklore (2005)
Nejpeknejsi andel (The Fairest of Angels) for mezzo-soprano, string quartet and xylophone (2008)
Das kam so uber Nacht for mixed chorus a capella, on the text by Gustav Mahler (2011)
Path in Snow... christmas carol inspiration for brass quintet (2012)
Music for the stage
Zachariasi, vypravuj nam o Bohu (Zacharias, tell us about God) – musical. Libretto by Vera Herajtova (1992)
Vesele panicky windsorske (Merry Wives of Windsor) – musical. Directed by Eva Bergerova (1998)
Cirkus aneb Se mnou smrt a kun (Circus, or Death and Horse with Me) – theater play without words. Screenplay: Eva Talska (1999)
Sugar – musical. Directed by Jitka Foltynova (2009)
"...jen kdyby ta mama byla jina..." ("...if Only Mother Was different...") – chamber opera for alto, four singers, string quartet, clarinet and piano. Libretto by Olga Sommerova (2015)
December 1993: original music for the musical Zachariasi, vypravuj nam o Bohu (Zacharias, tell us about God) by the director Vera Herajtova for the Municipal Theater in Zlin, Czech Republic
Important concerts and events
1991– 1997: Member of the theater studio "Studio Dum" (Studio House) led by stage director Eva Talska and composer Milos Stedron at the
Center for Experimental Theater – Theater Husa na Provazku in Brno. Music for Svatby (Weddings) (1991), Betlem (Bethlehem) (1992), Svatbicky (Little Weddings) (1993),
and Vyprodej Studia Dum (Clearance Sale of the Studio Dum) (1997)
March 15, 1999: premiere of Cirkus aneb Se mnou smrt a kun (Circus or Death and Horse with Me) with the music by Lenka Nota. Script and Direction: Eva Talska. Produced by Theater Husa na Provazku in Brno, Czech Republic (in active repertoire until 3. 4. 2008)
July 2015: "...jen kdyby ta mama byla jina..." ("...if only Mother was different..."). Chamber opera about esteemed Czech writer Bozena Nemcova, on a libretto by Olga Sommerova. Creation of this work was supported by the Czech Ministry of Culture.
September 1989: second prize in the category of City Folklore with the folklore group Brnensti gajdosi at the International Folklore Festival in Dijon, France
July 3-10, 1993: participation at the International Theater Festival with the theater studio "Studio Dum" in Grenoble, France
June 19, 1996: Stabat mater at the International Festival FORFEST in Kromeriz, Czech Republic
August 31-September 8, 1996: international composition master classes with Sofia Gubaidulina, Viktor Suslin and Marek Kopelent in Cesky Krumlov, Czech Republic
July 29, 1997: Kviti milodejne (Love Awakening Flowers) for two female voices, one male voice, violin, cimbalom and orchestra. Performed by Moravian Philharmonic Orchestra Olomouc conducted by Jaroslav Kyzlink at the Stadion hall in Brno, Czech Republic
August 23-31, 1997: international composition master classes with Luis de Pablo, Jean-Yves Bosseur and Marek Kopelent in Cesky Krumlov, Czech Republic
March 15, 1999: First performance of Cirkus aneb Se mnou smrt a kun (Circus or Death and Horse with Me) with music by Lenka Nota. Script and direction: Eva Talska. Produced by Theater Husa na Provazku in Brno, Czech Republic (in active repertoire until April 3, 2008)
October 2,1998: Vedlejsi priznaky (Side Effects) for percussion at the Expozice Nove hudby (The Exposition of New Music) at the International Music Festival Moravský podzim (Moravian Autumn) in Brno, Czech Republic.
At the occasion of this concert, Nota co-founded the women composers group HUDBABY (other members of the group include Jana Barinkova, Marketa Dvorakova, Petra Gavlasova, and Katerina Ruzickova)
August 17, 2002: Vedlejsi priznaky (Side Effects) for percussion at the music festival Mlade podium (The Young Stage) in Karlovy Vary, Czech Republic
June 11-15, 2003: concert and the presentation of the CD HUDBABY/HUDBABY at the International Music Festival of Women Composers "Gegenwelten" in Heidelberg, Germany
November 26, 2003: Safranbolu for violoncello at the music festival Setkavani Nove hudby plus (Encounter of New Music Plus)
June 22, 2004: Magnificat for male voices a capella at the International Music Festival FORFEST in Kromeriz, Czech Republic
May 19, 2005: Song Cycle on Poetry of Zdenek Rotrekl at the concert "HUDBABY Zdenku Rotreklovi" ("HUDBABY to Zdenek Rotrekl") at the Expozice Nove hudby (Exposition of New Music) in Brno, Czech Republic
November 18, 2005: Safranbolu, Ejasa, Hojasa and Pet kousku pro marimbu a cimbal (Five Small Pieces for marimba and cimbalom) at the International Music Festival "Komponistinnen und ihr Werk" in Kassel, Germany
February 16-17, 2006: Vedlejsi priznaky (Side Effects) and Safranbolu at the concerts "Europahe Musik-Kontakte – Blickpunkt Tschechien" in Hannover and Koln, Germany
November 10-12, 2008: Nejpeknejsi andel (The Fairest of Angels) at the festival Setkavani Nové hudby plus (Encounter of New Music Plus) in Brno, Ostrava and Opava, Czech Republic
March 15, 2009: Safranbolu at the "Die andere Konzertreihe" at the "Komponistinnen und ihr Werk" Festival in Kassel, Germany
Christmas 2012: Path in Snow... at the concert series "Controcanto Natale in Musica 2012" organized by Donne in Musica in Fiuggi, Italy
2002, 2003, 2009, 2010, 2014: member of the jury of the international music competition and festival Allegretto Zilina in Slovakia
2003: HUDBABY/HUDBABY, LT 0128-2 131, Lotos, Prague, Czech Republic
2003: HIS VOICE, sampler 2, Czech Music Information Centre, Prague, Czech Republic
2009: HUDBABY: Cekam Te!, CR 0481-2, Radioservis, Prague, Czech Republic
December 2-7, 1991: International Musicological Colloquium on Mozart Year in Baden near Vienna, Austria
April 1993: Musicological Colloquium on New Music in Pekarov, Czech Republic
June 22-29, 2003: International Colloquium "Spiritual Direction in Contemporary Art" at the FORFEST Festival in Kromeriz, Czech Republic
November 18-20, 2005: International Colloquium "Blickpunkt Tschechien” at the "Komponistinnen und ihr Werk" Festival in Kassel, Germany
2011, 2013: International Conference "Women In Music Uniting Strategies for Talent" in Fiuggi, Italy
December 2-4, 2011: International Musicological Conference "Women in Music" in Kragujevac, Serbia
Nota, Lenka. "Galina Ivanovna Ustvolskaya: Life and Work." PhD dissertation, 2003. Faculty of Philosophy, Masaryk University, Brno, Czech Republic.
Nota, Lenka. "Redukcionistické tendence v artificialni hudbe po roce 1960 a jejich odraz v hudbe ceske." (Reductionism tendencies in contemporary music after 1960 and their reflection in Czech music.) Master’s degree thesis, 1996. Faculty of Philosophy, Masaryk University, Brno, Czech Republic.
Nota, Lenka. "Ticho v hudbe 20. stoleti." (Silence in the 20th-century music.) Master’s degree thesis, 1997. Department of Composition and Conducting, Janacek Academy of Performing Arts, Brno, Czech Republic.
Chapters in books
Nota, Lenka. "Gedanken uber das Komponieren, Lenka Foltynova.” In: Entdeckt und aufgeführt / Komponistinnen und ihr Werk IV. Kassel, ed. Christel Nies, p. 17. Germany: Kassel University Press, 2010.
Nota, Lenka. "HUDBABY.” In: Women in Music Uniting Strategies for Talent. Fiuggi, Italy: Fondazione Adkins Chiti, Donne in musica, 2012, p. 23.
Nota, Lenka. "Nota, Lenka.” Cesky hudebni slovnik osob a instituci. (Czech Music Dictionary of People and Institutions.) Brno, Czech Republic: Kabinet hudebni lexikografie pri Ustavu hudebni vedy, Filozoficka fakulta Masarykovy university, 2014.
Nota, Lenka. "Ta osma verze byla nejlepsi!” In: Eva Talska, ed. Katerina Fojtikova et al., p. 247. Prague: Prazska scena, 2011.
Balek, Jindrich. "Cekam Te!" CD Review. Harmonie 2/2011.
Dobrovska, Wanda. "HUDBABY.” Harmonie 2/2004.
______. "Je to v nas jako v koze.” Harmonie 11/2005.
Fila, Jan. "HUDBABY: Cekam Te!” CD Review. A tempo Revue, 4. 9. 2010
Gumert, Lynn. "HUDBABY: Chamber Works by Czech Women Composers.” CD Review. IAWM Journal 6/2003.
Kral, Zdenek. "Hudba je take zalezitosti zen.” MF Dnes, 5. 10. 1998.
_____. "HUDBABY/HUDBABY.” CD Review. Opus musicum 4/2003 and 6/2010.
Latour, Michelle. "HUDBABY: Cekam Te!” CD Review. IAWM Journal 2/2010.
Marecek, Lubos. "Kdyz do cirkusu, tak na Provazek.” Divadelni noviny, 13. 4. 1999.
Medek, Ivo. "HUDBABY prichazeji.” HIS VOICE 3/2001.
Puskasova, Melania. "HUDBABY: Cekam Te!” CD Review. Hudobne rozhledy 8/2010.
Simkova, Monika. "Nechavam veci prochazet okolo sebe, rika mlada skladatelka Foltynova.” MF Dnes, 8. 6. 1999.
"Zena – skladatelka neni nepatricne spojeni.” Signed by initials –zen. MF Dnes, 3. 10. 1998.
1996: Prize of the Leos Janacek Foundation in Brno, Czech Republic, for the best thesis on contemporary music (Redukcionisticke tendence v artificialni hudbe po roce 1960 a jejich odraz v hudbe ceske / Reductionism tendencies in contemporary music after 1960 and their reflection in Czech music)
1996: Prize of the composer competition Generace (Generation) in Ostrava, Czech Republic (for Stabat mater)