World Library  
Flag as Inappropriate
Email this Article

Ján Levoslav Bella

Ján Levoslav Bella, c. 1880

Ján Levoslav Bella (German Johann Leopold Bella; 4 September 1843 – 25 May 1936) was a Slovak composer, conductor and music teacher, who wrote in the spirit of the Nationalist Romantic movement of the 19th century.


  • Life 1
  • Music 2
  • See also 3
  • References 4
  • External links 5


Bella was born in Liptovský Mikuláš, Austrian Empire (now Slovakia), and raised in a Roman Catholic family. He studied at the college in Levoča and a seminary in Banská Bystrica before taking a degree at Vienna University.

Bella was ordained a priest in 1866. From 1869 to 1881 he was town director of music at Kremnica . He left the priesthood in 1881 and converted to Protestantism, becoming director of music in Hermannstadt/Nagyszeben, now Sibiu in modern Romania, (at that time Kingdom of Hungary) where he remained until 1921. From 1921 to 1928 he lived in retirement in Vienna, moving to Bratislava in 1928, where he died in 1936.


Bella began to compose whilst studying in Levoča. At this time his output was largely small-scale, such as church music, folk-song arrangements and some chamber music. In 1873 however, visiting Vienna and Prague, he heard for the first time the music of, amongst others, Robert Schumann, Richard Wagner and Bedřich Smetana. This encounter with romantic music had a profound effect, of which the first result was Bella's 1874 symphonic poem Osud a ideál (Fate and the Ideal), which premiered in Prague in 1876.

In his day Bella was respected both as a composer and conductor by such important musical figures as Antonín Dvořák, Johannes Brahms, Hans von Bülow, Joseph Joachim and Ernst von Dohnányi.

Bella wrote in many different forms, including songs, church music, organ music, chamber music and orchestral music. His operas include Wieland der Schmied (Wieland the Blacksmith), to a libretto originally written by Richard Wagner and based on German legend. This was written in the period 1880–1890 and first performed in 1926 in Bratislava, where it was performed in a Slovak version as Kováč Wieland.

In recent times, Bella's music and reputation have been revived by, amongst others, the Slovak composer and scholar Vladimír Godár. Recordings of his complete chamber and organ works have been issued by Hudobné Centrum in Bratislava.

Banská Bystrica's Ján Levoslav Bella Conservatory, founded in 1992, is named after him.

See also


External links

This article was sourced from Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License; additional terms may apply. World Heritage Encyclopedia content is assembled from numerous content providers, Open Access Publishing, and in compliance with The Fair Access to Science and Technology Research Act (FASTR), Wikimedia Foundation, Inc., Public Library of Science, The Encyclopedia of Life, Open Book Publishers (OBP), PubMed, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Center for Biotechnology Information, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health (NIH), U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, and, which sources content from all federal, state, local, tribal, and territorial government publication portals (.gov, .mil, .edu). Funding for and content contributors is made possible from the U.S. Congress, E-Government Act of 2002.
Crowd sourced content that is contributed to World Heritage Encyclopedia is peer reviewed and edited by our editorial staff to ensure quality scholarly research articles.
By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. World Heritage Encyclopedia™ is a registered trademark of the World Public Library Association, a non-profit organization.

Copyright © World Library Foundation. All rights reserved. eBooks from World eBook Library are sponsored by the World Library Foundation,
a 501c(4) Member's Support Non-Profit Organization, and is NOT affiliated with any governmental agency or department.