National Museum – Jaroslav Ježek Memorial ( Památník Jaroslava Ježka)
The "Blue Room" in the Jaroslav Ježek apartment is the actual interior where the composer lived and worked. Here you'll find his library, piano, printed sheet music works and objects from his estate. Jaroslav Ježek (1906–1942) laid the foundations for Czech modern jazz and dance music, but also composed classical music and music for Voskovec and Werich films.
January – December
- 13.00 – 18.00
Jaroslav Ježek Memorial - The Blue Room
In 1989, a Monument of Jaroslav Ježek was opened for the public, a significant Czech composer and conductor. His flat and inheritance was kept by his mother Františka Ježková and sister Jarmila, in the way the composer left it. Museum of Czech Music first acquired the artist’s inheritance in 1983, including the equipment of the office, and later on the entire flat.
Jaroslav Ježek had very bad sight and after a disease he also suffered from hearing loss. He spent seven years in the Institute for Blind and Weak-eyed Children at Hradčany. Then he studied composing at the Prague Conservatory, and he was awarded a year-long private scholarship in Paris. He was a member of a generation of great personalities, such as Jiří Frejka, E. F. Burian, Jindřich Honzl, Jaroslav Seifert, Vítězslav Nezval, Václav Holzknecht, and others. In the years 1928 - 38, he worked as a composer, a dramaturge and a conductor at the Osvobozené divadlo (Liberated Theatre) and he closely cooperated with Jan Werich and Jiří Voskovec. He created a pattern for the Czech modern jazz and dance music; he also composed classical music, orchestral pieces and many piano pieces, as well as music for the films of Voskovec and Werich. He suffered greatly during the forced emigration to the USA in 1939, where he went to hide from the imminent Nazi threat with both the protagonists of Osvobozené divadlo. Not only he left his loved ones, but also his blue room, where the combination of light and dark blue and equipment with different light sources suited his weak eyes. In 1942, he died in a New York hospital when he was 36 years old. The urn with his ashes was returned to Prague and buried in the grave at the Olšany Cemetery. Ježek’s blue room, namely the black stained furniture, was designed by his friend architect František Zelenka to suit his needs and taste, in a Functionalist style. The room is equipped in the way Ježek left it. There is a black Steinway piano under the window with sheet music materials; there is an inkwell on the desk, glasses, paper weights, blotting papers, a pipe and an ash tray, pocket watch, a pencil and sheet music paper. There is also an interesting and rich library with works of Jiří Wolker, Jan Neruda and many books from Czech and world’s fiction, books on graphic arts, dictionaries, many books on music, sheet music, and other books. There is also the original tile stove, a couch, blue curtains and a box for the vinyl records. There are musical scores with personal dedications by Igor Stravinskij and Darius Milhaud. On the house, there is the composer’s bust by sculptor Václav Vokálek from 1957, and a memorial plaque.