Stephen Jaffe pays tribute to composer Karel Husa (1921-2016)
From the News & Observer (Raleigh, NC), Jan. 3, 2017
by Stephen Jaffe
North Carolinians busy with holidays and overwhelmed by the political events of 2016 may have missed news of the Dec. 14 passing of the prominent composer Karel Husa. He was 95.
A United States citizen since 1959, Czech-born Karel Husa spent his last years in Apex. He was one of North Carolina’s — and one of the United States’— most recognized composers. Motivating his life and music are concerns that resonate especially today: the creation of meaningful art in a public sphere, the use of art to challenge injustice, and environmental devastation.
Born in Prague in 1921, Husa studied at the Prague Conservatory and Music Academy, and in Paris at the École Normale de Musique and the National Conservatory. He later came to the United States to teach at Cornell University, where he taught from 1954 -1992, often serving as a guest composer and conductor at universities across the U.S., including several visits to Duke University.