Karel Kryl
Overview
 
Karel Kryl (April 12, 1944 Kroměříž
Kromeríž
Kroměříž is a town in the Zlín Region of the Czech Republic. The town's main landmark is the Baroque Kroměříž Bishop's Palace, where some scenes from Amadeus and Immortal Beloved were filmed...

 – March 3, 1994 Passau
Passau
Passau is a town in Lower Bavaria, Germany. It is also known as the Dreiflüssestadt or "City of Three Rivers," because the Danube is joined at Passau by the Inn from the south and the Ilz from the north....

) was a popular Czech singer-songwriter
Singer-songwriter
Singer-songwriters are musicians who write, compose and sing their own musical material including lyrics and melodies. As opposed to contemporary popular music singers who write their own songs, the term singer-songwriter describes a distinct form of artistry, closely associated with the...

 and performer of many protest song
Protest song
A protest song is a song which is associated with a movement for social change and hence part of the broader category of topical songs . It may be folk, classical, or commercial in genre...

s in which he strongly criticized and identified the shortcomings and inhumanity of the Communist and later post-communist
Post-Communism
Post-communism is a name sometimes given to the period of political and economic transformation or "transition" in former Communist states located in parts of Europe and Asia, in which new governments aimed to create free market-oriented capitalist economies with some form of parliamentary...

 regime in his home country.
Kryl was born on April 12, 1944, in Kroměříž
Kromeríž
Kroměříž is a town in the Zlín Region of the Czech Republic. The town's main landmark is the Baroque Kroměříž Bishop's Palace, where some scenes from Amadeus and Immortal Beloved were filmed...

, in German-occupied Czechoslovakia
Protectorate of Bohemia and Moravia
The Protectorate of Bohemia and Moravia was the majority ethnic-Czech protectorate which Nazi Germany established in the central parts of Bohemia, Moravia and Czech Silesia in what is today the Czech Republic...

, (now Czechia). He was the son of Karel Kryl and Marie Krylová. His father owned a printing business, which was confiscated from the family in 1948 after the communist takeover
Czechoslovak coup d'état of 1948
The Czechoslovak coup d'état of 1948 – in Communist historiography known as "Victorious February" – was an event late that February in which the Communist Party of Czechoslovakia, with Soviet backing, assumed undisputed control over the government of Czechoslovakia, ushering in over four decades...

.
Encyclopedia
Karel Kryl (April 12, 1944 Kroměříž
Kromeríž
Kroměříž is a town in the Zlín Region of the Czech Republic. The town's main landmark is the Baroque Kroměříž Bishop's Palace, where some scenes from Amadeus and Immortal Beloved were filmed...

 – March 3, 1994 Passau
Passau
Passau is a town in Lower Bavaria, Germany. It is also known as the Dreiflüssestadt or "City of Three Rivers," because the Danube is joined at Passau by the Inn from the south and the Ilz from the north....

) was a popular Czech singer-songwriter
Singer-songwriter
Singer-songwriters are musicians who write, compose and sing their own musical material including lyrics and melodies. As opposed to contemporary popular music singers who write their own songs, the term singer-songwriter describes a distinct form of artistry, closely associated with the...

 and performer of many protest song
Protest song
A protest song is a song which is associated with a movement for social change and hence part of the broader category of topical songs . It may be folk, classical, or commercial in genre...

s in which he strongly criticized and identified the shortcomings and inhumanity of the Communist and later post-communist
Post-Communism
Post-communism is a name sometimes given to the period of political and economic transformation or "transition" in former Communist states located in parts of Europe and Asia, in which new governments aimed to create free market-oriented capitalist economies with some form of parliamentary...

 regime in his home country.

Biography

Kryl was born on April 12, 1944, in Kroměříž
Kromeríž
Kroměříž is a town in the Zlín Region of the Czech Republic. The town's main landmark is the Baroque Kroměříž Bishop's Palace, where some scenes from Amadeus and Immortal Beloved were filmed...

, in German-occupied Czechoslovakia
Protectorate of Bohemia and Moravia
The Protectorate of Bohemia and Moravia was the majority ethnic-Czech protectorate which Nazi Germany established in the central parts of Bohemia, Moravia and Czech Silesia in what is today the Czech Republic...

, (now Czechia). He was the son of Karel Kryl and Marie Krylová. His father owned a printing business, which was confiscated from the family in 1948 after the communist takeover
Czechoslovak coup d'état of 1948
The Czechoslovak coup d'état of 1948 – in Communist historiography known as "Victorious February" – was an event late that February in which the Communist Party of Czechoslovakia, with Soviet backing, assumed undisputed control over the government of Czechoslovakia, ushering in over four decades...

. Kryl wanted to be a potter
Pottery
Pottery is the material from which the potteryware is made, of which major types include earthenware, stoneware and porcelain. The place where such wares are made is also called a pottery . Pottery also refers to the art or craft of the potter or the manufacture of pottery...

 studied at an industrial secondary school specialising in ceramics, graduating in 1962.

Kryl moved to Prague
Prague
Prague is the capital and largest city of the Czech Republic. Situated in the north-west of the country on the Vltava river, the city is home to about 1.3 million people, while its metropolitan area is estimated to have a population of over 2.3 million...

 in 1968 as an assistant at Czechoslovak Television
Czechoslovak Television
Czechoslovak Television was founded on 1 May 1953 in the former Czechoslovakia. Around its dissolution into Czechia and Slovakia in the end of 1992, ČST was abolished, and the new companies, public service broadcasters, emerged:...

. In his spare time he performed his songs in numerous small clubs. When the Warsaw Pact
Warsaw Pact
The Warsaw Treaty Organization of Friendship, Cooperation, and Mutual Assistance , or more commonly referred to as the Warsaw Pact, was a mutual defense treaty subscribed to by eight communist states in Eastern Europe...

 armies occupied
Warsaw Pact invasion of Czechoslovakia
On the night of 20–21 August 1968, the Soviet Union and her main satellite states in the Warsaw Pact – Bulgaria, the German Democratic Republic , Hungary and Poland – invaded the Czechoslovak Socialist Republic in order to halt Alexander Dubček's Prague Spring political liberalization...

 Czechoslovakia on August 21, 1968, to suppress the Prague Spring
Prague Spring
The Prague Spring was a period of political liberalization in Czechoslovakia during the era of its domination by the Soviet Union after World War II...

 reform movement, Kryl released his album Bratříčku zavírej vrátka (Close the Gate, Little Brother), as a reaction to the occupation. The album described his perception of the inhumanity of the regime and his views on life under communist rule The album was released in early 1969 and was banned
Censorship
thumb|[[Book burning]] following the [[1973 Chilean coup d'état|1973 coup]] that installed the [[Military government of Chile |Pinochet regime]] in Chile...

 and removed from shelves shortly after.

Kryl left Czechoslovakia in 1969 to attend a music festival at Waldeck Castle
Waldeck Castle
Castle Waldeck within the limits of the village of Dorweiler in Dommershausen in the Rhein-Hunsrück-Kreis in Rhineland-Palatinate was the main seat of the Hunsrück Family Boos.The ruin lies high above the Baybach valley...

 in West Germany. Faced with certain imprisonment in his homeland, he decided to apply for political asylum and stay. He attained a second, German, maturita in 1973 and went on to study art history
Art history
Art history has historically been understood as the academic study of objects of art in their historical development and stylistic contexts, i.e. genre, design, format, and style...

 and journalism at the Ludwig Maximilian University in Munich, though he never attained a title. For the majority of his time in exile, Kryl worked for Radio Free Europe
Radio Free Europe
Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty is a broadcaster funded by the U.S. Congress that provides news, information, and analysis to countries in Eastern Europe, Central Asia, and the Middle East "where the free flow of information is either banned by government authorities or not fully developed"...

 and released a number of albums during this period. Many of these songs became iconic back in his homeland and a symbol of protest. Kryl went on several tours across Scandinavia, North America and Australia. During this time, he composed songs not only in his native Czech, but also in Polish and German.

In the enthusiastic November days of 1989, during the Velvet Revolution
Velvet Revolution
The Velvet Revolution or Gentle Revolution was a non-violent revolution in Czechoslovakia that took place from November 17 – December 29, 1989...

, Kryl returned to Czechoslovakia to attend his mother’s funeral. At first he was thrilled, but he later reportedly became disappointed with the transformation of society. He continued to write protest songs criticising the transformation of government. On March 3, 1994, just a month before his fiftieth birthday, Karel Kryl died of a heart attack in a Passau
Passau
Passau is a town in Lower Bavaria, Germany. It is also known as the Dreiflüssestadt or "City of Three Rivers," because the Danube is joined at Passau by the Inn from the south and the Ilz from the north....

 hospital.

Awards

  • 1989 - the Jan Zahradníček award for Czech Poetry, from the Czechoslovakian Literature Club in Los Angeles
    Los Ángeles
    Los Ángeles is the capital of the province of Biobío, in the commune of the same name, in Region VIII , in the center-south of Chile. It is located between the Laja and Biobío rivers. The population is 123,445 inhabitants...

  • 1994 - a silver memorial medal from the Charles University for contributions to the spiritual development and the moral support of the nation, in memoriam
    In Memoriam
    In Memoriam may refer to:*In memoriam is a Latin phrase that translates directly as 'in memory of', examples of its uses can be found in obituaries and in epitaphs.Collins Latin Dictionary & Grammar...

  • 1995 - František Kriegl award
  • 1995 - the Czech Grammy
  • 1995 a Medal of Merit II. class from president Václav Havel
    Václav Havel
    Václav Havel is a Czech playwright, essayist, poet, dissident and politician. He was the tenth and last President of Czechoslovakia and the first President of the Czech Republic . He has written over twenty plays and numerous non-fiction works, translated internationally...

  • Order of Tomáš Garrigue Masaryk

Discography

Karel Kryl has only released one album in Czechoslovakia
Czechoslovakia
Czechoslovakia or Czecho-Slovakia was a sovereign state in Central Europe which existed from October 1918, when it declared its independence from the Austro-Hungarian Empire, until 1992...

 (Bratříčku, zavírej vrátka), but he has released many albums while in exile, a prominent example would be Tekuté písky
Liquid Sands
Liquid Sands is a folk album by Karel Kryl, issued in Czechoslovakia by company Bonton in 1990.Songs for the album were selected by Jiří Černý, who previously worked with Kryl on his most successful album Close the Gate, Little Brother...

.
  • Bratříčku, zavírej vrátka (1969, LP, Panton
    Panton
    -Places:*Pantón, a municipality of northwestern Spain*Panton, Lincolnshire*Panton, Vermont*Panton Hill, Victoria-Other:*Panton Hill Football Club*Panton, Leslie & Company*Panton-Valentine leukocidin*Panton Records, a Czech record label...

    , ČSSR
    Czechoslovak Socialist Republic
    The Czechoslovak Socialist Republic was the official name of Czechoslovakia from 1960 until end of 1989 , a Soviet satellite state of the Eastern Bloc....

    )
  • Rakovina (1969, LP, Primaphon, Germany
    Germany
    Germany , officially the Federal Republic of Germany , is a federal parliamentary republic in Europe. The country consists of 16 states while the capital and largest city is Berlin. Germany covers an area of 357,021 km2 and has a largely temperate seasonal climate...

    )
  • Maškary (1970, LP, Caston, Germany
    Germany
    Germany , officially the Federal Republic of Germany , is a federal parliamentary republic in Europe. The country consists of 16 states while the capital and largest city is Berlin. Germany covers an area of 357,021 km2 and has a largely temperate seasonal climate...

    )
  • Carmina Resurrectionis (1974, EP, Caston, Germany
    Germany
    Germany , officially the Federal Republic of Germany , is a federal parliamentary republic in Europe. The country consists of 16 states while the capital and largest city is Berlin. Germany covers an area of 357,021 km2 and has a largely temperate seasonal climate...

    )
  • Karavana mraků (1979, LP, Šafrán 78, Sweden
    Sweden
    Sweden , officially the Kingdom of Sweden , is a Nordic country on the Scandinavian Peninsula in Northern Europe. Sweden borders with Norway and Finland and is connected to Denmark by a bridge-tunnel across the Öresund....

    )
  • Plaváček (1983)
  • Ocelárna (1984, EP)
  • Dopisy (1988, MC)
  • Tekuté písky (1990, LP, MC, CD, Bonton, Czechoslovakia
    Czechoslovakia
    Czechoslovakia or Czecho-Slovakia was a sovereign state in Central Europe which existed from October 1918, when it declared its independence from the Austro-Hungarian Empire, until 1992...

    )
  • Dvě půle lunety aneb rebelant o lásce (1992, recitation poems of Karel Kryl)
  • Monology (1992, LP, CD, MC Janez, Czechoslovakia
    Czechoslovakia
    Czechoslovakia or Czecho-Slovakia was a sovereign state in Central Europe which existed from October 1918, when it declared its independence from the Austro-Hungarian Empire, until 1992...

    )
  • To nejlepší 1 (1993, CD, MC, Bonton, Czech Republic
    Czech Republic
    The Czech Republic is a landlocked country in Central Europe. The country is bordered by Poland to the northeast, Slovakia to the east, Austria to the south, and Germany to the west and northwest....

    )
  • Děkuji (1995)
  • Jedůfky (1996)
  • To nejlepší 2 (1998)

External links

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