About

Karel Capek | Karel Capek

Karel Capek3

Karel Capek (9 January 1890 – 25 December 1938) was a Czech writer of the early 20th century. He had multiple roles throughout his career such as playwright, dramatist, essayist, publisher, literary reviewer, and art critic. Nonetheless, he is best known for his science fiction, including his novel War with the Newts and the play R.U.R., (Rossum's Universal Robots) which introduced the word robot.

Although primarily known for his work in science fiction, Capek also wrote several politically charged works dealing with the social turmoil of his time. Having help create the Czechoslovak PEN Club as a key part of the International PEN Club, he campaigned in favor of free expression and utterly despised the rise of fascism in Europe. Were it not for his untimely death (of natural causes) taking place as Nazi Germany began its takeover of Czechoslovakia, he would likely have been found and executed by the Gestapo. In the aftermath of World War II, his legacy as a literary figure has been well established. (From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia)

Photo of Karel Capek by anonymus. Shot before 1938 and therefore in the public domain. Taken from Wikimedia Commons. Transformed and cropped to fit proportions.


RUR | RUR

RUR (d)

RUR is a 1920 science fiction play in the Czech language by Karel Capek. RUR stands for Rosumovi Univerzální Roboti (Rossum’s Universal Robots). However, the English phrase Rossum’s Universal Robots had been used as the subtitle in the Czech original. It premiered on 25 January 1921 and introduced the word "robot" to the English language and to science fiction as a whole.

RUR quickly became famous and was influential early in the history of its publication. By 1923, it had been translated into thirty languages.

The play begins in a factory that makes artificial people, called roboti (robots), out of synthetic organic matter. They are not exactly robots by the current definition of the term; these creatures are closer to the modern idea of cyborgs, androids or even clones, as they may be mistaken for humans and can think for themselves. They seem happy to work for humans at first, but that changes, and a hostile robot rebellion leads to the extinction of the human race. Capek later took a different approach to the same theme in War with the Newts, in which non-humans become a servant class in human society. (From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia)

Creative Commons License Photo by Jon Lebkowsky. Used in accordance with the terms of its license. Image has been transformed and is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.


Richard John Lewis | Richard John Lewis

richard portrait4

Born and raised in the English countryside, language was Richard’s first love. He devoted the best part of his youth to the study, reading and writing of it. As a result, he developed a reputation for being “somewhat odd”.

Though of good farming stock, wanderlust took him on a six-year journey to Africa, the Middle East and the Americas. Along the way, he dabbled in languages as ancient as Hebrew and as modern as Afrikaans. Happy in his own company though he was, paper and pen were nevertheless his constant companions during this time.

Then came the opportunity to learn his beloved native tongue properly – by teaching it as a second language in Germany. All his study and reading of English had still not prepared him for the ostensibly simple act of instructing others in the use of modal auxiliary verbs and prepositions, not to mention the Present Perfect.

Throughout his life, writing has been central to Richard’s activities. Reams of poems, sheaves of songs and the occasion novel and play are testament to his passionate involvement with language. His most recent claim to fame is as lyricist on the Tina Turner musical “Queen of Rock” for a.gon Theaterproduktion in Munich.


Antonio Gervasoni | Antonio Gervasoni

AntonioGervasoni2

Born in 1973, in Lima, Peru, composer Antonio Gervasoni studied piano from a very early age. After finishing a career in computing sciences, he decided to study music composition, which he did at  the National Conservatory of Music of Peru, where he was a pupil of peruvian composer Jose Sosaya.

He is a founding member of the Peruvian Circle of Composition (Circomper) and has been Director of the Music Department at Universidad Peruana de Ciencias Aplicadas - UPC, where he is currently a professor of composition and orchestration.

His catalogue includes works for choir, soloists, small and large ensembles as well as works for orchestra. He has also written incidental music for theatre plays and the soundtracks of several Peruvian films.

His choral work A-nir received the first prize at the Vanguard Premieres Choral Composition Contest 2004 and, in 2007, he received the Fellowship Diploma in Composition from the London College of Music. In August 2014, he was recognised as Most Distinguished Musician and received a Special Mention at the 2014 IBLA Grand Prize for his work KOCMOC, for orchestra and choir.