The Janáček Academy of Music and Performing Arts (JAMU) is one of two academies of music and the dramatic arts in the Czech Republic. It is named after Leoš Janáček, one of the most distinguished composers in modern European music, who was its spiritual father.
JAMU was founded in 1947, when the many years of effort connected in the beginning with the personality of Leoš Janáček finally bore fruit. But the promising activities of the 1960s were suppressed during the years of Communist “normalization” in the 1970s and 1980s, and it was only after 1989 that JAMU could once again move forward along a well-conceived path open to the latest developments in the performing arts.
Independent Music and Theatre Faculties were reestablished, a number of professors who had been unable to teach were brought back, young teachers were admitted to the staff, new fields of study were introduced and foreign contacts were initiated, and the institution soon gained wide recognition for its pioneering initiatives and impressive achievements. Honorary doctorates were awarded to the pianist Rudolf Firkušný (a native of Brno), the poet Ludvík Kundera, the playwright Václav Havel and the poet and actor Jiří Suchý. The promising developments initiated in the early 1990s have continued into the new millennium, and at present JAMU has more than 500 students at its two faculties.