Composer Juraj Filas Dies at 66 from COVID-19 

The award-winning Czech composer saw worldwide success, including several Carnegie Hall performances of his works

(Image courtesy: Juraj Filas)


Born in 1955, Juraj Filas grew up in Kosice, Slovakia. A graduate of the Prague Conservatory with a degree in voice, he later studied composition at the Prague Academy of Performing Arts (AMU), securing a teaching position at the same institution later in his life.

His mentors included Jiri Pauer and Jan Zdenek Bartos — the latter of which was a student of Josef Suk, who was taught by Antonin Dvorak.  ​

Filas was the three-time winner of the young composer laureate title in Czechoslovakia and gained international acclaim when his TV opera "Memento Mori" won the Jacobs-Suchard Prize at the 1989 International Music Competition Salzburg

The composer of over 120 pieces across the genres of concertos, symphonies, cantatas, operas, and chamber music, Fila’s works have been performed six times at Carnegie Hall over the last 15 years.

Notably, his score for "Oratio Spei (Prayer of Hope)" was recently used as the musical backdrop for a multimedia digital art show, “Requiem 2021,” which was performed at the Czech Center New York on the 20th anniversary of 9/11. The show was praised by the venue as their best cultural event of 2021.

“With you goes not only an extraordinary composer, but a good friend,” read a group post from Filas’ many friends and colleagues. “We will miss you very much, RIP Juraj, we are grateful that your music stays with us.”

Our condolences to Mr. Filas’ family, friends, students, and colleagues.