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Edvard Schiffauer (1942) - Biography


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Music and punishment of Tomáš Edvard Schiffauer

Edvard Schiffauer was born March 26, 1942 in Ostrava in the family of a chemical engineer. The family's living standards degraded after the communist coup d'état in 1948. In 1960 Edvard started his study in a preparatory course for the first grade of the Technical University in Ostrava, which included work in ironworks and in coal mines as well. A year later, he and his fellow students established theatre Divadélko pod okapem ("Rain Gutter Theatre"), which became an Ostrava version of Prague's Semafor Theatre. In 1968 he was involved in the foundation of Theatre Waterloo and he composed music for the musical Son of the Regiment. Theatre Waterloo became banned by the authorities during the normalization era. A large-scale court trial was held with those who had been involved in this theatre and Edvard was sentenced to nine months of imprisonment for having composed music for its playes. He served his sentence in the prison in Pilsen-Bory, where he wrote a children's opera with his friend and later Charter 77 signatory Ivan Binar. During the normalization era, Edvard Schiffauer was employed as a worker and he was being permanently interrogated by the State Security Police and forced into cooperating with them. He eventually did sign the commitment of cooperation, but as he himself says, he has never done anything in this matter. After 1989 he received formal education as a composer. His name was included in Cibulka's list of StB collaborators, and his story was later recorded in Zdena Salivarova-Škvorecká's book Osočení (‘The Denounced'), which follows the lives of people who had been included in Cibulka's lists.

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