MOČNIK Janez (October 7, 1936, Cerklje na Gorenjskem - February 25, 2016, Cerklje na Gorenjskem) was a Slovenian composer, choir conductor, publicist, editor and professor of art pedagogy.
After high school (Gymnasium) in Kranj, he graduated from the Pedagogical Academy in Ljubljana with a degree in music and art. He taught at the primary and secondary school in Kranj. For many years he was a member - singer of the Komorni zbor RTV / Chamber Choir of RTV Ljubljana. In addition to school choirs, he successfully led a number of choirs, including the Davorin Jenko Cerklje Male Choir in Cerklje na Gorenjskem, the Lek Ljubljana Chamber Male Choir, the Loka Mixed Chamber Choir and (also as an organist) several church choirs, including in the parish of Stranje, Ljubljana Bežigrad and Škofja Loka.
His compositional bibliography is extremely extensive and includes choral compositions for all ensembles with or without accompaniment, arrangements of folk music for choirs, extremely successful performances of compositions for other ensembles, vocal instrumental and instrumental music. In his compositions, he knows and is able to significantly approach the artistic capabilities of performers and clients, which is the special quality of his creation. His musical phrase is technically honed, stylistically clear, well-sounding and logically teachable, which is especially important for a performer who is an amateur musician.
His oeuvre is permanently present on the programs of our most diverse choirs of all ensembles and qualities, and it is also widely available in printed form and on many sound carriers. He has published several choral collections with ASTRUM Music Publications.
The special musical and research love of Janez Močnik was our medieval and later Protestant and diverse other song tradition, which he thoroughly studied and got to know. He successfully arranged many tunes for various choral and instrumental ensembles, and often lectured and published about those results. Močnik was no less intensely creative in reviving the folk music tradition. With a special sense of the original, he was able to empathize with the folk music source and was able to give it a full-blooded and effective concert arrangement without compromising the original and folklore. In this sense, he worked closely with many of the best Slovene and foreign choirs and singing societies of Slovenes in Europe.
He was also the initiator, founder and long-term program manager of the traditional Festival of Slovene Church Music in Cerklje na Gorenjskem, which at the beginning significantly co-shaped the development of Slovene church choirs and encouraged similar regional concerts and magazines of choral church music. He has participated in many editions of our choral music, occasional, professional and anthological.
As a fine pedagogue and experienced choirmaster, he was a frequent and sought-after consultant and mentor of choirmasters, a professional accompanist of choral concerts and a member of juries, as well as a lecturer at various courses and seminars for choirmasters. His rarely rich encyclopedic knowledge is the fruit of an extraordinary gift for connecting what is seen, heard and read. To this sharpness of Močnik's thought it is necessary to add his honed sense of beauty and the right measure, whether it is created or transformed music, a calligraphic pen or a spoken word.
On the occasion of the celebration of the 850th anniversary of the first written mention of Cerklje na Gorenjskem in written sources, his book entitled Podobe nekdanjih časov (Images of Past Times) was published.
In 2004, the Municipality of Cerklje na Gorenjskem awarded Janez Močnik the title of honorary citizen for his extensive work. In 2011, Janez Močnik received the JSKD silver plaque for his compositional work and research work in the field of choirs.
He was also a founding and active member of the Slovenian Cecilian Society (1996-2016) and a member of the society's committees.
And yes, Janez Močnik was an uncle of composer Damijan Močnik.
[Written, compiled or edited by: Vito Primožič XII.2020]