Jiří Klimeš was a prominent choirmaster, educator and organiser of cultural events from Olomouc. His name is closely connected with children’s choir Campanella as well as with the International Choral Festival of Songs Olomouc where he acted as the artistic director for many years.
He graduated from Olomouc-Hejčín Grammar School and subsequently from Faculty of Education at Palacký University Olomouc in 1972, where he studied Czech language and Music Education. His professional career started with the position of choirmaster of Children’s Choir Olomouc under the Children and Youth Centre where he worked with his father, Karel Klimeš.
His whole career was dominated by choral singing. He worked with many choirs and many of them also established (Campanella Olomouc, Children’s Choir of Šternberk, Children’s Choir of Hranice, Youth Choir Bel Canto, Academic Choir Žerotín). He was the conductor of opera choir in the Moravian Theatre in Olomouc. With these ensembles, particularly with children’s choir Campanella, which he led for over 40 years, he performed at hundreds of concert tours and concerts both at home and abroad. He also won many awards in prestigious choir competitions. He was teaching choir conducting, music theory and intonation at the Department of Music Education of Pedagogical Faculty at Palacký University in Olomouc from 1994. In the area of choir conducting he laid the foundations for many contemporary conductors. He established and led Festa Musicale. Together with his father, Karel Klimeš, he built the tradition of Festival of Songs in Olomouc. Later he set up a variety of choir festivals all around the world. He was a founder of Festa Edizione, publishing house for choral music sheets. In 2007 Jiří Klimeš received an Olomouc City Award for his achievements in the field of music and choral singing.
Karel Klimeš was a private student of Viktor Nopp, under whom he studied singing and violin. Later he studied teaching of geography, history, Czech language and music at the College of Pedagogy in Olomouc. During his years as a teacher at the elementary school in Šternberk near Olomouc he founded the first of his choirs in 1951. In 1952 he moved to the elementary school in Olomouc-Pavlovičky where he remained active till 1972. This school choir grew very quickly into a selective ensemble. It has regularly participated at selective competitions since 1960. In 1967 Karel Klimeš founded the Children’s Choir Olomouc under the Children and Youth Centre. This choir later changed its name to “Campanella”. In 1972 he founded the Festival of Children’s Choirs Olomouc which has since 1977 been called “Festival of Songs Olomouc”.