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Julius Ernst Wilhelm Fucik, a Bohemian composer and musician, was born on 18. July 1872 in Prague. As a student he learnt to play the bassoon, violin and various percussion instruments. Later he studied composition with Anton Dvorak. In 1891 he joined an Austro-Hungarian Regiment in Krems on the Danube as a military musician (Prague was part of the Austro-Hungarian Empire at that time) and played under Josef Wagner. Later Fucik joined Karl Komzak´s military band in Vienna. In 1895 he left the army and became second bassoonist at the German Theatre in Prague. During this time he composed mainly for clarinet and bassoon.

Fucik became principal conductor of the Prague City Orchestra as well as the conductor of the Danica Choir in Sisak, Croatia in 1896.
In 1897 Fucik rejoined the army as the bandmaster of the 86th Infantry Regiment in Sarajevo in Bosnia. Shortly afterwards he wrote his most famous piece, the march “Entrance of the Gladiators” (Einmarsch der Gladiatoren). In 1900 his band was transferred to Budapest where there were several other military bands keen to play his compositions. Having more musicians at his disposal enabled him to experiment with transcriptions of orchestral works.

In 1909 Fucik returned to Bohemia where he became the director of the orchestra of the 92nd Infantry Regiment in Terezin, one of the finest orchestras in the Austro-Hungarian Empire. He toured with his orchestra and played to audiences of over 10,000 people in Prague and Berlin.

In 1913 Fucik married and moved to Berlin where he started his own band and the Tempo-Publishing-Company to market his own compositions and music magazines. He concentrated on composing more music but his health suffered a severe shock due to the events of the 1st World War. He became ill and died on 15. September 1916 and was buried in Prague.

During his short life Julius Fucik composed an enormous number of over 400 pieces of music – chamber music, one mass and numerous marches, e.g.: Florentinermarsch, Regimentskinder, Semper Avanti and of course Entrance of the Gladiators.

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