The Czech harpsichordist, Stanislav Heller, was born into a reasonably well off family. His father was a lawyer and they survived in Brno up to the communist takeover in Czechoslovakia after the war. Apart from his parents, a very important person for Stan was his brother Karel. They both shared high artistic tastes, and this was the basis for Stan's lifelong passion for fine furniture, painting, architecture, and also for the intellectual history behind the works of art. After the war, Karel and their parents emigrated to South America where Karel ran an antique dealers in Buenos Aires. Stan spent long periods there and that is where he got his extraordinary knowledge of Spanish, which he spoke extremely well. He had a great affinity with the Latin temperament.
Stanislav Heller got a magical sound from the harpsichord. Even in the last few years he came several times to Manchester and gave master-classes to some very talented young friends of mine. What they all said was how much better the instrument sounded when he played it than when other people did. He was a brilliant improviser, on the harpsichord, the organ, and specially the clavichord. He worked first of all with pure sound, rather than with visually inspired concepts from written notes.
In the second half of the 1970's Stanislav Heller taught harpsichord at the Hochschule für Musik in Freiburg.