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Markéta Irglová (born February 28, 1988, in Valašské Meziříčímarker, Czechoslovakiamarker) is a Czech songwriter, musician, actress and singer. As of 2009, she resides in Irelandmarker.

Early life

Irglová began playing music at age seven, and began playing piano at the age of 8 when her parents bought her a piano and sent her to lessons. When she was nine, her father bought her a guitar and she immediately began playing and learning songs by ear. Her mother insisted Marketa learn Piano because, as child, her mother's family could never afford a piano even though she loved it so much.


She collaborates with Glen Hansard of the Irish rock band The Frames, whom she met when he was visiting Valašské Meziříčí, and performs with him as The Swell Season. They released an eponymous album -The Swell Season - on Overcoat Recordings in 2006. In 2007, she co-starred with Hansard in the indie movie Once, written and directed by John Carney. Hansard and Irglova wrote all of the songs featured in the film. The movie won the World Cinema Audience Award for a dramatic film at the 2007 Sundance Film Festival. She and Hansard began dating while making the film Once. In 2009 Hansard said that he and Irglova were no longer romantically linked, and that they are now "good friends."

One of the songs they wrote together for Once was "Falling Slowly", which received an Academy Award for Best Original Song. Irglová became the first Czech woman to win an Oscar, and at 19-years-old at the time of the win, she is the youngest person to win an Oscar in a musical category. Hansard and Irglová performed the song live on the Oscar broadcast at Los Angelesmarker' Kodak Theatermarker on February 24, 2008. When they went on stage to receive their awards, her acceptance speech was preempted by the orchestra's music cue to leave the stage. Host Jon Stewart invited her back to deliver her speech following the commercial break. Ceremony director Gil Cates said the early cue was an accident.

She said:

“Hi everyone. I just want to thank you so much. This is such a big deal, not only for us, but for all other independent musicians and artists that spend most of their time struggling, and this, the fact that we’re standing here tonight, the fact that we’re able to hold this, it’s just the proof that no matter how far out your dreams are, it’s possible. And, you know, fair play to those who dare to dream and don’t give up. And this song was written from a perspective of hope, and hope at the end of the day connects us all, no matter how different we are. And so thank you so much, who helped us along way. Thank you.”

Both Irglová and Hansard also appeared on the 2007 I'm Not There soundtrack with their version of Bob Dylan's "You Ain't Goin' Nowhere".




Awards and nominations




  2. "'Once' a Hero"
  3. falling slowly ... out of love
  4. Best Song Co-Winner Gets Second Chance
  5. Vedder, Sonic Youth, Tweedy Do Dylan For Soundtrack

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