The Kennedy Center

Radoslav Kvapil


World-renowned pianist, Radoslav Kvapil (born in Brno, Czech Republic) was taught from the age of six by Dr. Ludvík Kundera, Leoš Janácek’s closest disciple and successor. Since his concert debut in 1950, Kvapil has been commended by music critics throughout his distinguished career. He is known worldwide for his “sterling service for the cause of Czech piano music,” and has also been praised as an “unrivalled master,” “the greatest performer of piano works by Smetana, Janácek or Martinu.” A truly inspired performer, he is a magician on the keyboard.

From 1963 to 1973, Radoslav Kvapil was Professor at the Conservatory of Music in Prague, and from 1973 to 1976, he taught at the University of South Bohemia. Since 1977 he has given master classes and lecture recitals worldwide in such distinguished music schools as the Juillard School of Music in New York; the Royal Academy of Music and the Guildhall School of Music in London; Royal College of Music in Cardiff; Conservatoire National Superieur in Paris; musical schools in Frankfurt, Hamburg, Munster, Dresden, Dortmund, Lubeck, and Freiburg; Sibelius Academy in Helsinki; Musikhogskolan in Stockholm; S. Rubin Academy of Music in Tel-Aviv; Columbia University in New York; Cornell University in Ithaca; Eastman School of Music in Rochester; Dickinson University in New Jersey; University of North Carolina; University of Florida; Roosevelt University in Chicago; University of Memphis; University of Bloomington; Rice University in Houston; and North Texas University.

From 1967 to 1969, Radoslav Kvapil recorded Antonín Dvorák’s complete piano works, the first such recording in history. At the same time, he recorded the complete piano works by Leoš Janácek, and in 1975 made a recording of the complete piano works by J. H. Voríšek. A second complete recording of Janácek's piano works followed in 1989. In 1990, the first two volumes of Bohuslav Martinu's complete piano works were released. Apart from these collections, Mr. Kvapil has recorded dozens of other works by Bedrich Smetana, Zdenek Fibich, Josef Suk, Franz Liszt, Johannes Brahms, Paul Hindemith, Franz Schubert, and Frederic Chopin, among many other masters of classical piano.

In 1974, Kvapil founded the South Bohemia Music Festival, which has been taking place annually since then. In 1999, Mr. Kvapil founded the International Dvorák Society (IDS), which has organized a number of concert series, including the Vysocina Music Festival (since 2002), Afternoon Concerts for Seniors in Prague 2 (since 2004), and the American Spring Festival. The latter, running since 2006, is the largest project of Czech-American cultural cooperation currently taking place in the Czech Republic. In 2002, the French Ministry of Culture awarded Radoslav Kvapil the title of “Chevalier dans l´Ordre des Arts et des Lettres.” Mr. Kvapil is also the founder and chairman of the Czech branch of the European Piano Teachers Association (EPTA). In the summer of 2008, Radoslav Kvapil was elected the European President of EPTA for 2008-2009.

Radoslav Kvapil has performed in major concert halls in about 50 countries in Europe, North America, and Asia, including the Royal Albert Hall and The Barbican Centre in London, Carnegie Recital Hall in New York, the Théatre des Champs Elysées in Paris, the Concert Hall of the Seoul Arts Centre in South Korea, and The Henry Crown Symphony Hall in Jerusalem.

His performances are noted for the innate feel he has for the rhythms and colors of the Czech music, which he brings out with perfect ease when he plays and which makes the music communicate quickly and effortlessly with audiences. As of the new century, into his sixth decade of performing, Kvapil still travels widely to perform in concerts, at festivals, and to teach master classes.

Watch Past Performances

Video 9/22/2011: Radoslav Kvapil

The Czech pianist plays an all-Dvorák program, including Humoresques, Op. 101, Silhouettes, Op. 8, Dumka and Furiant, Op. 12, and Poetic Tone Pictures, Op. 85. Presented in cooperation with the Embassy of the Czech Republic.

Radoslav Kvapil