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The Kennedy Center

Tomáš Kaco



Biography

Pianist, composer, and singer Tomáš Kaco hails from the small city of Novy Jicin in the Czech Republic. One of twelve siblings, he began playing piano at the age of five. His father first exposed him to music, hoping that he would become a musician one day. Gypsy music, which is part of his roots and culture, greatly influenced him. He taught himself to play the piano by mimicking complex melodies and developed the skills to hear harmonic progressions from an early age. As he began performing on a more advanced level, he developed a passion for classical music and felt inspired and motivated to properly learn the technique
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His first introduction to sheet music, scales, and technique was at music school when he was twelve. This was followed by studies at the Janácek Conservatory in Ostrava under the renowned Professor Pavel Motloch, whom Kaco considers his personal mentor. His key teacher at the Academy of Music in Prague was Professor Ivo Kahánek. He then took the entrance exams to the Berklee College of Music, receiving a scholarship to study there. There, he earned a diploma in contemporary writing and music and received the Piano Department Achievement Award for outstanding musicianship.
At Berklee, he explored his Romani heritage through music and experimented with classical and contemporary music. Ultimately, these roots served as a foundation for his concert Gypsy Soul, marking his debut at Carnegie Hall in 2018. Kaco has also performed numerous recitals in Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Belgium, Israel, and the United States. As a solo pianist, his style is a fusion of classical, jazz, and gypsy music, which is reflected in his newest album My Home.

Besides his solo work, Kaco has also had a long-lasting collaboration with Ida Kelarová, including their joint 2010 album Romská balada (Romani Ballad). He works with several Czech symphony orchestras, for which he writes arrangements. He is also working on a long-distance project with Czech actor and film score composer Ondřej Brzobohatý. He openly declares that his stay in the United States is not just for his own sake – he wants his “musical tenacity” to serve as an example to other Romani children. Although his primary goal is music itself, music unlimited by genre or style, he trusts that it can also prove an effective weapon against racism and can help find common ground between majorities and minorities.

For more information about the artist, please visit http://www.tomaskaco.com.

Watch Past Performances

Video 2/11/2019: Tomáš Kaco

Pianist, composer and singer Tomáš Kaco presents a selection of his original works from his new album MY HOME, inspired by his Gypsy roots, Czech heritage, and classical training. A graduate of the renowned Berklee College of Music and celebrated international artist, his primary goal is music itself, unlimited by genre or style. 

Presented in collaboration with the Embassy of the Czech Republic.

Czech programming on Millennium Stage is generously supported by the Karel Komárek Family Foundation.

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