The Slovak violinist Dalibor Karvay started playing the violin at the age of three under the guidance of his father. His grasp of the instrument led him to make several recordings for the Slovak Radio in Bratislava during his studies at the Primary Art School in Vrútky. After graduating from the Žilina Conservatory, where he studied under prof. Bohumil Urban, he embarked on a course of study at the Vienna Conservatory in the class of the renowned professor Boris Kuschnir.
Some of Dalibor Karvay’s biggest competition successes include winning the Young Musicians meeting in Córdoba in 1996, receiving the Eurovision Grand Prix - Young Musician of the Year in 2002, the first prize at the Tibor Varga competition in 2003, the “New Talent” award at the International Tribute of Young Interpreters in 2005, as well as his victory at the David Oistrakh competition in Moscow in 2008. His prestigious concert for Prince Charles of Wales at the Windsor Castle in 2003 together with Mstislav Rostropovich is testament to his outstanding early musical achievement. Karvay graciously accepted repeated invitations to the Seiji Ozawa International Academy in Switzerland and was granted the Young Creator Award in the music category by the Tatra Bank Foundation in Slovakia. In 2009, the Slovak Republic awarded Karvay the Prize of the Minister of Culture for his exceptional artistic performance and successful international representation of Slovak interpretive art.
As a soloist, Dalibor Karvay has worked with many renowned conductors including Leif Segerstam, Ion Marin, Hiroyuki Iwaki, Jaap van Zweden, Marek Janowski, Alexander Rahbari, Benjamin Wallfisch, Ondrej Lenárd, Oliver Dohnányi, etc. His cooperation with orchestras also makes for an impressive list: the Vienna Symphonic Orchestra, the Vienna Radio Symphony Orchestra, the Vienna Chamber Orchestra, the Camerata Salzburg, the German Symphony Orchestra Berlin, the National Theatre Orchestra Mannheim, the Czech Philharmonic Orchestra, the English Chamber Orchestra, the Orchestra Ensemble Kanazawa, the Het Gelders Orkest, the Solistes Européens Luxembourg, the Slovak Philharmonic Orchestra, the Symphonic Orchestra of the Slovak Radio, the State Chamber Orchestra of Žilina etc. As a chamber musician, Karvay has collaborated with excellent international musicians including Radek Baborák, Julian Rachlin, Wenzel Fuchs, Boris Kuschnir, Magda Amara, Stefan Stroissnig and Daniel Buranovsky among others.
Dalibor Karvay won his audition for the Vienna Symphony Orchestra in 2020 and was appointed first concert master. For the orchestra’s “living room concert” during the Covid-19 pandemic, Karvay also performed Camille Saint-Saëns’ Introduction et Rondo capriccioso as a soloist with his home orchestra, demonstrating both his skill as a concert master and his primary devotion to solo performance.
A musician of tremendous emotional power, depth and expressiveness, Ivo Kahánek has gained a reputation as one of the most exciting artists of his generation and is the Czech Republic's most acclaimed pianist. He is universally recognised as one of the foremost interpreters of Romantic piano music and is a particular specialist in Czech repertoire. He possesses a rare gift of creating an immediate and compelling emotional connection with his audiences.
Kahánek came to public attention after winning the Concertino Praga and, in 2004, the Prague Spring International Music Competition. He was subsequently a prize winner at many other competitions (Maria Canals Piano Competition in Barcelona, Vendome Prize in Vienna, Stiftung Tomassoni Wettbewerb in Cologne, Fryderyk Chopin International Piano Competition in Marienbad, and others).
After his successful debuts at the Beethoven Festival in Bonn and the Prague Spring Festival in Prague Kahánek was invited to perform Martinů's Fourth Piano Concerto ("Incantations") at the 2007 Proms Festival with the BBC Symphony Orchestra under Jiří Bělohlávek. The performance was broadcast live by the BBC as well as the Czech National Radio station “Vltava”. This truly memorable Proms debut is currently available on Deutsche Grammophon as a digital download.
In 2014, Kahánek was selected by Sir Simon Rattle to perform two critically acclaimed concerts with the Berlin Philharmonic. He is only the second Czech pianist after Rudolf Firkušný to perform with this legendary orchestra. Ivo Kahánek performs regularly with the Czech Philharmonic and has also appeared on stage in front of the Mahler Chamber Orchestra, Wiener Symphoniker, BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra Glasgow, Essener Symphoniker, WDR Cologne, Zurich Chamber Orchestra, Prague SO, Czech Radio SO, Prague Philharmonia, Brno Philharmonic and many others. He has collaborated with some of the world’s greatest conductors, including maestros Semyon Bychkov, Jakub Hrůša, Andrés Orozco-Estrada, Rafael Payare, Pinchas Steinberg, Vladimir Ashkenazy, Jiří Bělohlávek, Tomáš Netopil, Andrey Boreyko, Libor Pešek or Zdeněk Mácal. A passionate chamber musician, he has worked with other instrumentalists, including violinist Daniel Hope, cellist Alissa Weilerstein, violist Paul Neubauer and the Pavel Haas and Tetzlaff Quartets, or the soprano Martina Janková and tenor, Pavel Černoch.
For 2020 Kahánek’s plans include concert tours of the USA, United Kingdom, Germany, Austria, Poland, Slovakia and other countries, where he will perform the solo part in piano concertos by P.I. Tchaikovsky, A. Dvořák, B. Martinů or B. Bartók together with the Czech Philharmonic, Essener Philharmoniker, Orchestre Philharmonique de Monte Carlo, Prague SO, Czech Radio SO and others. His tours will naturally also include many recitals (Berlin, London, Jeddah, Bratislava, Prague, etc.). he will also perform at international festivals such as the BBC Proms (London), Dvořák’s Prague, Smetana’s Litomyšl, or the regular concerts of the Czech Philharmonic, Pardubice Chamber Philharmonic, Košice Philharmonic and others.
Ivo Kahánek has already released thirteen CDs on the Supraphon Music label (with which he has an exclusive contract since 2007) of works by Chopin, Dvořák, Janáček, Martinů, Klein, Kabeláč, Francaix, Ibert and more. A recording of songs by Martinů with singers Martina Janková and Tomáš Král was awarded the prestigious Diapason d’Or and the Selection of the month in the Opernwelt and Opera News magazines. His most recent recording of the piano concertos by Dvořák and Martinů, where he is accompanied by the Bamberger Philharmoniker under the baton of Jakub Hrůša, was selected as the recording of the month in the BBC Music Magazine, Choix de Classique HD, and it was also the recording of the week on BBC Radio 3. At the same time it was included in the nominations for the ICMA Award as well as the BBC Music Magazine Award.