Martina Janková, a Swiss soprano with Czech roots, is an internationally famous interpreter of Mozart and Baroque music. She was enthusiastically received as Susanna and Despina in the Mozart/Da Ponte cycles at the Zurich Opera House under Franz Welser-Most and at the Salzburg Festival (2013-2016). Her début role at La Scala Milano in 2016 was Bellezza in Handel‘s il Trionfo del Tempo e del Disinganno where she had appeared also in Mendelssohn Symphony Nr.2. She toured Europe with Les Arts Florissants under William Christie, as well as at the Lucerne Festival, in the title role of Mozart‘s IL RE Pastore. In May 2017 she gave her début as Mélisande in Debussy’s Pelléas et Mélisande with Cleveland Orchestras under Franz Welser-Möst.
Over the course of many years she collaborated with the legendary conduc- tor Nikolaus Harnoncourt, who repeatedly engaged her for important opera and oratorios performances. In 2019 she renewed her collaboration with N. Harnoncourt’s Concentus Musicus under the musical direction of Stefan Gottfried, in a production of King Arthur at the Theater an der Wien.
One of Martina Janková‘s signature roles is the Vixen in Janáček‘s Cunning Little Vixen, which she sang to great acclaim in Geneva, Zurich, and Cleveland, and which she performed 2017 on a European tour under Franz Welser-Möst in Vienna and Luxembourg, as well as 2018 with the Symphony Orchestra of Bavarian Broadcast Munich under Welser-Möst.
Among the opera roles which Martina Janková has sung in Paris, Prague, Zurich, Geneva, and Vienna, are Mozart‘s Pamina/Zauberflöte, Rosina/La Finta Semplice, Serpetta/La Finta Giardiniera, Madame Silberklang/Der Schauspieldirektor, Celia/Lucia Silla, Ilia/Idomeno, Haydn‘s Celia/La Fede lta Premiata, Humperdinck‘s Gretel/Hänsel und Gretel, Verdi‘s Nannetta/Falst aff, Handel‘s Angelica/Orlando, Beethoven‘s Marzelline/Fidelio and Leonore- Version, Monteverdi‘s Drusilla, Giunone, and Fortuna/Il Ritorno D‘ulisse, L‘incoronazione di Poppea, and Rossini‘s Sophia/IL Signor Bruschino.
In addition to her work in opera, Martina Janková is a much sought-after concert singer. She has performed under conductors such as Jiri Belohlávek, Ivor Bolton, Bertrand de Billy, Riccardo Chailly, Iván Fischer, Ádám Fischer, Sir John Eliot Gardiner, Danielle Gatti, Philippe Herreweghe, Marek Janowski, Václav Luks, Sir Charles Mackerras, Andrea Marcon, Sir Neville Marriner, Ingo Metzmacher, Trevor Pinnock, Sir Simon Rattle and Wolfgang Sawallisch, Franz Welser-Möst and with orchestras such
as the Berlin and Munich Philharmonic Orchestras, the Czech Philharmonic, the Gewandhaus Orchestra Leipzig, the Budapest Festival Orchestra, the Gustav Mahler Youth Orchestra, the Orchestra of the Champs-Elysées, the Israel Philharmonic, and the Cleveland Orchestra.
Martina Janková has sung Lied-Recitals in London‘s Wigmore Hall, at the Festival „Prague Spring“, the Rheingau Festival, the Festival Styriarte in Graz, and the Salzburg Festival. Numerous CD's and DVD's document the artistry of Martina Janková. Her new CD with Songs of B. Martinu was released by Supraphon and awarded "Diapason d'Or 2019". Her previous CD „Prague-Vienna“ was awarded the „Diapason d‘Or 2017". Further examples are Moravian Folksongs with 51 rare songs by Leoš Janáček; Bach Kantaten with the Collegium 1704 under Václav Luks; and Le Nozze Di Figaro from the Salzburg Festival 2015 with Martina Janková as Susanna.
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.
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.
Ivo Kahánek is a graduate of the Janáček Conservatoire in Ostrava, the Academy of Performing Arts in Prague and the Guildhall School of Music and Drama in London.