Vladimir Válek, conductor
Vladimir Válek is conductor of the Czech Philharmonic and the chief conductor of the Czech Radio Symphony. He studied the viola and trombone, then conducting, at the College of Performing Arts in Bratislava; from 1959 to 1962 he continued his studies at the Academy in Prague. For ten years he was conductor of the Prague Symphony, with which he made his first tours of Europe and the United States. In 1985 he assumed the post of chief conductor of the Czech Radio Symphony Orchestra, an ensemble which he brought up to a level of international stature. He is a regular participant in the Prague Spring Festival, and has taken the Czech Radio Symphony Orchestra on extensive tours of Europe and Asia. Válek frequently guest-conducts radio orchestras of Austria, Holland, and Germany, and major orchestras throughout Europe and the Far East. Among his recordings are Bartóks Concerto for Orchestra, Prokofievs suites from Romeo and Juliet, and contemporary French ballet music. Since 1996 he has served as full-time conductor of the Czech Philharmonic, an ensemble he has taken on tours of Japan, Germany, Denmark, and America. Among soloists he has worked with are Henryk Szeryng, Igor Oistrakh, Mischa Maisky, Heinrich Schiff, Shura Cherkassky, and Vladimir Spivakov. He has also made many recordings with the Radio Symphony Orchestra, the Prague Symphony Orchestra, and the Dvořák Chamber Orchestra, the last of which he established himself. Recently his recording of the piano concertos of Erwin Schulhoff won the Cannes Classical Award.