Skip to main content area Skip to institutional navigation Skip to sub-navigation

John Novacek

Novacek bio

Piano
2004 Grammy Nominee; soloist 

Pianist John Novacek regularly tours the Americas, Europe, and Asia as solo recitalist, chamber musician, and concerto soloist; in the latter capacity he has presented over 30 different concerti with dozens of orchestras. Venues include Kennedy Center, Avery Fisher Hall, Zankel Hall, Weill Hall, 92nd Street Y, Hollywood Bowl, Dorothy Chandler Pavilion, Royce Hall, Theatre des Champs-Elysees, London’s Wigmore Hall, and Barbican Hall, and most of the major concert halls of Japan. In addition, he has appeared at Lucerne Festival, Mostly Mozart Festival (Lincoln Center), Wolf Trap, SummerFest La Jolla, Seattle Chamber Music Festival, Stavanger (Norway) International Chamber Music Festival, Menuhin Festival Gstaad (Switzerland), and Ravinia. Novacek took top prizes at the Leschetizky, Etude Music Club, Carmel Music Society, Mannes Concerto, and Joanna Hodges International Piano Competitions. He has played on radio broadcasts worldwide, often heard on syndicated programs such as NPR’s Performance Today, First Hearing, St. Paul Sunday, and CBC’s Westcoast Performance, and he’s been a featured performer on many television shows, including The Tonight Show and Entertainment Tonight.

A much sought-after collaborative artist, Novacek has played with Yo-Yo Ma, Joshua Bell, Emmanuel Pahud, Truls Mork, Julius Baker, and Leila Josefowicz. He’s given numerous world premieres and worked closely with composers John Adams, George Rochberg, John Williams, John Harbison, Sebastian Currier, and John Zorn. He studied piano with Peter Serkin, Bruce Sutherland, and Jakob Gimpel, chamber music with Jamie Laredo and Felix Galimir, also occasionally coaching with Gary Graffman and Isaac Stern. Novacek’s compositions and arrangements have been performed by the Pacific Symphony, Concertante, Millennium, the Harrington String Quartet, and the Three Tenors. Novacek has recorded over 30 CDs encompassing solo and chamber music by most major composers from Bach to Bartok, and many contemporary and original scores.

He records for Philips, Nonesuch, Arabesque, Warner Classics, Koch International, Universal Classics, Ambassador, Pony Canyon, Four Winds, Arkay, Virtuoso, and EMI Classics; CD titles include Road Movies (2004 Grammy nomination for Novacek: “Best Chamber Music Performance”), Great Mozart Piano Works, Spanish Rhapsody, Novarags (original ragtime compositions), Classic Romance, Hungarian Sketches, Intersection, Romances et Meditations, and with   Josefowicz, Americana, For the End of Time, and Recital.