Václav Luks

Václav Luks


• Born 1970

Other harpsichordists


Founder of the ensembles Collegium 1704 and Collegium Vocale 1704, Czech keyboardist and conductor Václav Luks has been a pioneer in the historical performance of Baroque music in the Czech Republic. He has helped reshape the Baroque repertory through his performances of music by the Czech composers Jan Dismas Zelenka and Josef Myslivecek. Luks was born in Rakovnik in what was then Czechoslovakia on November 14, 1970. His first instrument was the French horn, which he studied at the Pilsen Conservatory. He added harpsichord to his studies when he went on for advanced study at the Academy of Performing Arts in Prague, but he continued to perform on the horn as a soloist with the Akademie für alte Musik Berlin. Luks became more deeply involved with early music as a student at the Schola Cantorum Basiliensis in Basel, Switzerland (where he has continued to collaborate with the Baroque ensemble La Cetra), and liberalized travel policies after the fall of the Iron Curtain allowed him to tour as far afield as Mexico, Japan, and the U.S. He also taught at the Academy of Performing Arts and at the Mendelssohn-Bartholdy Hochschule für Musik in Leipzig. Returning to Prague in 2005, he revitalized the ensemble Collegium 1704, which he had founded as a student in 1991, organized it along the lines of historical performance, and added a choir, Collegium Vocale 1704. He quickly organized the Bach-Prague-2005 festival, presenting major choral works by Bach in concert. In 2008 he founded the Prague-Dresden Music Bridge concerts, which later evolved into a major concert series focusing on the art of singing in the Baroque era. Luks made his recording debut with La Cetra in 2004, recording an album of music by the rarely performed composer G.A. Brescianello. With Collegium 1704 he has recorded for Pan Classics, Zig Zag Territoires, Supraphon, Accent, and Glossa, often delving into unknown repertory from Prague in the 18th century. In 2018 Luks and Collegium 1704 backed violinist Leila Schayegh in a recording of the violin concertos of Myslivecek.