Roman Válek

CEB (24)

Roman Válek | dirigent

He graduated from JAMU (Janáček Academy) in Brno in 1991 and during his studies, as a student at professor Josef Pančík´s class, he focused on vocal music. He also successfully completed a conducting course at the Bach Academia at professor Helmuth Rilling, held by the Czech Philharmonic, and shortly after that he attended performing singing courses with Mario van Altena, a professsor at the Royal Conservatory in The Hague.

For eighteen years he worked as a chorus master with various choirs (the Canticum Camerale Zlín, the Janáček Opera Choir in Brno, the Brno Academic Choir, the Ars Brunensis Chorus, the Prague Chamber Choir, the Madrigal Quintet Brno and others). With those ensembles he gradually completed tours around the majority of European countries. Besides winning prestigious choir competitions (IFAS, Neumunster, Gorizia, Smetana´s Litomyšl) he cooperated with numerous top conductors ( as e.g. A. Kröper, J. Bělohlávek, G. Albrecht, R. Gandolfi, T. Shimada, G. Delogu, F. Brüggen, G. Rožděstvěnský, A. di Marchi, N. Moldoveanu etc.) on cantata and opera projects.

Since 2000 Roman Válek has entirely been devoted to conducting. So far he has conducted most orchestras in the Czech Republic (the Prague Chamber Philharmonic, the Brno Philharmonic, the Janáček Philharmonic Ostrava, the FOK Chamber Orchestra, the Pardubice Chamber Philharmonic, the Symphony Orchestra Hradec Králové, the Symphony Orchestra Karlovy Vary and others). Since 2004 he has been actively cooperating with the Bohuslav Martinů Philharmonic in Zlín. He has also fully exploited his extended experience as an opera conductor: with the National Theatre Opera in Prague, the National Moravian- Silesian Theatre in Ostrava, the Silesian Theatre in Opava and as the chief conductor of opera staggiona with the Znojmo Music Festival.

Roman Válek focuses on historically informed performance of works dating from older stylistic periods. He is driven by the desire to get international vocal-instrumental Renaissance, Baroque and Classicist pieces on Czech stages. As a conductor, he has worked with the orchestras Musica Aeterna Bratislava, Musica Florea and Solamente Naturali Bratislava, and with accomplished artists specialising in authentic interpretation of early music: J. Griffith, M. Brown, M. Kožená, R. Tyson, G. Farkas, A. di Marchi, D. James, P. Zajíček, M. Štryncl, F. Brüggen, B. M. Willi, C. Genz, A. Plachetka, A.Mikolajczyk, M. Knoblochová, J. Frederiksen and others. He is the founder and chief conductor of the Czech Ensemble Baroque. Roman Válek has received a number of accolades (e.g. the Alfréd Radok Award for the staging of Fibich’s melodrama The Death of Hippodamia with the Bohuslav Martinů Philharmonic Orchestra at the Municipal Theatre in Zlín, directed by J. A. Pitínský; a Diapason award for the recording of the complete Martinů madrigals).

Since 2005 he has explored and premiered in the Czech Republic several significant works: Vivaldi’s Dorilla in Tempe, Purcell’s King Arthur, Mysliveček’s Montezuma and Jean-Philippe Rameau’s Platée (the latter has also been recorded for Czech Television). He has established the Summer School of Baroque Music, focused on 18th-century oratorios.

As for his pedagogical activities he is the founder of The Baroque Music Summer School – focused on large 18th century oratorios, and he is also a co-author of popular programmes for parents and children – Jonáš and Melicharová at the Concert and Opera (together with Jiří Suchý). He has led ateliers within workshops Europa Cantat, Bohemia Cantat, The Early Music School in Valtice and has taught at the Brno Conservatory.

During his career he has recorded more than 30 CD titles ( for Pickwick Group London, Supraphon, ND Praha, Panton, WDR, Vienna Modern Masters etc.) and has conducted projects crossing musical genres (the Hradišťan, the Čechomor, fundraising concerts for T.Maxová´s Foundation, stage music of V.Franz).

In 2012 he started an independent subscription cycle of the Czech Ensemble Baroque in Brno, which includes vocal-instrumental works, recitals, concert performances of operas, orchestral and choir concerts.