Radek Baborákfrench horn
Horn player and conductor Radek Baborák is one of the most outstanding personalities on the current classical music scene. In a solo career spanning over 25 years, he has impressed audiences in the most important cultural centres all over the world with his outstanding musical performances.
Talent is a gift from God, but it shouldn’t be relied on solely. Theory and analysis will come in handy.
He studied the horn with Professor Karel Křenek. Under his tutelage, Baborák became the outright winner of the Concertino Praga radio competition, won 3rd place in the Prague Spring Competition, came first in the contemporary music contest, and became a prize-winner in the Grand Prix UNESCO. From 1990 to 1994 he continued in his studies at the Prague Conservatoire in a class under Professor Bedřich Tylšar. During his studies, he won the 1993 Genève competition, the 1994 Markneukirchen competition, ARD in Munich in 1994, the 1995 Grammy Classic Award and the Dawidov Award.
At the age of eighteen he was offered the position of the first horn player in the Czech Philharmonic without the need of going through an audition, which is quite exceptional. He remained there for two years. From 1996 to 2000, he worked as the horn soloist in the Munich Philharmonic. In 2001 he signed an exclusive contract with the Bamberg Symphony. He concluded his work with orchestras in the seasons 2003 to 2010 with the Berlin Philharmonic.
festivals – recording – concerts
He is a guest of prestigious festivals such as Salzburger Osterfestspiele, Maggiomusicale Fiorentino, Suntory Hall Chamber Music Garden, International Music Festival Utrecht, Julian Rachlin and Friends Dubrovník, Smetanova Litomyšl, Pražské Jaro, etc.
He has made many recordings for recording companies such as EMI, Supraphon, Exton, Arte Nova, Artesmon, and Animal Music.
Radek Baborák performed as a soloist with the following orchestras: Berlin Philharmonic, Munich Philharmonic, Bamberg Symphony, Bach Akademie Stuttgart, Berlin Baroque Soloists, Strasbourg Philharmonic Orchestra, Moscow Philharmonic Orchestra, London Royal Orchestra, Tonkünstler Orchestra Vienna, NHK Symphony Orchestra.
Chamber music is a significant and important part of Radek Baborák’s musical career. He founded and functions as the Artistic Director of the Baborak Ensemble whose basic structure is French horn and string quartet, the Czech Horn Ensemble, which continues in the 300-year tradition of horn music in Bohemia and the Prague Chamber Soloists string ensemble founded in 1960 by Václav Neumann. He is a member if the Afflatus Quintet, with which he won the first prize in the ARD competition in Munich. In recitals he performs in duo with the pianist Yoko Kukuchi, the winner of Salzburg’s Mozart competition, with the organist Aleš Bárta and harpist Jana Boušková. He is a member of the Berlin – Munich – Vienna Octet and he cooperates with the Berlin Baroque Soloists.
Radek Baborák has worked as an Associate Professor at Bologna Fondazione Arturo Toscanini, he is a visiting professor at TOHO University Tokyo and Escuela Superior de Musica Reina Sophia, and teaches at HAMU in Prague. He has taught horn courses in Germany and Switzerland.
I come from a family of music teachers, so when I started teaching at the Bologna Fondazione Arthura Toscanini at the age of twenty, it felt absolutely natural to me, even though all the students were older than I was. Since then I have given masterclasses or workshops everywhere I went to perform as a soloist. I am a guest teacher at Escuale de Reina Sofie in Madrid and I have worked as a visiting professor at several universities in Tokyo. I’ve spent a few years at the Prague’s HAMU, where I am passive at the moment. And I continue at the Barenboim-Said Akademie Berlin.
I have to say frankly that I don’t enjoy teaching the technical details – how to play the horn – because it is often impossible to explain everything theoretically and it cannot be mastered without a certain degree of intuition anyway. On the other hand, I find great pleasure in studying phrases, musical expression of compositions, their overlap outside the musical world, the tone quality. I think and I hope that this is important for students as well.
I first visited Kroměříž as a student taking part in a conservatoire competition. I got enthralled and so I’m looking forward to visiting again and to meeting the students and audience in Moravia.
When Tomas approached me, my reaction was very spontaneous and I promised to cooperate at once. My motto is that in 21st century it is no longer appropriate to compete in music, so the competition shall be replaced by education. The courses like this one are evidence of this stance, and the person who brings such an endeavour into life as Tomáš Netopil does deserves great respect.