Václav Luks

Václav Luks is the founder and artistic director of the Prague baroque orchestra Collegium 1704 and of the vocal ensemble Collegium Vocale 1704. He studied at the Pilsen Conservatoire and at Academy of Performing Arts in Prague. He then crowned his training with the specialised study of early music at the Schola Cantorum Basiliensis in Switzerland in the studios of Jörg-Andreas Bötticher and Jesper Christensen (in the fields of historical keyboard instruments and historical performance practice). During his studies in Basel and in the years that followed, he gave concerts all over Europe and overseas as the principal horn player of the Akademie für Alte Musik in Berlin.

After returning from abroad in 2005, he transformed the chamber ensemble Collegium 1704, which he had already established during his studies, into a baroque orchestra, and he founded the vocal ensemble Collegium Vocale 1704. The immediate stimulus for their formation was the project Bach – Prague – 2005, which was launched at Václav Luks’s own initiative. Under his leadership, the ensembles make guest appearances at prestigious festivals and appear in important concert halls. Their recordings have earned both public success and critical acclaim (Diapason d’Or, Preis der deutschen Schallplattenkritik, Coup de coeur TV Mezzo etc.).

In addition to his intensive work with Collegium 1704, Václav Luks also collaborates with other distinguished ensembles including Camerata Salzburg, the Akademie für Alte Musik in Berlin, La Cetra Barockorchester Basel, and the Dresdner Kammerchor. Amongst his recent projects have been performances of Purcell’s opera Dido and Aeneas with Ensemble Pygmalion at the Festival d’Aix-en-Provence and a programme with works by Polish composers with the ensemble Orkiestra Historyczna. At a benefit concert for the restoration of the Cathédrale Notre-Dame de Paris, Václav Luks conducted the Orchestre nationale de France.

Václav Luks has collaborated on operatic and theatrical performances with such stage directors as David Radok, Ondřej Havelka, Louise Moaty, J. A. Pitínský, Willi Decker, and Ursel Herrmann. Under his direction, Collegium 1704 recorded the music for Petr Václav’s documentary Zpověď zapomenutého (Confession of the Vanished) and for his planned feature film Il Boemo about the life of Josef Mysliveček.

Václav Luks works in cooperation with a number of broadcasting networks such as Deutschlandradio Berlin, Schweizer Radio DRS, the Austrian Broadcasting Company (ÖRF), and Radio France and with music publishers including Supraphon, Pan Classics, Zig-Zag Territoires, Arta, and Accent.