Beata Hlavenková – Czech pianist, vocalist, composer, arranger and producer – is one of the most distinctive female musicians with her own unmistakable cross-genre sound. Her main guiding force is courage – to experiment, to seek unconventional harmonies and arrangements. Free of genre restrictions and leaning on her deep knowledge of jazz, modern classical music, pop and indie folk – in all her musical projects she weaves together a sensitive and clearly focused interpretation.
Her credits include several solo albums and prestigious music awards. She collaborates extensively with Czech and global musicians, composes film and theatre scores, creates song arrangements for big symphonic orchestras – in the centre of all her endevours is “a musical spark that never fades away.”
She studied music composition at the Janáček Conservatory in Ostrava, Czech Republic, followed up with three years at the Ježek Conservatory in Prague and finished her studies with a master’s degree in composition, jazz composition and arrangement from the University of Massachusetts in 2004. Her first album of jazz compositions was the result of S’aight project established with guitarist (and husband) Patrik Hlavenka (a.k.a. Patrick Karpentski). From 2006 to 2013 she was the leader of her jazz trio. Since 2013, when her Theodoros album was released, she has performed mostly as a solo artist in Czech Republic and abroad. Very original and long-term collaborations are with Lenka Dusilová – Eternal Seekers (featuring Clarinet Factory) on two albums entitled Baromantika. Simoultaneously she has collaborated on various projects and with distinguished musicians, such as Iva Bittová, Jiří Havelka, David Ondříček, David Koller, Vladivojna La Chia, VerTeDance, among others.
Her first solo album Joy for Joel was recorded in USA in 2009, followed by Theodoros (received Czech Music Award – Anděl in the jazz and blues category), Scintilla and most recently Bethlehem, which confirms that Beata is able to make entirely fresh discoveries in such traditional material as Christmas carols. One of her most successful album to date is the double album for children Pishlik´s Stories (Pišlické příběhy) made in collaboration with the author Filip Rychlebský.
From the very beginning of her musical career she has also laid emphasis on teaching. She now teaches at New York University in Prague, after the Ježek Conservatory and JAMU in Brno where she, together with her husband Patrick, established the first university course in the Czech Republic for jazz music. Music education, in her own words, should „involve teaching real musicianship and lay greater stress on developing what a musician can do best, what fits them most and what brings the most joy and satisfaction, which naturally does not mean less hard work or less ambition.“