IGOR ARDAŠEV has long been an ambassador of Czech pianism abroad. The first to shape Ardašev’s talent was his father, followed by Inessa Janíčková at the Janáček Academy of Music and Performing Arts; later, he partook in Paul Badura-Skoda’s and Rudolf Serkin’s masterclasses in Austria and United States, respectively. In addition to excelling in youth competitions, he has received awards at the Tchaikovsky Competition (Moscow), the Prague Spring International Music Festival, Queen Elisabeth Competition (Brussels; he was awarded the prize of the Belgian radio and television) and the Long-Thibaud-Crespin Competition (Paris). In 1990, he won first prize at the International Maria Callas Grand Prix. His interpretation capabilities allow the virtuoso pianist to give recitals, perform compositions for four hands piano, two pianos (with wife Renata Ardaševová), collaborate with chamber ensembles, reputed orchestras and conductors alike (the Czech Philharmonic, Prague Philharmonia, Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra, BBC Symphony Orchestra). Aside from performing in his country, Ardašev also appears at renowned music festivals across Europe. His discography includes Tchaikovsky’s Piano Concerto No. 1, Dvořák’s Slavonic Dances, a piano arrangement of Smetana’s My Country (with Renata Ardaševová), solo pieces by Liszt, Martinů, Prokofiev, Mussorgsky, Beethoven etc. Besides his concert activities, Ardašev also teaches at the music department of the Janáček Academy of Music and Performing Arts and serves as a piano competition juror.