Václav Luks

Václav Luks studied at the Pilsen Conservatoire, the Academy of Performing Arts in Prague, and 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. Under his leadership, the ensembles perform at prestigious festivals and at renowned concert halls. Their recordings have earned both public success and critical acclaim, including awards such as Trophées, Diapason d’Or, and Preis der deutschen Schallplattenkritik.

In addition to his intensive work with Collegium 1704, Václav Luks also collaborates with other distinguished ensembles including the Netherlands Bach Society, Orchestre Philharmonique de Monte-Carlo, Camerata Salzburg, the Akademie für Alte Musik in Berlin, La Cetra Barockorchester Basel, and the Dresdner Kammerchor. At a benefit concert for the restoration of the Cathédrale Notre-Dame de Paris, Václav Luks conducted the Orchestre nationale de France. The French radio station France Musique devoted five episodes of the programme Grands interpretes de la musique classique to Václav Luks in 2021. In May 2021, he conducted Collegium 1704 in the opening concert of the international festival Prague Spring. 

He has worked with internationally renowned soloists including Karina Gauvin, Vivica Genaux, Ann Hallenberg, Martina Janková, Philippe Jaroussky, Magdalena Kožená, Bejun Mehta, Sarah Mingardo, Adam Plachetka, and Andreas Schöll.

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

His activities have played an important part in the revival of interest in the works of Czech composers such as Jan Dismas Zelenka and Josef Mysliveček, and in strengthening Czech-German cultural links through rediscovery of the two countries’ shared musical heritage.

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