John Novacek

Versatile Grammy-nominated pianist JOHN NOVACEK regularly tours the Americas, Europe, Asia and Australia as soloist and chamber musician/collaborator. The past several seasons included solo concerto performances with the Mexico City Philharmonic, Austin Symphony Orchestra, Springfield (MA) Symphony Orchestra, Traverse (MI) Symphony Orchestra, Dayton Philharmonic, Duluth Superior Symphony Orchestra, National Academy Orchestra of Canada, Symphony Nova Scotia,  and the orchestras of Festival Mozaic, CCSMF, and Mendocino Music Festival. Regular performance venues include Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center’s David Geffen and Alice Tully Halls, Kennedy Center, Chicago’s Symphony Center, Hollywood Bowl, Paris’s Théâtre des Champs-Élysées, London’s Wigmore Hall and Barbican, and Tokyo’s Suntory, Opera City, and Bunkamura Halls.

Novacek is a frequent festival invitee, having participated in Mostly Mozart, Aspen, Great Lakes, SummerFest La Jolla, Cape Cod, Caramoor, Music in the Vineyards (Napa), Colorado College, Festival Mozaic (San Luis Obispo), Ravinia, Seattle Chamber Music, Wolf Trap, Mimir (Fort Worth and Melbourne, AU); Scotia, Toronto Summer Music, Ottawa Chamberfest, SweetWater and Festival of the Sound (Canada); BBC Proms (England); Braunschweig (Germany); Lucerne, Menuhin Gstaad, and Verbier (Switzerland); Sorrento (Italy); Serenates d’Estiu (Mallorca, Spain); and Stavanger (Norway). A familiar media presence, Novacek is regularly showcased on NPR’s Performance Today, St. Paul Sunday and (as composer/performer) A Prairie Home Companion, and has recently been prominently featured in discussion and demonstration on the highly-successful PBS/Great Performances series Now Hear This, hosted by Scott Yoo.

A highly sought-after collaborator and chamber musician, Novacek has performed with Leila Josefowicz, Yo-Yo Ma, Joshua Bell, Cho-Liang Lin, Lynn Harrell, Emmanuel Pahud, Jeremy Denk, Renaud Capuçon, Truls Mørk, Matt Haimovitz, and Elmar Oliveira, as well as with members of the Emerson, Ying, Pacifica, St. Lawrence, Guarneri, Miró and Tokyo String Quartets, and Beaux Arts Trio; also with the St. Paul Chamber Orchestra and Chicago Symphony Orchestra in an orchestral obbligato role. Novacek is a member of the multifaceted piano trio Intersection, with violinist Laura Frautschi and cellist Kristina Reiko Cooper.

As a tireless advocate for contemporary music, Novacek has worked closely with John Adams, Jennifer Higdon, John Harbison, George Rochberg, Gabriela Lena Frank, Kenji Bunch, Roberto Sierra and John Zorn, and participated in numerous world-premieres. Novacek himself is an active and well-regarded composer whose works have been taken up by many prominent soloists and ensembles; commissioning entities include the Pacific Symphony, Chautauqua Symphony Orchestra, Ensemble Liaison, Ying Quartet, Manasse/Nakamatsu Duo, The 5 Browns, Concertante, Millennium, Eastman School of Music, Scotia Festival, Schubert Club and Seattle Commissioning Club. In addition, Novacek has arranged for The Three Tenors, Dame Kiri Te Kanawa, and pop diva Diana Ross, and served stints as assistant pianist-arranger to Hollywood legends Lalo Schifrin and John Williams.

A much-recorded artist, Novacek’s recordings have garnered numerous international awards (Gramophone, BBC Music Magazine, Grammy nomination for ‘Best Chamber Music Performance’); labels include Philips, Nonesuch, Naxos, Arabesque, Warner Classics, Sony/BMG, Koch International, New World, Universal Classics, Ambassador, Azica, Marquis, Arkay, Neuma, IBS Classical, Pony Canyon, Four Winds, and EMI Classics.

Novacek received his M.Mus. at Mannes, studying piano with Peter Serkin, and chamber music with Felix Galimir and Julius Levine.

John Novacek is a Steinway Artist.