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Vladimír Mikulka (Guitar)

Born: December 11, 1950 - Prague, Czechoslovakia

The Czech guitarist, Vladimír Mikulka, took up the guitar at the age of 13 and soon became, due to his rapid progress, a student of Professor Jiři Jirmal's at the State Conservatory in Prague. His first crucial success came in 1970, while still a student, at the Concours International de Guitare in Paris, held annually by the French O.R.T.F. on R.J. Vidal's initiative: Mikulka emerged as the youngest winner in the event's history, winning not only a new instrument (Masaru Kohno), but also his first invitations for international concert tours.

Vladimír Mikulka then started his concert career plus recording for French radio and TV and soon began to travel to other countries. Since then he has been invited to give concerts and master classes in all the continents of the world. During the early 1970's he was to France, Belgium, Denmark, Finland (there he has been invited very often and has been teaching in guitar master-classes), The USSR, the GDR, etc., and - in addition to his "live", concert performances in his country and abroad - has recorded for the radio and TV a number of solo guitar items, as well as concertos with orchestra.

Vladimír Mikulka has given many first performances, both on CD and on stage, of works written for or dedicated to him. Among these, most famous is the suite The Prince's Toys by Nikita Koshkin first performed in the Grand Auditorium of Radio France in 1980 and thereafter recorded on CD for BIS. ("This is the most important recording of guitar music in many years. It is a landmark in he history of the guitar." Gramophone UK). He has also been the first interpreter of numerous compositions by his compatriot Stepan Rak and dedicated to him a CD, which was declared a "unique discovery" by the French music review: Diapason. ("Mikulka plays Rak" for GHA). There followed further composers such as Pierre Ancelin, Michai'l Rudnev, Milan Tesar and Antonio Ruiz-Pipo in the CD "European Premieres", and others such as Patrice Sciortino, Einojuhani Rautavaara and John Duarte. Vladimír Mikulka also ventures into the field of transcription resulting in a series of works by Czech composers such as Dussek, Vanhall, Kozeluh, Jelinek (CD "Classics from Bohemia" GHA).

In his collection of guitar music for Editions H. Lemoine entitled " Vladimír Mikulka presents..." there are today up to fifty works for guitar, solo and chamber, embracing "the old" and "the new". The Video tape entitled "Mikulka Live in Prague" which was recorded by Czech TV during a recital at the "Mirrors Hall" of the Klementinum, is an example of Mikulka's extensive repertory and mastery of the guitar. ("You have here a Mikulka live, always very personal, profound and of a stunning mastery" Les Cahiers de la Guitare - France).

In 1982, with his native country being firmly established under the socialist regime, Vladimír Mikulka chose France as his new home and naturally Paris where, years before, he started his international career. Today, in addition to his continuing concert activity, he teaches at the Conservatoires de la Ville de Paris and at the well-known Schola Cantorum where his students can obtain the "Virtuoso" Diploma as well as that of "Concert Performer" while exploring the universe of the guitar.

Source: Liner notes to the LP ' Compositions by J.S. Bach' (Supraphon, 1974); LACCS Website
Contributed by
Aryeh Oron (July 2008)

Vladimír Mikulka: Short Biography | Recordings of Instrumental Works

Links to other Sites

LACCS - Vladimir Mikulka


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