The Prazak Quartet-one of today's leading international chamber music
ensembles-was established in 1972 while its members were students
at the Prague Conservatory. Since then, the quartet has gained
attention for its place in the unique Czech quartet tradition,
and for its musical virtuosity.
The 1974 Czech Music Year saw the Prazak Quartet receive the first prize
at the Prague Conservatory Chamber Music Competition. Within twelve months
their international career had been launched with a performance at the
1975 Prague Spring Music Festival. In 1978 the quartet took the first
prize at the Evian String Quartet Competition as well as a special prize
awarded by Radio France for the best recording during the competition.
Further prizes were awarded at various other Czech competitions.
For more than 30 years, the Prazak Quartet has been at home on music
stages worldwide. They are regular guests in the major European musical
capitals-Prague, Paris, Amsterdam, Brussels, Milan, Madrid, London, Berlin,
Munich, etc.-and have been invited to participate at numerous international
festivals, where they have collaborated with such artists as Menahem
Pressler, Jon Nakamatsu, Cynthia Phelps, Roberto Diaz, Josef Suk, and
The quartet has toured extensively in North America, having performed
in New York (Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center, 92nd St. Y), Los Angeles,
San Francisco, Dallas, Houston, Washington, Philadelphia, Miami, St.
Louis, New Orleans, Berkeley, Cleveland, Tucson, Denver, Buffalo, Vancouver,
Toronto, and Montreal. They will return to the US and Canada in the 2016-17
The Prazak Quartet records exclusively for Praga/Harmonia Mundi which,
to date, has released more than 30 award-winning CDs. In addition to
numerous radio recordings in France, Germany, the Netherlands, and the
Czech Republic, the Prazak Quartet has also made recordings for Supraphon,
Panton, Orfeo, Ottavo, Bonton, and Nuova Era.
In 2015, Jana Vonásková joined the group as first violinist,
succeeding Pavel Hula. She is a graduate of the Royal College of Music
and was a member of the Smetana Trio for nine years. She appears often
as a soloist and in recital throughout Europe. Second violinist Vlastimil
Holek has been with the Prazak Quartet for nearly four decades, and also
performs independently. Violist Josef Kluson is a founding member of
the quartet, and gives masterclasses worldwide. Cellist Michal Kanka
joined the group in 1986. He performs and records as a soloist in addition
to his work with the quartet. Messrs Holek, Kluson, and Kanka are graduates
of the Prague Conservatory and the Academy of Fine Arts.
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