BiographyKarel Košárek graduated from conservatories in Kroměříž and Prague, where he studied under the tutelage of Professor Valentina Kameníková. Other teachers who nurtured his artistic growth were Professor František Rauch and specialist assistant lecturer Kvitoslava Bilinská at the Academy of Performing Arts in Prague.
In 1991, on the basis of an international competition announced by the Southern Methodist University in Dallas, he obtained a four-year scholarship. He was taught by the top pedagogues Dr. Harris Crohn and Prof. Joaquin Achucarro and completed these studies in 1995, graduating with an Artist Certificate and the title Master in Music. He has won a host of international competitions. In 1990 he came first in the Smetana Piano Competition in Hradec Králové and became a laureate of the international F. P. Neglio Competition in Enna (Italy). These successes were followed by prizes at the International Competition of Young Artists in Corpus Christi (USA) in 1992 and the International Piano Competition in San Antonio (USA) in 1993. In addition to these awards, he won the Von Mickwitz Prize (for 1992) and the J. K. Wilson Prize (in 1993), conferred by the Meadows Foundation upon the best students of American universities. His greatest competition successes include participation in the final of one of the most prestigious American competitions – the Walter Naumburg Competition in New York – in the spring of 1997.
Recitals given in previous seasons in New York, Dallas, Palm Beach, Calgary, Tel Aviv, Saint Petersburg, as well as performances at concerts in Japan, document the international scale of his artistic activity. He has played at the festivals Prague Spring, Concentus Moraviae, the Český Krumlov International Piano Festival, Janáček’s May, Bohuslav Martinů Festival. He has performed with the Prague Philharmonic Orchestra conducted by Jiří Bělohlávek, with the Prague FOK Symphony Orchestra conducted by James Sedares and the State Philharmonic Orchestra Brno. He has performed as a soloist in the USA with the Corpus Christi Symphony Orchestra, Irving Symphony Orchestra, I Palpiti, Meadows Wind Ensemble, as well as with the Saint Petersburg Chamber Orchestra. He has frequently collaborated with the mezzo soprano Magdalena Kožená, giving a number of concerts in the Czech Republic and abroad; for example, in Hamburg, Vienna, at the Mitte Europa festival, Verbier and Saint-Denis in Paris, and at the debut of Magdalena Kožená in the USA (2001). In 2004, within the pan-European project Czech Dreams, he performed in Italy, Switzerland, France, Germany, Hungary, the Netherlands and Spain.
On his first solo album, Karel Košárek included compositions by Smetana, Martinů, S. Barber and G. Gershwin. In tandem with the violinist Bohuslav Matoušek and the Czech Philharmonic Orchestra conducted by Christopher Hogwood, he recorded a CD of Bohuslav Martinů compositions; at the beginning of 2005 he recorded with Roman Janál a song CD for Supraphon. For the Naxos label, together with the Bohuslav Martinů Quartet, he made a CD of compositions by Bohuslav Martinů, and works by the same author will also be on Košárek’s forthcoming solo album.