John Novacek
pianist
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John Novacek

Versatile, Grammy-nominated pianist JOHN NOVACEK regularly tours the Americas, Europe, Asia and Australia as solo recitalist, chamber musician and concerto soloist; in the latter capacity he has presented over thirty concerti with dozens of orchestras. Mr. Novacek begins his current season with an appointment to the Piano and Collaborative Piano faculty of The Mannes School of Music at The New School’s College of Performing Arts.

John Novacek’s major American performances have been heard in New York City’s Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts’ David Geffen and Alice Tully halls, 92nd Street Y, Columbia University’s Miller Theater, Merkin Concert Hall, The Metropolitan Museum of Art and Symphony Space, Washington’s The Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, Boston’s Symphony Hall, Chicago’s Symphony Center and Los Angeles’ Hollywood Bowl,  while international venues include Paris’ Théâtre des Champs-Élysées, Salle Gaveau and Musée du Louvre, London’s Wigmore Hall and Barbican Centre and Tokyo’s Suntory, Opera City and Bunkamura halls. He is also a frequent guest artist at festivals, here and abroad, including New York City’s Mostly Mozart Festival, California’s Festival Mozaic and those of Aspen, Cape Cod, Caramoor, Chautauqua, Colorado College, Great Lakes, Mendocino, Mimir, Music in the Vineyards, Ravinia, Seattle, SummerFest La Jolla, Wolf Trap, Canada’s Festival of the Sound, Ottawa, Chamberfest, Scotia, SweetWater and Toronto Summer Music, BBC Proms (England), Braunschweig (Germany), Lucerne, Menuhin Gstaad and Verbier (Switzerland), Serenates d’Estiu (Spain), Sorrento (Italy), Stavanger (Norway), Toulouse (France) and Sapporo (Japan). He has also made his debuts with the Orquesta Filarmónica de la Ciudad de México, as well as with the Dayton Philharmonic Orchestra, the Austin, Duluth Superior, Springfield (MA) and Traverse symphony orchestras, National Academy Orchestra of Canada and Symphony Nova Scotia.

Often heard on radio broadcasts worldwide, John Novacek has appeared on NPR’s Performance Today, St. Paul Sunday and, as both featured guest composer/performer, on A Prairie Home Companion with Garrison Keillor. He was also seen and heard on television, including The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson, Entertainment Tonight and CNN International. Recently, Mr. Novacek has been prominently featured in discussion and performance on the highly successful PBS/Great Performances series Now Hear This. Hosted by Scott Yoo.

John Novacek is a highly sought-after collaborative artist and has performed with Joshua Bell, Renaud Capuçon, Jeremy Denk, Matt Haimovitz, Leila Josefowicz, Cho-Liang Lin, Yo-Yo Ma, Truls Mørk, Elmar Oliveira and Emmanuel Pahud, and, as well as the Afiara, Colorado, Harrington, Jupiter, New Hollywood, St. Lawrence, SuperNova and Ying string quartets. He also tours widely as a member of the multi-faceted Intersection, a piano trio that includes violinist Kaura Frautschi and cellist Kristina Reiko Cooper. As a tireless advocate for contemporary music, Mr. Novacek has also given numerous world premieres and worked closely with composers John Adams, Kenji Bunch, Gabriela Lena Frank, John Harbison, Jennifer Higdon, George Rochberg, Robert Sierra, John Williams and John Zorn.

John Novacek took top prizes at both the Leschetizky and Joanna Hodges international piano competitions, among many others. He studied piano with Polish virtuoso Jakob Gimpel at California State University, Northridge, where he earned a Bachelor of Music degree, summa cum laude. Subsequently, he earned a Master of Music degree from New York City’s Mannes College of Music, studying with Peter Serkin in piano and Felix Galimer and Julius Levine in chamber music. Mr. Novacek’s coaches in composition included Frederick Werle, Aurelio de la Vega and Daniel Kessner.

John Novacek’s original compositions have been widely performed and frequently recorded by major international soloists and ensembles. Commissioning entities include: New York Philharmonic, The Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra, Pacific Symphony, Chautauqua Symphony Orchestra, Fresno Ballet, Accordo/Schubert Club (film score), Fuji TV, Seattle Commissioning Club, Scotia Festival, Eastman School of Music, McGill University, West Texas A&M University, The 5 Browns, Concertante, Ensemble Liaison, Millennium, Manasse/Nakamatsu Duo, Harrington String Quartet, Ying Quartet, Quattro Mani. He has also prepared special arrangements for The Three Tenors, Boosey & Hawkes, EMI, Atlantic Records, John Williams, Lalo Schifrin, Kiri Te Kanawa and pop diva Diana Ross.

John Novacek has recorded over 35 CDs, encompassing solo and chamber music by most major composers from Bach to Bartók, as well as many contemporary and original scores. Mr. Novacek records for Philips, Naxos, Nonesuch, Arabesque, Warner Classics, Sony/BMG, IBS Classical, Koch International, New World, Universal Classics, Ambassador, Arkay, Azica, EMI Classics, Four Winds, Pony Canyon and Virtuoso. CD titles include Road Movies (2004 GRAMMY nomination as “Best Chamber Music Performance”), Great Mozart Piano Works, Spanish Rhapsody, Novarags (original ragtime compositions), Classic Romance, Hungarian Sketches, Intersection, Romances et Meditations and, with Leila Josefowicz, Americana (GRAMOPHONE: “Editor’s Choice”), For the End of Time, Shostakovich and Recital (BBC MUSIC MAGAZINE: 5 stars/June 2005's chamber choice). 2020 saw the IBS Classical releases of Chausson’s Concert in D for Violin, Piano & String Quartet and an album of viola sonatas by Glinka, Hindemith and Schubert with Randolph Kelly.

John Novacek is a Steinway Artist.

[CHAMBER ENSEMBLE REPERTOIRE FOLLOWS CONCERTO LIST]

BACH, J.S.

Concerto #1 in d, BWV 1052

BARBER

Concerto, Op. 38

BARTÓK

Concerto for 2 Pianos

BEACH, Amy

Concerto in c#, Op. 45

BEETHOVEN

Concerto #1 in C, Op. 15
Concerto #3 in c, Op. 37
Concerto #4 in G, Op. 58
Concerto #5 in E-flat, Op. 73 ("Emperor")
Fantasia in c, Op. 80 ("Choral Fantasy")

BERG

Chamber Concerto for Piano, Violin & 13 Wind Instruments

BRAHMS

Concerto #1 in d, Op. 15
Concerto #2 in B-flat, Op. 83

CHOPIN

Andante Spianato & Grande Polonaise, Op. 22
Concerto #2 in f, Op. 21

DAUGHERTY, M.

Le Tombeau de Liberace

FALLA

Nights in the Gardens of Spain

GERSHWIN

Concerto in F
Rhapsody in Blue
Second Rhapsody
Variations on I Got Rhythm

GOULD

Interplay (1943)

GRIEG

Concerto in a, Op. 16

HARRISON, L.

Suite for Violin, Piano & Small Orchestra

LISZT

Concerto #1 in E-flat
Totentanz

LISZT-BUSONI

Rhapsodie espagnole

MENDELSSOHN

Concerto #1 in g, Op. 25
Concerto in d for Violin & Piano

MENOTTI

Concerto in F (1945)

MOZART

Concerto #12 in A, K. 414
Concerto #13 in C, K. 415
Concerto #15 in B-flat, K. 450
Concerto #17 in G, K. 453
Concerto #20 in d, K. 466
Concerto #21 in C, K. 467
Concerto #23 in A, K. 488
Concerto #24 in c, K. 491

POULENC

Concerto in d for 2 Pianos (1932)

PROKOFIEV

Concerto #3 in C, Op. 26

RACHMANINOFF

Concerto #1 in f#, Op. 1 (rev. 1917)
Concerto #2 in c, Op. 18
Concerto #3 in d, Op. 30
Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini, Op. 43

RAVEL

Concerto in G

SAINT-SAËNS

Carnival of the Animals

SCHUMANN

Concerto in a, Op. 54

SHOSTAKOVICH

Concerto #1 in c, Op. 35

TCHAIKOVSKY

Concerto #1 in b-flat, Op. 23

 

BARTÓK Contrasts (clarinet, violin, piano)
Sonata for 2 Pianos & Percussion
BEACH, A.M.C. Piano Trio in a, Op. 150
Piano Quintet in f#, Op. 67
BEETHOVEN  Piano Trio #1 in E-flat, Op. 1, #1
Piano Trio #3 in c, Op. 1, #3
Piano Trio #4 in D, Op. 70, #1 (“Ghost”)
Piano Trio #5 in E-flat, Op. 70, #2
Piano Trio #6 in B-flat, Op. 97 (“Archduke”)
Piano Trio #7 in B-flat, Op. 11
Piano Trio #9 in G, Op. 121a (“Kakadu”)
Piano Trio #10 in B-flat, WoO 39
Quintet in E-Flat for Piano & Winds, Op. 16
BERMEL  Death with Interruptions (piano trio)
BERNSTEIN  Piano Trio
BONIS, Mélanie Helene  Piano Quartet #1 in B-flat, Op. 69
BRAHMS  Clarinet Trio in a, Op. 114
Horn Trio in E-flat, Op. 40
Piano Trio #1 in B, Op. 8
Piano Trio #2 in C, Op. 87
Piano Trio #3 in c, Op. 101
Piano Quartet #1 in g, Op. 25
Piano Quartet #2 in A, Op. 26
Piano Quartet #3 in c, Op. 60
Piano Quintet in f, Op. 34
2 Songs, Op. 91 (voice, viola, piano)
BRIDGE  Phantasie Piano Quartet in f-sharp
BRUCH   Piano Quintet in g
8 Pieces for Clarinet, Viola & Piano, Op. 83
CAPLET Quintet for Flute, Oboe, Clarinet, Bassoon & Piano
CHAUSSON Concert in D for Violin, Piano & String Quartet, Op. 21
Piano Trio in g, Op. 3
CONNESSON   Sextet (1998)
COPLAND   Appalachian Spring (13 instrument version)
Sextet for Clarinet, Piano & String Quartet
Vitebsk (piano trio)
CRUMB Music for a Summer Evening (Makrokosmos III)
DALBAVIE Piano Quartet (2012)
DALLAPICCOLA Musica per tre pianoforti
DEBUSSY Piano Trio in G
DEBUSSY/Beamish La Mer (piano trio)
DOHNÁNYI  Piano Quintet #1 in c, Op. 1
Sextet in C, Op. 37
DOUGLAS   Quartet for Flute, Oboe, Bassoon & Piano
DRING  Trio for Flute, Oboe & Piano
DURUFLÉ   Prélude, récitatif et variations, Op. 3 (flute, viola, piano)
DVORÁK   Piano Trio #3 in f, Op. 65
Piano Trio #4 in e, Op. 90 (“Dumky”)
Piano Quartet in D, Op. 23
Piano Quartet in E-flat, Op. 87
Piano Quintet #2 in A, Op. 81
ELGAR Piano Quintet in a, Op. 84
ESMAIL, Reena Piano Trio (2019)
FARRENC Piano Quintet #1 in a, Op. 30
FAURÉ Piano Trio in d, Op. 120
Piano Quartet #1 in c, Op. 15
Piano Quintet #2 in c, Op. 115
FRANÇAIX   Trio for Clarinet, Viola & Piano
FRANCK   Piano Quintet in f
FRIML   Piano Trio
GLASS Piano Quintet “Annunciation”
GOUNOD   Hymne à Sainte Cécile (violin, piano, organ)
HAHN   Piano Quintet in f-sharp
HARRISON Varied Trio (violin, piano, percussion)
HAYDN   Piano Trio #28 in D, Hob. XV:16
Piano Trio #39 in G, Hob. XV:25 (“Gypsy”)
Piano Trio #43 in C, Hob. XV:27
Piano Trio #45 in E-flat, Hob. XV:29
HIGDON   Dash (flute, clarinet, piano)
Summer Shimmers for Piano & Wind Quintet
Zaka (flute, clarinet, violin, cello, piano, percussion)
JACOB   Trio (clarinet, viola, piano)
KAHN   Serenade, Op. 73 (oboe, horn, piano)
KHACHATURIAN   Trio for Clarinet, Violin & Piano
KORNGOLD   Piano Quintet in E, Op. 15
Suite for Piano Left-Hand & Strings, Op. 23
LAVIGNAC   Galop-marche (1 piano/8 hands)
LIEBERMANN   Fantasy on a Fugue by J.S. Bach, Op. 27 (piano/wind quintet)
MacMILLAN   Piano Quartet
MAHLER   Piano Quartet
MARTINU   Quartet for Oboe & Piano Trio
La Revue de Cuisine
(clarinet, bassoon, trumpet, violin, cello, piano)
MENDELSSOHN   Piano Trio #1 in d, Op. 49
Piano Trio #2 in c, Op. 66
Piano Quartet #3 in b, Op. 3
MENOTTI   Suite for 2 Cellos & Piano
Trio for Clarinet, Violin & Piano
MESSIAEN   Quartet for the End of Time
MILHAUD    La création du monde (for piano quintet, Op. 81b)
Suite for Violin, Clarinet & Piano, Op. 157b
MOSZKOWSKI    Suite for 2 Violins & Piano, Op. 71
MOZART   

Piano Trio #5 in C, K. 548
Piano Quartet #1 in g, K. 478
Piano Quartet #2 in E-flat, K. 493
Piano Quartet in E-flat, K. 452 (piano & strings)
Quintet in E-flat for Piano & Winds, K. 452

MUCZYNSKI   Fantasy Trio, Op. 26 (clarinet, cello, piano)
MUSGRAVE   Trio for Flute, Oboe & Piano
NOVACEK   Barcarolle (piano trio)
Foster Fantasy (piano trio)
Intoxication (piano trio)
Reflections on Shenandoah (5 pianos)
Trio Marlenita (clarinet, cello, piano)
Variations on Danny Boy (piano quartet)
PIAZZOLLA   Las cuatro estaciones porteñas (piano trio)
POULENC   Trio for Oboe, Bassoon & Piano
Sextet for Piano & Woodwind Quintet
PREVIN   Trio for Oboe, Bassoon & Piano
QUANTZ   Trio Sonata in c, QV 2:Anh.5 (flute, oboe, continuo)
RACHMANINOFF   Trio élégiaque #1 in g
RAVEL   Chansons madécasses (soprano, flute, cello, piano)
Piano Trio in a
RIMSKY-KORSAKOV   Quintet in B-flat for Piano & Winds
ROTA, Nino Clarinet Trio (1973)
SAINT-SAËNS   Romance, Op. 27 (violin, piano, harmonium)
SCHMITT, Florent Á tour d’Anches, Op. 97 (wind trio & Piano)
SCHNITTKE   Piano Quintet
SCHOENBERG/WEBERN Chamber Symphony #1
SCHOENFIELD   Café Music (piano trio)
SCHUBERT   Adagio in E-Flat for Piano Trio, D. 897 (“Notturno”)
Der Hirt auf dem Felsen, D. 965
Piano Trio #1 in B-flat, D. 898
Piano Trio #2 in E-flat, D. 929
Quintet in A for Piano & Strings, D. 667 (“Trout”)
Sonata in B-Flat for Piano Trio, D. 28
SCHUMANN, Clara Piano Trio in g, Op. 17
SCHUMANN, Robert Märchenerzählungen, Op. 132 (clarinet, viola, piano)
Piano Trio #2 in F, Op. 80
Piano Quartet in E-flat, Op. 47
Piano Quintet in E-flat, Op. 44
SHOSTAKOVICH   Piano Trio #2 in e, Op. 67
Piano Quintet in g, Op. 57
3 Duets for 2 Violins & Piano
5 Pieces for 2 Violins & Piano
7 Romances on Poems by Alexander Blok, Op. 127 (soprano, piano trio)
SIBELIUS   Piano Quintet in g
SIMON, Carlos be still and know (piano trio)
SMETANA   Piano Trio in g, Op. 15
SOHY, Charlotte   Piano Trio, Op. 24
STILL, William Grant Vignettes
STRAVINSKY   L’Histoire du soldat
SVIRIDOV   Piano Trio in a, Op. 6
TANEYEV   Piano Quintet #2 in g, Op. 30
TCHAIKOVSKY   Piano Trio in a, Op. 50
TURINA   Piano Trio #2 in b, Op. 76
Piano Quintet in g, Op. 1
Scene andalouse (viola, piano, string quartet)
VAUGHAN WILLIAMS   Piano Quintet in c

Quintet in D for Clarinet, Horn, Violin, Cello & Piano

ZIMMERLI   Latin Suite (piano trio, optional percussion)
Piano Trio #1
Piano Trio #2
ZWILICH   Quintet for Violin, Viola Cello, Contrabass & Piano
Great Mozart Piano Work

“VIOLA SONATAS”

Hindemith: Sonata in F for Viola & Piano, Op. 11, #4
Schubert: Arpeggione Sonata, D. 821
Glinka: Sonata for Viola & Piano
with Randolph Kelly, violist

IBS CLASSICAL: IBS122020

Great Mozart Piano Work

ERNEST CHAUSSON

Concert in D for Violin, Piano & String Quartet, Op. 21
with Simón Gollo, violinist
John Novacek, pianist
Benjamin Sung, violinist
Ingrid Gerling, violinist
Randolph Kelly, violist
Maki Kubota, cellist
Chanson perpétuelle, Op. 37
with Mariola Cantarero, soprano

IBS CLASSICAL: IBS62020

Great Mozart Piano Work

"GREAT MOZART PIANO WORKS"

12 Variations on Ah, vous dirai-je, Maman, K. 265
Rondo in a, K. 511
Sonata #9 in D, K. 311
Fantasy in d, K. 397
Sonata #14 in c, K. 457

FOUR WINDS: FW 3013

Spanish Rhapsody

"SPANISH RHAPSODY"

Liszt: Rhapsodie espagnole
Soler: Fandango
Ginastera: Danzas argentinas
Granados: Quejas o la maja y el ruiseñor
Ravel: Alborado del gracioso
Novacek: Improvisation on Estrellita (Ponce)
Albéniz: Asturias, Sevilla, Tango

AMBASSADOR: ARC 1014

Novarags

"NOVARAGS"

Rags by: John Novacek, Eubie Blake, James P. Johnson, Scott Joplin, Joseph Lamb, Luckey Roberts, James Scott
with Steven Novacek, guitarist

AMBASSADOR: ARC 1008

Relaxation

"RELAXATION"

Saint-Saëns/Siloti: The Swan
Mascagni/Novacek: Intermezzo from Cavalleria rusticana
Mozart/Novacek: Eine kleine Nachtmusik (mvt. II)
Barber/Novacek: Adagio for Strings
Verdi/Novacek: Va! Pensiero from Nabucco
Puccini/Novacek: E lucevan le stelle from Tosca
Vaughan Williams: Fantasia on Greensleeves
Brahms/Singer: Symphony #3 (mvt. III)
J.S. Bach/Hess: Jesu, Joy of Man’s Desiring
Pachelbel/Schultz/Iacovone: Canon
Novacek: Melancholy Drag

PONY CANYON: PCCL-00528

Classic Romance II

"CLASSIC ROMANCE II"

Debussy: Clair de lune
Granados: Spanish Dance #2
Chopin: Waltz in c-sharp, Op. 64, #2
Beethoven: Für Elise
Mendelssohn: Song Without Words, Op. 62, #1
Chopin: Nocturne in f-sharp, Op. 48, #2
Schubert: Impromptu in G-flat
Ravel: Jeux d’eau
Rameau: Gavotte and Six Doubles
Schubert/Liszt: Serenade
Verdi/Liszt: Rigoletto Paraphrase
Scriabin: Prelude for the Left Hand Alone, Op. 9, #1
Chopin: Ballade #1 in g, Op. 23

FOUR WINDS: FW 30006

Last Kiss

"LAST KISS"

Liszt: Liebestraum #3
Rachmaninoff: Prelude in G, Op. 32, #5
Debussy: Prelude from Suite bergamasque
Beethoven: Adagio cantabile from Pathetique Sonata
Fauré: Barcarolle in a, Op. 26
Chopin: Fantaisie-Impromptu, Op. 66
Grieg: Arietta, Op. 12, #1
Debussy: Snow is Dancing
J.S. Bach: Sarabande and Double from English Suite #6 in d
Mendelssohn: Etude in b-flat, Op. 104, #1
Grieg: Melody, Op. 47, #3
Satie: Gymnopedie #1
Chopin: Etude in c, Op. 10, #12
Brahms: Intermezzo in E-flat, Op. 117, #1
Chopin: Waltz in a, Op. 34, #2

FOUR WINDS: FW 3016

Jennifer Higdon: Summer Shimmers

JENNIFER HIGDON: Summer Shimmers

with Susan Glaser, flutist
Todd Palmer, clarinetist
The Lark Quartet

KOCH: KIC-CD-7738

John Adams: Road Movies

JOHN ADAMS: Road Movies

Leila Josefowicz, violinist
John Novacek, pianist

NONESUCH: 79699-2

Patrick Zimmerli: Piano Trios

PATRICK ZIMMERLI: Piano Trios

Scott Yoo, violinist
Michael Mermagen, cellist
John Novacek, pianist

ARABESQUE RECORDINGS: Z6785

For the End of Time

"FOR THE END OF TIME"

Falla: Suite populaire espagnole
Messiaen: Quatour pour la fin du temps
Grieg: Sonata #3 in c, Op. 45
Bartók: Sonata #1
Leila Josefowicz, violinist
John Novacek, pianist

PHILIPS: 289 456 571-2

Americana

"AMERICANA"

Novacek: 4 Rags
Chaplin/Ogermann: Smile
Vieuxtemps: Souvenier d’Amérique, on Yankee Doodle
Joplin/Perlman: The Ragtime Dance
Ponce/Heifetz: Estrellita
Gershwin/Dushkin: Short Story
Gershwin/Heifetz: 3 Preludes
Joplin/Perlman: The Easy Winners
arr. Heifetz: Deep River
Foster/Heifetz: Jeanie with the Light Brown Hair
Foster/Heifetz: Old Folks at Home
Gershwin/Heifetz: Porgy and Bess Suite
Leila Josefowicz, violinist
John Novacek, pianist

PHILIPS: 289 462 948-2

Messiaen: Theme and Variations

Messiaen: Theme and Variations
Ravel: Sonata in G
Grey: San Andreas Suite (for solo violin)
Salonen: Lachen Verlernt (for solo violin)
Beethoven: Sonata #10 in G, Op. 96
Brahms: Scherzo in c
Leila Josefowicz, violinist
John Novacek, pianist

WARNER CLASSICS: 2564 61948-2

Dimitri Shostakovich

DMITRI SHOSTAKOVICH

Violin Concerto #1 in a, Op. 99
Leila Josefowicz, violinist
Sakari Oramo/City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra
Violin Sonata, Op. 134
Leila Josefowicz, violinist
John Novacek, pianist

WARNER CLASSICS: 2564 62997-2

Browns in Blue

BROWNS IN BLUE

includes:
Novacek: Reflections on Shenandoah
The 5 Browns

RCA RED SEAL: 88697-11322-2

No Boundaries

NO BOUNDARIES

includes:
Novacek: Full Stride Ahead (Rag)
The 5 Browns

RCA RED SEAL: 82876-78719-2

George Antheil: Sonatas for Viloin & Piano

GEORGE ANTHEIL: Sonatas for Violin & Piano

Mark Fewer, violinist
John Novacek, pianist

AZICA: ACD-71263

John Novacek made his debut as soloist in the Brahms Second and took 1785 concertgoers on a wild, exciting ride. Notorious for its difficulty, both for pianist and orchestra, the concerto posed no problems for Novacek. By turns pummeling and caressing the keyboard, he entered into the lengthy discussion between piano and orchestra with ferocious good humor and infectious excitement. Novacek earned the lengthy standing ovation that rewarded his performance - he had grappled with a worthy opponent and proved himself its master. He had entered fully into Brahms’s experience of life itself and acted as a lens for its expression, ably aided and abetted by [Kevin] Rhodes and his SSO colleagues.

THE REPUBLICAN  (Springfield, MA)

Springfield Symphony Orchestra launches 76th season [headline]
Pianist John Novacek made his second appearance with the SSO as soloist in Rachmaninoff’s Concerto No. 1 in F-sharp. Novacek tore into the grand gestures and fusillades of passagework in the concert’s outer movements with dexterity and gusto. He wove filmy, dreamlike textures in the slow movement, engaging in languid romantic dialogs with the strings and a lovely, brief duet with the first bassoon. Novacek rewarded the audience’s appreciation with an encore of his own composition - a rag entitled Intoxication. Played at blinding speed and shot through with clever stride syncopations, the piece was thoroughly intoxicating, and indeed, as dazzling as the Concerto.

THE REPUBLICAN (Springfield, MA)

John Novacek juxtaposes some very serious Mozart with his lighter side. He approaches all of this music with consummate control and grace and a tonal luminosity that serves the composer well. A fine recital, enhanced by excellent sonics.

AMERICAN RECORD GUIDE

Novacek’s contributions cannot be exaggerated. His partnering [with violinist Leila Josefowicz] is at once brilliant and unobtrusive; without slighting any musical values, he underplays handsomely while accomplishing technical feats many pianists can’t even consider: varieties of touch, a huge dynamic range, nuances of statement and the bold use of all his pianistic resources within the parameters imposed by the genre.

LOS ANGELES TIMES

In terms of repertoire, performance and production values, this is a fine release. Novacek possesses a virile, steely technique that matches this material splendidly. Novacek’s style is athletic, but he is certainly capable of poetic playing when it is called for. In short, here is a splendid recital from a pianist well worth keeping an ear open for in the future.

FANFARE

John Novacek performed Rachmaninov's Piano Concerto No. 3. Novacek’s marvelous touch was evident from the start, his flawless legato singing through the piano’s opening theme. A superb technique is required for this most difficult of the Rachmaninov concerti and Novacek displayed his fully along with his unfailing musicality, moving with ease through the concerto’s difficult passage work as well as its simpler themes.

SAN BERNARDINO SUN

[Elliott Carter’s] Sonata was written just before he began writing five decades of the most conceptually and technically challenging repertoire that any major composer has ever put before the public. Expertly performed by pianist John Novacek, the Sonata is a glorious work, though by no means easy listening. It would make a good entry point into Carter’s musical universe.

THE OTTAWA CITIZEN

More than half the 23 rags on ‘Novarags’ are John Novacek’s original compositions or arrangements; at his best, he rivals some of William Bolcom’s superb contributions to this literature. Both the performances and the audio quality are excellent. There’s quite an emotional spectrum here, too, from the wildly irrepressible to the thoughtful and nostalgic, and that toe-tapping impulse you’ll always fine in good ragtime.

THE SEATTLE TIMES

There is hardly a more athletic concerto than the [Prokofiev] Third and that’s saying something. Novacek laid into the keys with a touch of radioactivity, and drove the Scotia Festival Orchestra with furious intensity, playing the syncopated chords in the second movement like a jazz pianist, triggering them off just that split second early that threatens to crack the firmament - and twisting them with gut-wrenching body language to boot.

THE CHRONICLE HERALD (Halifax)

The performance on this CD by violinist Mark Fewer and pianist John Novacek is first rate. Both artists convey the versatility, intensity and dynamism inherent in Antheil’s eclectic style. Fewer and Novacek switch effortlessly from the primal pounding rhythms inspired by Stravinsky, which obviously require much stamina, to the pastiche of ragtime, vaudeville, tango, tin pan alley, fox trot and jazz. With incisive and well-muscled playing, they captivate the difficult effects required in Antheil’s compositions. The range of both instruments are pushed to the limit—hand clusters and glissandi on the piano, and unconventional sound effects, including arpeggiated chords played percussively behind the bridge and non-pitched scratches from the violin. For sheer virtuosity and panache, this recording is a towering achievement.

CHAMBER MUSIC TODAY

Saturday’s concert offered another world premiere, John Novacek’s cello sonata called Sounding Piece. Novacek’s last movement is unusually quiet, as though [the composer] mistrusted the easy thrill of ending with a bang. Novacek’s 35-minute piece with a hectic, assertive cluster of jazzy elements was played with brio by the composer and cellist Michelle Djokic. The stinging dissonances were refreshing, and the hymn-like final movement left in its wake a shared silence as beautiful as any music.

THE TRIBUNE (San Luis Obispo, CA)

A triumphant opening for Mimir Chamber Music Festival
The Mimir Chamber Music Festival pretty reliably warrants a place in The News’ list of the year’s top 10 classical concerts. Thursday night’s all-Beethoven program has to be a shoo-in for 2012. Novacek didn’t let a note go by on auto-pilot. The piano darted in and out of the ensemble, rose in passion and receded in deference, all to apt effect. There was plenty of playfulness, yet authority where called for.

THE DALLAS MORNING NEWS

A compelling duo runs the gamut from Schumann to Adams [headline]
The duo carried off this London recital with huge panache and professional energy. Theirs has become a seasoned and secure musical partnership; their ways of working together are now completely attuned. [Leila Josefowicz] has the freedom to be impulsive, explosive, coquettish, to go anywhere. [John Novacek] can support, change the backdrop, challenge and provoke her. It was a compelling performance from first note to last.

THE ARTS DESK (London, UK)

This recording [Chausson Concert in D for Violin, Piano & String Quartet] is from now on the new reference point, along with Perlman, Bolet and the Juilliard.

SCHERZO Magazine

9/1/2023 (7:30pm)

MIMIR CHAMBER MUSIC FESTIVAL (Australia)

Hanson Dyer Hall, Ian Potter Southbank Centre (Melbourne)

Shostakovich: Piano Quintet
Schoenfield: Café Music
with Curt Thompson, violinist
Stephen Rose, violinist
Jun Iwasaki, violinist
Joan DerHovsepian, violist
Brant Taylor, cellist

9/3/2023 (4pm)

MIMIR CHAMBER MUSIC FESTIVAL (Australia)

Hanson Dyer Hall, Ian Potter Southbank Centre (Melbourne)

Esmail: Piano Trio
Brahms: Piano Quintet
with Stephen Rose, violinist
Curt Thompson, violinist
Jun Iwasaki, violinist/violist
Brant Taylor, cellist
Richard Narroway, cellist

9/30/2023 (7:30pm)

BARRIE CONCERTS (ON, Canada)

Hiway Pentecostal Church

Gilliland: Spirit 20
Stravinsky: L’Histoire du soldat
Ravel: Pièce en forme de Habanera
Martinu: La Revue de Cuisine
Campbell: Poking the Bear
Ellington: C-Jam Blues
Milhaud: Scaramouche
Gershwin: Rhapsody in Blue
with Spirit’ 20
James Campbell, clarinetist
Christian Sharpe, bassoonist
Guy Few, trumpeter
Mark Fewer, violinist
Chloé Dominguez, cellist

10/1/2023 (3&7:30m)

THE LOFT (Sault Ste. Marie, ON, Canada)

Algoma Conservatory of Music

Gilliland: Spirit 20
Stravinsky: L’Histoire du soldat
Ravel: Pièce en forme de Habanera
Martinu: La Revue de Cuisine
Campbell: Poking the Bear
Ellington: C-Jam Blues
Milhaud: Scaramouche
Gershwin: Rhapsody in Blue
with Spirit’ 20
James Campbell, clarinetist
Christian Sharpe, bassoonist
Guy Few, trumpeter
Mark Fewer, violinist
Chloé Dominguez, cellist

10/10/2023 (1:30pm)

MUSIC AT OAKMONT (Santa Rosa, CA)

Berger Center Auditorium

with Alexander String Quartet

10/15/2023 (5pm)

DOYLESTOWN CHAMBER MUSIC GROUP (PA)

private home

R. Schumanm: Kreisleriana
Chopin: Polonaise-fantaisie
C. Schumann: 3 Romances
Rachmaninoff/Novacek: Allegro scherzando (from Piano Concerto #2)

10/21/2023 (7:30pm)

WHITE ROCK CONCERTS (Surrey, BC, Canada)

White Rock Baptist Church

Elgar: Salut d’amour
Falla: Spanish Dance #1
Ravel: Piano Trio
Chopin: Polonaise-fantaisie
Popper: Polonaise de concert
Wieniawski: Polonaise brillante
Morricone: Cinema paradiso (suite)
Bernstein: West Side Story (suite)
with Intersection
Laura Frautschi, violinist
Kristina Reiko Cooper, cellist

10/26/2023 (7pm)

THE SANDBOX (Sand City, CA)

C. Schumann: 3 Romances, Op. 11
R. Schumann: Kreisleriana
Chopin: Polonaise-fantaisie
R. Schumann: Carnaval

10/28/2023 (7:30pm

FESTIVAL MOZAIC (San Luis Obispo, CA)

Harold J. Miossi Cultural & Performing Arts Center, Cuesta

Elgar: Salut d’amour
Falla: Spanish Dance #1
Ravel: Piano Trio
Chopin: Polonaise-fantaisie
Popper: Polonaise de concert
Wieniawski: Polonaise brillante
Morricone: Cinema paradiso (suite)
Bernstein: West Side Story (suite)
with Intersection
Laura Frautschi, violinist
Christine Lamprea, cellist

10/29/2023 (2&5pm)

FESTIVAL MOZAIC

Libretto Jazz Club (Paso Robles, CA)

11/12/2023 (3pm)

CONCORDIA CHAMBER PLAYERS

Trinity Episcopal Church (Solebury, PA)

Still: Vignettes
Stohl: Sonate dramatique
Fauré: Piano Trio
with Siwoo Kim, violinist
Michelle Djokic, cellist

12/1/2023 (7pm)

BARGEMUSIC

The Barge (Brooklyn, NY)

Schumann: Kreisleriana
Schumann: Carnaval

1/22/2024 (7:30pm)

OLMOS ENSEMBLE (San Antonio, TX)

Shepherd King Lutheran Church

Schroeder: Piano Trio #2
with Jeff Garza, hornist
Eric Gratz, violinist
Brahms: Handel Variations (solo piano)
Mozart: Allegro in g
with Eric Gratz, violinist
Jenner: Trio
with Ilya Shterenberg, clarinetist
Jeff Garza, hornist

2/23/2024 (7:30pm)

FESTIVAL MOZAIC

Templeton Performing Arts Center (CA)

Debussy: Violin Sonata
Szymanowski: 3 Mythes
Tüür: Conversio
Stravinsky: Divertimento
with Leila Josefowicz, violinist

2/24/2024 (7:30pm)

SAN FRANCISCO PERFORMANCES (CA)

Herbst Theatre, War Memorial Building

Debussy: Violin Sonata
Szymanowski: 3 Mythes
Tüür: Conversio
Stravinsky: Divertimento
with Leila Josefowicz, violinist

2/25/2024 (4pm)

UCSB ARTS & LECTURES (Santa Barbara, CA)

Hahn Hall, Music Academy of the West

Debussy: Violin Sonata
Szymanowski: 3 Mythes
Tüür: Conversio
Stravinsky: Divertimento
with Leila Josefowicz, violinist

2/28/2024 (8pm)

LOS ANGELES PHILHARMONIC COLBURN CELEBRITYRECITAL (CA)

Walt Disney Concert Hall

Debussy: Violin Sonata
Szymanowski: 3 Mythes
Tüür: Conversio
Stravinsky: Divertimento
with Leila Josefowicz, violinist

3/9/2024 (7:30pm)

VISTA PHILHARMONIC ORCHESTRA

Bruce Hangen, conductor
Groton Hill Music Center Concert Hall (MA)

Brahms: Piano Concerto #2

4/14/2024 (3pm)

CHICAGO SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA (IL)

Mandell Hall, University Theater

Haydn: Piano Trio #39
with Qing Hou, violinist
John Sharp, cellist
Bartók: Contrasts
with John Yeh, clarinetist

4/20/2024 (7:30pm)

ANDERSON SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA (IN)

Richard Sowers, conductor
Paramount Theatre

Rachmaninoff: Piano Concerto #2

5/7/2024 (7pm)

COLORADO COLLEGE SUMMER MUSIC FESTIVAL

Packard Hall (Colorado Springs)

with Intersection
Laura Frautschi, violinist
Kristina Reiko Cooper, cellist

5/27-6/9/2024

SCOTIA FESTIVAL OF MUSIC (Halifax, NS, Canada)

6/14-21/2024

COLORADO COLLEGE SUMMER MUSIC FESTIVAL (Colorado Springs)

6/22-30/2024

ST. LAWRENCE STRING QUARTET CHAMBER MUSIC SEMINAR

Stanford University (Palo Alto, CA)

7/1-12/2024

MIMIR CHAMBER MUSIC FESTIVAL (Fort Worth, TX)

PepsiCo Recital Hall, Texas Christian University

7/17-27/2024

FESTIVAL MOZAIC (San Luis Obispo, CA)

8/24/2024

MIMIR CHAMBER MUSIC FESTIVAL (Australia)

Hanson Dyer Hall, Ian Potter Southbank Centre (Melbourne)

9/21/2024

WIGMORE HALL (London, UK)

Debussy: Violin Sonata
Szymanowski: 3 Mythes
Tüür: Conversio
Stravinsky: Divertimento
with Leila Josefowicz, violinist

3/8/2025 (7:30pm)

SAN LUIS OBISPO SYMPHONY (CA)

Andrew Sewell, conductor
Harold Miossi Hall, Performing Arts Center

Brahms: Piano Concerto #2

5/4/2025

CHAMBER MUSIC SOCIETY OF BETHLEHEM (PA)

with Intersection
Laura Frautschi, violinist
Kristina Reiko Cooper, cellist

Mozart: Rondo in a, K. 511
Laural Heights United Methodist Church (San Antonio, TX)
January 25, 2021

Novacek: Intoxication Rag
The Colburn School (Los Angeles)
November 18, 2009

Novacek: 4th Street Drag
The Colburn School (Los Angeles)
November 18, 2009

Schubert: Piano Sonata in c, D. 958 (mvt. II: Adagio)
The Colburn School (Los Angeles)
November 18, 2009

Liszt: Liebestraum #3
studio recording (2000)

Mozart: Piano Sonata #9 in D, K. 311 (mvt. I: Allegro con spirito)
studio recording (2000)

John Novacek’s YouTube Channel