John Novacek
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John Novacek

Pianist JOHN NOVACEK regularly tours the Americas, Europe and Asia as solo recitalist, chamber musician and concerto soloist; in the latter capacity he has presented over thirty concerti with dozens of orchestras.

John Novacek’s major American performances have been heard in New York City’s Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts’ Avery Fisher Hall and Alice Tully Hall, 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’ Dorothy Chandler Pavilion, Hollywood Bowl and Royce Hall, while international venues include Paris’ Theatre des Champs-Elysées, Salle Gaveau and Musée du Louvre, London’s Wigmore Hall and Barbican Centre, as well as most of the major concert halls of Japan. 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, Ravinia, Seattle, SummerFest La Jolla, Wolf Trap, BBC Proms (England), Braunschweig (Germany), Lucerne, Menuhin and Verbier (Switzerland), Majorca (Spain), Sorrento (Italy), Stavanger (Norway), Toulouse (France) and Sapporo (Japan). He has also made his debut with the Orquesta Filarmónica de la Ciudad de México.

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.

John Novacek is a much sought-after collaborative artist and has performed with Joshua Bell, Matt Haimovitz, Leila Josefowicz, Cho-Liang Lin, Yo-Yo Ma, Truls Mork, 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 Intersection, a piano trio that includes violinist Kaura Frautschi and cellist Kristina Reiko Cooper. Mr. Novacek has also given numerous world premieres and worked closely with composers John Adams, John Harbison, Jennifer Higdon, George Rochberg, 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, where his instructors were Peter Serkin in piano and Felix Galimer 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, Nonesuch, Arabesque, Warner Classics, Sony/BMG, IBS Classical, Koch International, 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.



Concerto #1 in d, BWV 1052


Concerto, Op. 38


Concerto for 2 Pianos


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")


Chamber Concerto for Piano, Violin & 13 Wind Instruments


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


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


Le Tombeau de Librace


Nights in the Gardens of Spain


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


Interplay (1943)


Concerto in a, Op. 16


Suite for Violin, Piano & Small Orchestra


Concerto #1 in E-flat


Rhapsodie espagnole


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


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


Concerto #3 in C, Op. 26


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


Concerto in G


Carnival of the Animals


Concerto in a, Op. 54


Concerto #1 in c, Op. 35


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)
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
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
FARRENC Piano Quintet #1 in a, Op. 30
FAURÉ Piano Quartet #1 in c, Op. 15
Piano Quintet #2 in c, Op. 115
FIBICH   Quintet in D, Op. 42 (piano, violin, cello, clarinet, horn)
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   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 Trio in C, K. 548
Piano Quartet #1 in g, K. 478
Piano Quartet #2 in E-flat, K. 493
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)
SCHOENFIELD   Café Music (piano trio)
SAINT-SAËNS   Romance, Op. 27 (violin, piano, harmonium)
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
SMETANA   Piano Trio in g, Op. 15
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


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


Great Mozart Piano Work


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


Great Mozart Piano Work


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


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




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




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


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


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


Jennifer Higdon: Summer Shimmers

JENNIFER HIGDON: Summer Shimmers

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


John Adams: Road Movies

JOHN ADAMS: Road Movies

Leila Josefowicz, violinist
John Novacek, pianist

NONESUCH: 79699-2

Patrick Zimmerli: Piano Trios


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


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



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


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


Novacek: Reflections on Shenandoah
The 5 Browns

RCA RED SEAL: 88697-11322-2

No Boundaries


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.


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.


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.


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.


[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.


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.


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 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.


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.


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.


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

9/24//2021 (5:30pm)


Trinity United Methodist Church (Los Osos, CA)

Rachmaninoff: Cello Sonata
with Robert deMaine

9/25//2021 (5pm)


The Monday Club (San Luis Obispo, CA)

Schubert: Piano Trio #1
with Scott Yoo, violinist
Robert deMaine, cellist

9/26//2021 (2pm)


Harold J. Miossi Cultural & Performing Arts Center, Cuesta College (San Luis Obispo, CA)

Rachmaninoff: Cello Sonata
Schubert: Piano Trio #1
with Scott Yoo, violinist
Robert deMaine, cellist

9/29/2021 (7pm)

SANDBOX (Sand City, CA)

Harold J. Miossi Cultural & Performing Arts Center, Cuesta College (San Luis Obispo, CA)

J.S. Bach: Prelude & Fugue #4 in c#, BWV 873
Beethoven: Piano Sonata #31
Brahms: Variations & Fugue on a Theme of Handel

10/22/2021 (7pm)


The Barge (Brooklyn, NY)

J.S. Bach: Prelude & Fugue #4 in c#, BWV 873
Beethoven: Piano Sonata #31
Brahms: Variations & Fugue on a Theme of Handel

3/6/2022 (5:30pm)


Victor Borge Hall, Scandinavia House (NYC)

Duo-Recital with Kristina Reiko Cooper
Ikenouchi: Ballade
Bekku: Cello Sonata



Packard Hall (Colorado Springs)

Antheil: Violin Sonata #1
Jobim: Águas de marco
theatre piece (world premiere)
with Mark Fewer, violinist
Idris Goodwin, breakbeat poet

5/20/2022 (8pm)
5/21/2022 (8pm)


Peter Bay, conductor
Dell Foundation Hall, The Long Center for the Performing Arts

Gould: Interplay
Gershwin: Rhapsody in Blue

5/7/2023 (3pm)


Foy Concert Hall, Moravian College
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