Ivan Moravec

Biography

Born: November 9, 1930; Prague, Czech Republic  
Although scarcely unknown to a broader audience, Czech pianist Ivan Moravec is considered by many to be a connoisseur's artist. Certainly, his performances are anything but routine, his firm, pearlescent legato reminding some of the great Dinu Lipatti. His singular touch, he has stated on several occasions, was a matter of necessity after an ice-skating fall at age ten that left him with a neck and spine injury. Thus, the intelligent use of his Read more hands formed the basis for a sound decidedly unlike that of any of his younger colleagues. Growing up in a household where music was valued and a constant presence, Moravec began piano lessons at age seven. Since his father was an amateur violinist, the youth was already familiar with chamber works by Mozart, Beethoven, and Brahms and did not have to be forced to practice. The years of WWII were difficult ones, even though public music performances continued. After the war, Moravec made his formal debut, a small recital on a radio broadcast in 1946. He underwent further training with Madame tepánova-Kurzová, the daughter of Professor Kurz who had taught Rudolf Firkusny, before a momentous break materialized in 1957. Moravec was invited to attend Arturo Benedetti Michelangeli's master classes in Arezzo -- and the invitation came from Michelangeli himself. Moravec learned more about surmounting the mechanical reality of his instrument and producing a flowing legato sound from the iconoclastic Italian. Although his lessons at the keyboard were brief, Moravec spent a great deal of time with Michelangeli drinking wine and discussing music. Moravec made his London debut in 1959 and his New York debut in 1964, when he performed with George Szell and his superbly disciplined Cleveland Orchestra. That first New York appearance presaged subsequent American tours through which Moravec developed a following among those who valued musical integrity, beautiful sound, and a devotion to a conservative but full repertory. As one might expect, two Czech composers, Smetana and Dvorák, hold a central position among those he plays regularly. Considered one of the foremost Chopin artists of the day, Moravec also counts Mozart, Beethoven, Schumann, Brahms, Debussy, and Ravel among his other favored composers. A frequent, though reluctant visitor to the recording studio, Moravec has placed on disc many performances prized by discerning listeners. He has expressed his distaste for recording in brief takes, insisting that he is unable to play short stretches for patching. His best work, he feels, is the result of working through an entire work start to finish. It was a non-professional recording, actually, that opened the door to a productive recording career; a friend taped a 1956 Prague recital before leaving Czechoslovakia and passed it about in the West. When a copy came to the attention of the co-founders of the Connoisseur Society, they invited Moravec to come to the United States in 1962 to make the first of what would become a legendary series of recordings. Moravec has also developed a reputation as a piano's best friend. He spends time with a technician in each venue, sharing specific observations about the voicing, encouraging that technician to make adjustments that will enhance the quality of sound not only for his own use, but also for other pianists who will approach it in the future. Read less
Browse 26-35 of 35 Available Recordings
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  • 26.
    Piano Virtuoso
    Label: Hänssler Classic   Catalog: 98125 Release Date: 11/30/1998   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Johann Sebastian Bach,  Frédéric Chopin,  Robert Schumann  ... 
    Performer:  Garrick Ohlsson,  Alfred Brendel,  Ivan Moravec,  Keiko Wakamatsu  ... 
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  • 27.
    Label: Supraphon   Catalog: 3165 Release Date: 11/01/1998   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Frédéric Chopin
    Performer:  Ivan Moravec
    CD: $17.99
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  • 28.
    Label: Supraphon   Catalog: 206 Release Date: 11/01/1998   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Antonín Dvorák
    Performer:  Ivan Moravec,  Vera Soukupová,  Alfred Holecek,  Jindrich Jindrák  ... 
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  • 29.
    Ivan Moravec Plays Mozart, Beethoven & Brahms
    Label: Vai Audio   Catalog: 1096 Release Date: 03/12/1997   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Johannes Brahms,  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
    Performer:  Ivan Moravec
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  • 30.
    Mozart: Piano Concertos No 24 & 25 / Moravec, Marriner
    Label: Hänssler Classic   Catalog: 98955 Release Date: 08/01/1996   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
    Performer:  Ivan Moravec
    Conductor:  Sir Neville Marriner
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Academy of St. Martin in the Fields
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  • 31.
    Ivan Moravec Plays Beethoven
    Label: Vai Audio   Catalog: 1021 Release Date: 09/06/1994   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven
    Performer:  Ivan Moravec
    Conductor:  Martin Turnovsky
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Vienna Musikgesellschaft Orchestra
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  • 32.
    Ivan Moravec Plays Chopin And Debussy
    Label: Vox Box   Catalog: 5103 Release Date: 08/22/1994   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Frédéric Chopin,  Claude Debussy
    Performer:  Ivan Moravec
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    CD: $11.49
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  • 33.
    Dorian Sampler Vol V
    Label: Sono Luminus   Catalog: 90005 Release Date: 08/31/1993   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Johann Sebastian Bach,  John Johnson,  Frédéric Chopin,  Franz Joseph Haydn  ... 
    Performer:  Jean Guillou,  Ivan Moravec,  Antonin Kubalek,  Victor Braun  ... 
    Conductor:  Christoph Perick,  Eduardo Mata
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Baltimore Consort,  Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra,  Rembrandt Trio  ... 
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  • 34.
    Schumann: Concerto For Piano;  Brahms: Concerto 1 / Moravec
    Label: Sono Luminus   Catalog: 90172 Release Date: 07/06/1993   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Johannes Brahms,  Robert Schumann
    Performer:  Ivan Moravec
    Conductor:  Eduardo Mata
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Dallas Symphony Orchestra
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  • 35.
    Chopin: Nocturnes / Ivan Moravec
    Label: Nonesuch   Catalog: 79233 Release Date: 06/25/1991   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Frédéric Chopin
    Performer:  Ivan Moravec
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    CD: $22.99
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