- official biography -
Born into a family of musicians, pianist Jan Jiracek von Arnim was described by BBC Music Magazine as one of the leading pianists of his generation.
He won the first prize at the Steinway Competition in Hamburg at age ten, and made his formal debut the following year in his hometown of Hannover (Germany), performing a piano concerto by Mozart. Mr. Jiracek has since performed extensively throughout Europe, including recitals at the Herkulessaal Munich, Philharmonie Berlin, Steinway Hall London, Salle Cortot Paris, Palau de la musica Barcelona, Tonhalle Zurich, Konzerthaus Vienna, Musikverein Vienna, Musikhalle Hamburg and the Gewandhaus Leipzig, as well as orchestral appearances with the Berlin and St. Petersburg Philharmonics, Cologne Chamber Orchestra, Vienna Chamber Orchestra and the Northern Sinfonia of England.
A top prize winner at the Busoni Competition (Italy) and Maria Canals Competition (Spain), Jan Jiracek von Arnim was one of the winners of the Tenth Van Cliburn International Piano Competition (USA). Following his success at the Cliburn Competition, he was invited to join the roster of Community Concerts, resulting in more than 80 performances throughout the United States. He received special honors and awards for his interpretations of music by Ludwig van Beethoven and Olivier Messiaen. Recent engagements included recitals at the Tilles Center at Long Island University, the University of Vermont Lane Series, and Spivey Hall in Atlanta. He also performed with the Washington Chamber Orchestra at the Kennedy Center in Washington D.C., the Riverside Symphony at the Lincoln Center in New York and with the Fort Worth Symphony Orchestra at Bass Performance Hall. Jan Jiracek von Arnim has been featured on several European radio and television stations, including ZDF, BBC, SFB Berlin, Deutschlandradio, Radio Hilversum, Radio Stockholm, and Radio France, and on NDR as a soloist with the NDR Symphony Orchestra.
A graduate of the UdK Berlin, he studied with Hans Leygraf and has performed in masterclasses with Alfred Brendel and Bruno Leonardo Gelber, among others. Jan Jiracek von Arnim gives master classes on a regular basis in North America, Asia and Europe. He was appointed professor for piano at the Universität für Musik und darstellende Kunst Wien in 2001, making him the youngest tenured professor in the history of that school. Mr. Jiracek von Arnim is frequently invited as a judge at international piano competitions, e.g. the "London International Piano Competition", the “Busoni International Piano Competition” and the "Tchaikovsky International Piano Competition for young musicians". Since 2011, he is the Artistic Director and Chairman of the “International Beethoven Piano Competition Vienna”, one of the most prestigious music competitions worldwide.
- selected reviews -
NEW YORK TIMES
Just as the quadrennial Van Cliburn International Piano Competition was heading into its final weekend in Fort Worth, a star of the 1997 Cliburn, Jan Jiracek, turned up at Alice Tully Hall to give a dazzling performance of the Liszt E flat major Concerto with the Riverside Symphony. Mr. Jiracek was a favorite among critics and other music professionals as well as with the audience in 1997, and he was the clear winner in an informal press room poll, but the jury apparently thought otherwise. That he was not awarded one of the top three prizes seemed proof that the mechanisms for selecting the most original and exciting players in competitions are fatally flawed. Mr. Jiracek seems none the worse for the experience. His fresh, buoyant account of the Liszt on Thursday evening created the illusion that this showpiece is a greater work than it is. That isn't to say that he ignored the showiness. In the opening bars he produced as grand a sound as one could want and showed that the flair for dramatic phrasing that was his hallmark in 1997 remains a central part of his arsenal. Nor did he skimp on the fireworks in the finale. But there was more than that. Mr. Jiracek knows when and how to let drama melt into lyricism, or to transform a solid wall of piano sound into a texture of crystalline clarity. And his reading of the Allegro vivace was crisp, spirited and enlivened by a subtle humor.
LOS ANGELES TIMES
Jiracek possesses a muscular, broad, colorful technique, makes music with great spontaneity and communicates strongly with his listeners. His program showed his strenghts, his impeccable taste and his love of music.
DIE WELT (GERMANY)
A Young Majesty at the Piano
Germany’s man at the piano, Jiracek joins the ranks of a new generation of pianists who do not need to fear comparison with pianists of the past.
BBC MUSIC MAGAZINE, "WHO IS WHO IN MUSIC"
A forceful, mature personality with a formidable technique and playing of emotional depth.
THE HERALD (SOUTH AFRICA)
A captivating performance. Right from the opening bars Jiracek captivated his audience by exemplary clarity, dynamic restraint and equal attention given to both thematic lines and accompaniment figures. Even more important, however, was an interpretation that convincingly elucidated the compositional logic and coherence of the work. A truly sensational concert
“The marvelous Jan Jiracek von Arnim thrilled the world so greatly when we first heard him and he is continuing his brilliant career both in the United States and abroad.”
— VAN CLIBURN