As well as being a published authority on Czech piano music from all eras, Radoslav Kvapil is also a sensitive and skilled pianist, most comfortable and always at his best in the music of his homeland.
Kvapil is a native of Brno and began piano lessons as a young child with Ludvík Kundera of the Brno Academy. Kundera was a student of Janácek, as well as Janácek's successor at the Academy, so Kvapil learned much about that composer's life and work from first-hand sources. His intimate familiarity with and thorough research into Dvorák's music -- sometimes collaborating with Jarmil Burghauser -- led him to make the first recording the complete piano works of Dvorák for Supraphon in the late '60s and to found the International Dvorák Society in 1994. However, Kvapil does not limit himself to the music of just those two composers. In the mid-'90s he recorded eight discs of Czech solo piano music from Vorísek to Suk, but has also made recordings of Chopin, Schubert, Czech chamber music, and piano concertos. In the 2005, Regis began reissuing some of Kvapil's releases, including the anthology of Czech music and one of Dvorák's music played on Dvorák's Bösendorder piano. Many contemporary Czech composers, such as Ctirad Kohoutek and Miloslav Istvan, have also written and dedicated pieces to Kvapil.
Kvapil made his concert debut in 1950 and won the 1958 Janácek Competition, and since then has appeared around the world, from the Rudolfinum in Prague to the Seoul Arts Center, from large concert halls to conservatory recital halls. His performances are noted for the innate feel he has for the rhythms and colors of the Czech music, which he brings out with perfect ease when he plays and which makes the music communicate quickly and effortlessly with audiences. As of the new century, into his sixth decade of performing, Kvapil still travels widely to perform in concerts, at festivals, and to teach master classes.