Libor was born in Prague into a musical family, starting to learn the piano at the age of four with his uncle Miloslav Mikula. Once he had completed secondary school, he continued his studies with Mr Mikula at the Teplice Conservatory. In 1998, post A-levels, Libor trained with Professor Joan Havill at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama in London, where he focused on improving his skills as a soloist. Between 1998 and 2010, he lived in London and performed and taught throughout the UK. He participated in many competitions during this time, winning a range of first prizes and awards such as the John Lill Piano Prize, Tunbridge Wells Young Concert Artist Competition, Dudley International Piano Competition, English Sinfonia Competition, Oxford International Music Competition and Young Concert Artist Trust (YCAT). Libor won the 4th prize at the 2006 AXA Dublin International Piano Competition and has been a Steinway Sons artist since the same year.

He has been awarded a number of scholarships, which enabled him to study in the UK and take part in internships and masterclasses with internationally renowned teachers including Lazar Berman, Alexander Lonquich, John Perry, Dominique Merlet, Michelle Campanella, Julian Martin, Jean Efflam Bavouzet, Murray Perahia, Dmitri Bashkirov and others.

Since 1994 Libor has regularly performed in the USA, Mexico, Argentina, Brazil, Great Britain, Ireland, Spain, France, Italy, Germany, Hungary, Belgium, Malta, Austria, Denmark, Finland, Macedonia, Serbia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, South Africe, Kenya, Zimbabwe, Lebanon and India.

Libor enjoyed his first successes on the stage as a young child but by the age of 25 he had performed at more than 2,000 concerts in major concert halls, among them the Musikhalle in Hamburg, Teatro Colón in Buenos Aires, Kennedy Centre inWashington, Rudolfinum in Prague, Kaufmann Centre in New York, Montpellier in France, Tauromenium Hall in Pretoria, Salle Moliere in Lyon, halls in London, such as the Wigmore Hall, Southbank Centre (Royal Festival Hall a Queen Elisabeth Hall), Barbican Centre, Cadogan Hall, St John’s Smith Square andBlackheath Halls, and in other British cities (Brighton, Manchester, Birmingham and Bristol).

He made his debut with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra in 2009, has performed at London's Barbican Hall with the Prague Philharmonic Orchestra at the Mostly Mozart Festival, and has worked regularly with the Czechoslovak Chamber Orchestra. He has also performed with the Prague Chamber Orchestra, Bohuslav Martinů Philharmonic Orchestra, Hamburger Symphoniker, Philharmonie Südwestfallen, Brighton Philharmonic Orchestra, English Sinfonia, Royal Philharmonic Orchestra and European Union Chamber Orchestra.

In 1994 he was the youngest Czech musician to record a debut CD for PANTON. In 2005 he won the Landor Records competition, which secured him a long-term CD-recording contract. The first recording with works by Ravel, Janáček, Debussy and Martinů was released in 2006. Another recording, featuring Liszt’s Years of Pilgrimage: Italy and Mephisto's Waltz No.1, was received enthusiastically and awarded Editor's Choice by "The Gramophone" magazine.

In October 2007, this CD received the "Diplom d'Honneur" from the Ferenc Liszt Society in Budapest. The recording of J. Brahms' compositions was awarded "Music Choice" in the BBC Music Magazine in August 2008, and the riveting interpretation described as completely new in comparison with the recordings by J. Katchen and S. Richter. Libor’s latest CD was a 2009 recording of F Liszt's Years of Pilgrimage: Switzerland and Consolations, which also received numerous awards and positive reviews.

Since 2014 Libor Nováček has been a professor of piano and chamber music at the Prague Conservatory. From 2015 to 2023 he was also a university professor at the Universität für Musik und darstellende Kunst in Graz, Austria. He has given masterclasses in the USA, Great Britain, Ireland, Austria, Germany, Spain, Italy, Serbia and Lithuania. His students have won numerous awards at international competitions and he is a sought-after teacher who combines piano teaching with the principles of the Alexander Technique. Since 2023, he has collaborated with and been a doctoral student at the Faculty of Pedagogy of Charles University in Prague, where, in addition to his teaching activities, he is engaged in the study and analysis of the piano works by Claude Debussy.


Musical background

My musical background and training is wide and varied and informs both my teaching and my own performing. I began studying the piano in Prague with my uncle, Prof. Miloslav Mikula, a disciple of the renowned Professor Erna Grünfeld of The Prague Conservatoire who created a unique teaching method for young pianists. The method is based on the Russian piano school of Heinrich Neuhaus and incorporates central European teaching traditions.

At eighteen years I entered the Guildhall School of Music & Drama in London under a full scholarship. In London I studied with Professor Joan Havill, whose main training was in the Hungarian school that is based on teaching of Franz Liszt, Jozsef Gát and Béla Bartok. I studied Alexander Technique with the famous Polish/British teacher Nelly Ben-Or and trained in Meditation and Hypnotherapy with Josephine Teague. Masterclasses with international artists including Lazar Berman, Murray Perahia, Dmitri Bashkirov, Alexander Lonquich, and John Perry widened my understanding of interpretation and style.

Over the last fifteen years I have worked with piano students from young beginners to professional pianists with international careers. I advise students preparing for auditions, concerts, and competitions and have given masterclasses in several European countries. During the last eight years, I was a Professor of Piano at the Universität für Musik und darstellende Kunst Graz in Austria and since 2014 I am a Professor at the Prague Conservatoire in the Czech Republic and teach privately.

I enjoy a wide piano repertoire ranging from early Baroque to the late 20th Century, and in the last decade I have specialised in music from the Classical period (Haydn, Mozart, Beethoven), Romantic and Post-Romantic period (especially Liszt and Brahms), Impressionism and the music of Czech composers such as Janacek, Martinu, Dvorak and Smetana.

Teaching Methods

I particularly enjoy working with advanced musicians on musicianship, technique, interpretation, and pedagogical skills.

An understanding of the psychological and physiological side of piano playing and performing is an important side to my work too. I use various forms of meditation and mental preparation and the basic principles of Alexander Technique. In order for students to develop and maximise their musical skills, it is essential to adopt and maintain the correct natural posture in front of the instrument, developing the necessary muscles for a solid piano technique. Muscle tension must be minimised to play with an absolute body freedom, both in daily practice and on the concert platform.

I search for a round, solid and colourful sound, a wide dynamic range, and variety of articulation to aid the tonal shading and development of a legato touch through the transfer of weight from finger to finger, allowing the flow of a continuous ‘cantabile/legato’ melodic line. And an informed use of the pedals adds to clarity of sound and the expressiveness of the music.

A complete musical education requires extensive memorising skills. I employ and teach what I call a “four-layer” memory, which involves several different levels of understanding of the score and the approach to the keyboard: aural memory; finger/muscular memory involving feel/touch and distances (the so-called map of the keyboard), analytical memory (score analysis using harmony and musical form structure) and lastly the visual memory of the score.

My quest as a teacher is to develop the artistry and musicianship of each student, and not only instil in them a deep understanding of the technical side of playing - correct practising habits, healthy use of the body (muscles, arms and fingers) and pedalling - but also of the artistic side - stylistic awareness, compositional styles, emotions, colours and atmosphere. I encourage students to recreate the authentic version of each composition, carefully observing all markings of the score (often researching the composers' autograph manuscripts), understanding the historical background, and searching for the meaning of the piece through careful analysis and adequate sound spectrum.

My approach is personalised to the needs of each student, guiding them to find their own artistic voice and unique musical personality.

Reviews and Quotes

"Beautifully phrased, subtly coloured and acutely characterised, Novacek's playing is outstanding."

"Novacek is deeply sensitive to high-octane drama, playing with an enviable fluency and conviction. He is highly rewarding artist that shows clear textures, warm tonal colours and insightful musicality. His playing captures a reflection and nostalgia at the heart of music...a master of inwardness."

"Libor Novacek gave a spine-tingling and in my experience unsurpassed performance of Mussorgsky’s Pictures at an Exhibition."

"The Czech pianist Libor Novacek’s considerable reputation rests primarily on his Liszt performances, though he is also a superb Brahmsian... This is big-boned playing, very Romantic and covering a huge dynamic and emotional range. The high point comes, however, with Novacek’s performance of the Op 117 Intermezzos, which are heartbreaking in their quiet intensity. Novacek reveals himself a master of high poetry, lyrical beauty, dark and sinister moods and refined shadings."

"Libor Novacek demonstrated his ability to produce a wide spectrum of rich, broad, colourful and resounding sound. Novacek enraptured himself in the music of Brahms’s 3 Intermezzi, thus making time stand still… he showed fearless and flawless touch, phenomenal inspiration and imagination, well-pondered architecture of the large passages and musical form, and often displayed his mastery over extreme technical difficulties."

"The new Liszt CD by Libor Novacek is exceptional...he shows a rare combination of virtuosity and musical intelligence. Novacek emerges as a master of multi-linear articulation, giving independent strands of simultaneous musical material their own identity. He proves himself an artist of distinction, with readings of radiant sensitivity and tantalising understatement."

"Novacek performs Liszt with an exceptional verve and inwardness...he re-creates a rare sense of wonder and interior magic."

"Highly spirited and fresh playing with great stylistic details, precision and spontaneity – such attributes define Novacek´s playing."

"Libor Novacek invokes the spirits of such keyboard giants as Julius Katchen, Sviatoslav Richter and Claudio Arrau. Novacek almost suspends time, such is his concentration and his ability to maintain a steady pulse. He shows himself to be a matchless interpreter of Brahms."


Listen the samples of some of my recordings which are available on iTunes and Amazon.

Liszt – Suisse
F. Liszt:
Anneés de Pélerinage...
J. Brahms:
Capriccio Op. 76, No. 1
J. Brahms:
Intermezzo Op. 117...
F. Liszt:
Mephisto Waltz
B. Martinu:
C. Debussy:
Preludes Feux...

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