Bruno Vlahek (b. 1986 in Zagreb) is one of the most outstanding Croatian musicians of the young generation. He graduated from the Music Academy in Zagreb in 2005, where he studied piano in the class of Vladimir Krpan. He won the scholarship of the Suiss Government and completed postgraduate studies of piano at the Conservatorium in Lausanne, studying with Jean-François Antonioli. Since 2008/09 he continues his studies at the Hochschule für Musik in Cologne with Vasily Lobanov. As a pianist, he performed in many European countries, at the renowned festivals and collaborated with Croatian and foreign orchestras. He is a laureate of numerous competitions: most recently he won the XIV International piano competition Ricard Viñes in Spain (2008). He is also the winner of the Rector’s Award of the Zagreb University (2004), award of the Croatian Composers’ Society (2005) and Prix Paderewski (2006, Switzerland). He has recorded for broadcasting companies in Croatia, Hungary, Montenegro, Russia and Spain, and Radio Suisse Romande.
He plays organ as well, and he has been developing as a composer since 2004. So far he has written around 30 pieces, mostly in the genres of chamber, vocal and soloist music. His music is based on the neoclassicism, often combined with jazz and pop music idioms. His pieces have been performed in important venues in Croatia (Vatroslav Lisinski Concert Hall, Croatian Music Hall – HDZ, Preporodna dvorana in Zagreb, Croatian National Theatre in Split), in Gasteig hall in Munich, Foerster Hall in Prague, Wiener Saal in Salzburg, Beethovensaal in Vienna, in Lausanne, Omsku (Russia), International Festival of Choral Music in Ustí nad Labem (Czech Republic), University of Maracaibo (Venezuela), at the 45th International Review of Music in Pula (Croatia), etc. He is the prize winner of the competition organised by the Ministry of Culture of the Republic of Croatia (for his Sonata for two pianos, 2007). He is the recipient of the Scholarship awarded by the Croatian Academy of Sciences and Arts.
Jazz toccata, composed in 2005, belongs to the category of short virtuoso pieces for piano, and it demands a considerable level of technical expertise from the performer. It is very lively and virtuoso in character and its rhythm is inspired by jazz music and neoclassicism of Igor Stravinsky. It is built in three parts – it begins in medias res, with a pregnant motive accompanied by syncopated rhythms. The middle section brings a moment of relief in quasi-improvised progressions of chords. The final part is the modified reprise of the beginning and it leads the piece towards the brilliant conclusion.