Biographical informationJán Vladimír Michalko through his multiple activities is one of the most exceptional personalities in Slovak culture. He is a distinctive representative of the art of organ interpretation in domestic and international contexts. He regularly takes part in all the organ festivals in Slovakia as well as in significant European musical centres and in the USA.
He was a co-participant in the project for a complete presentation of the works of O. Messiaen in Bratislava (1989); on the occasion of the centenary of C. Franck’s birth, he presented the composer’s complete works in the Concert Hall of Slovak Radio; to mark the 300th anniversary of J. S. Bach’s birth he performed ‘The Art of Fugue’ in Leipzig’s Gewandhaus. The name J. V. Michalko is also connected with Slovak premiéres of the extensive works by P. Eben (Job and The Patmos Lands), M. Dupré (The Way of the Cross), S. Karg-Elert (Passacaglia and Fugue on B-A-C-H). He enthusiastically promotes the works of Slovak composers. He premiéred R. Berger’s four movement work ‘Exodus’, and a substantial part of the works by I. Zeljenka and J. Beneš.
J. V. Michalko has gained recognition for the preservation and promotion of precious historic organs in Slovakia. As chairman of the Union of Concert Artists he organises an annual International Music Festival ‘Slovak Historic Organs’. In cooperation with the publisher Diskant he has documented up to the present on ten CDs the sound of historic organs built by the most significant organ builders who were active in Slovakia.
He is professor of organ playing at the Music and Dance Faculty of the Academy of Performing Arts in Bratislava. In the years 2000 – 2007 he was the dean of this faculty. He has recorded more than 20 CDs (i. a. the complete organ works of C. Franck and J. L. Bella, R. Berger, a selection from I. Zeljenka’s works; he made a CD recording with trumpeter Juraj Bartoš of a selection of compositions by T. Albinoni, M. Reger, H. Tomasi and Ľ. Čekovská).
Apart from interpretation and teaching activities, he works also in the area of publication, scenario and composition (composer of organ music for theatre staging, for performance and documentary films). For the contribution to Slovak music culture he gained the Music Critic Award, the Frico Kafenda Award and the annual Award of the Union of Slovak Composers and Concert Artists.