Bio picture

      Petr Pavel Kepka is one of the finest representatives of the Czech Organ School with more then two hundred years of tradition. He was born in 1957 in the Czech Republic (former Czechoslovakia) and has become an organist, pianist, composer, conductor and musical theorist with international credentials. He began the study of piano at the age of seven and organ at the age of twelve under Prof. Karel Hrubis (founder of the Electronic Organ School in Eastern Europe). He then studied under Prof. Petr Sovadina (winner of Leipzig International Bach Organ Competition and winner of Prague Spring, The International Organ Competition), Prof. Milan Slechta (leader of The Czech Organists School) and Prof. Jaroslav Tuma (winner of International Competition in Organ Improvisations in Holland). In 1970 Petr Pavel Kepka was awarded for best performance at international competitive concert in Gera Eastern Germany for Brahms Rhapsody G-minor Op.79 No.2 and Chopin Revolutionary Etude Op.10 No.12 in C-Minor. He finished his piano studies under Anna Žáčková a student of famous Czech pianist and teacher Ivan Moravec, who had studied with Ilona Štěpánová-Kurzová, daughter of Vilém Kurz and Arturo Benedetti Michelangeli. He continued his education in music theory and conducting under Prof. Ivan Kurz (leading composer of contemporary music in Europe) and Prof. Josef Macenauer (conductor of The State Opera House). As a student at the Charles’ University in Prague he received the honor of Laureate at the Organ Competition in Prague and the International Competition of Young Musicians in Opava in the early eighties. During his studies he recognized the power of pipeless organs that utilize sound tracking and sampling technology and at the same time he became familiar with a wide range of classical organs of various tonal and historical mechanical designs. After graduation he enhanced his skills by attending Organ Master Courses in Leipzig, Germany. His interest in church music and choir conducting brought him to several classes taught by Prof. Bohumil Korejs (leading authority in Gregorian chant at Theological Faculty in Prague).

      He assumed his post of Organist and Music Director at the Cathedral of St. Bartholomew in Plzen in 1989, where as an innovative choral conductor he built up a new ecumenical choir from many churches and expanded its repertoire to a wide variety of musical styles. His performance of his Baptismal Mass became a musical event of the year. During his last years in Czechoslovakia he concentrated on conducting a local symphonic orchestra. His last work in Europe was Mozart’s Requiem. As organ recitalist he soon captivated the audience with his uncommon musical interpretations and performed in many of the great cathedrals and concert halls nationwide.

      Since his arrival to Vermont in 1990 he has gained wide-spread admiration for performances on both classical organs and synthesizers. He has worked as organist and choir director in several Catholic and Episcopal churches in Vermont and New York. Petr distinguished himself as a composer by the world premier of his Fugue G minor for flute, oboe, English horn and harpsichord that took place at Trinity Church in Shelburne during the Pentecost Mass in 1995. A year later it was also Trinity Episcopal Church in Shelburne where he founded an ensemble “Bis! Bis!” that performed classical concerts for local residents and the community center at Wake Robin in Shelburne.

      Computer literacy and a strong technical knowledge of sequencer programming made an impact on his distinguished artistic career. He has composed numerous works of contemporary church, vocal and chamber orchestra music. In 1993-1994 he played an active part in developing and implementing an interactive teaching method for Clavinova pianos, working closely with Contois Music, Inc. as sequencer programmer and composer. Petr owns a company LAUDATE, that specializes in printing old Czech organ music, English translation and publishing of European Christmas carols, contemporary music arrangement, sequencer programming, video production and sound tracking. Teaching music and music theory has been a passion for him since the days he himself was still a student. He is currently very active in giving private piano lessons to children and adults.