Lukáš Sommer is a Czech concert guitarist and prominent figure of the younger generation of composers. He studied the guitar and composition at the České Budějovice Conservatoire, the Prague Conservatoire, and the Academy of Performing Arts in Prague. He is the author of a unique guitar recital that comprises more than 30 works and is likened to a time-lapse document. He regularly performs in the Czech Republic and abroad. His compositions enjoy growing popularity in venues around the world (Chicago, Minnesota, Delhi, Manila, Florence, etc.).
The mainstay of his work lies in music for orchestras and chamber ensembles, which is often commissioned by leading artists. He has written pieces for prestigious festivals, such as the Prague Spring, Opera Barga, Festival delle Nazioni, Concerto Bohemia, Concentus Moraviae, Znojmo Music, and others. He draws on the deep tradition of European composition, which he augments with unorthodox approaches. He likes to explore beyond the boundaries of classical music, melding the stylistic strands of ethno, jazz, and classical music.
This extraordinary display of Czech master craftsmanship showcases five magnificent guitars by Czech instrument makers. Lukáš Sommer presents their exceptional quality through the works of eminent composers of Baroque, Romantic, and 20th-century music, further augmented by his own “bespoke” compositions often created in dialogue with the instruments’ makers. The intriguing stories of how each of the guitars came about are aptly illustrated by the beautiful and often untraditionally designed works of artisanship, providing the audience with a profound aural and visual experience.”Guitar Gala” sees Sommer perform on instruments by Richard Hruš, Jan Veselý, Petr Semenec, and Miroslav Pospěch.
As a guitarist, he likes to gauge his audience’s “mood” and formulate a concert programme that creates a cohesive experience for the given place and time, often through improvisation and dialogue with the listeners. He is in for a busy season next year, with major performances including a recital at the Prague Spring and, as a rare accomplishment indeed, his own solo guitar recital at New York’s prestigious Carnegie Hall in May 2020.
Lukáš Sommer – composer: In 2017 he won first prize for La fine del tempo (The End of Time) at the international composer contest Concorso Novaro; the head juror Krzystof Penderecki also accorded the work the Critics Award and the Audience Award.
In 2011 he created the flute concert Letter to My Father as a commission for the Prague Spring, which made him the youngest commissioned composer in the festival’s history. In 2018 he wrote the opera Časoplet (Timeweave) for the Vision 97 Foundation to celebrate the 100th anniversary of Czech independence. His commission for Pavel Šporcl, Gala Violin, was nominated for Contemporary Composition of the Year at the Classic Prague Awards.
Lukáš Sommer’s “time-lapse” original concert project is arousing ever-greater interest both at home and around the world. It is inspired by specific events in his life, often related to his visits abroad. It is more than just a virtuosic display of guitar technique – spiced with flamenco, soul, and jazz, the whole concert is conceived as a personal musical narrative. In “The Soul of the Guitar”, Lukáš Sommer performs on instruments built by Richard Hruša, Petr Semenec, and Strunal Schönbach.