Ivo Kahánek is a performer of extraordinary emotional depth that has earned him a reputation as one of the most impressive artists of the generation. Abroad he is considered a specialist in the interpretation of Czech music.
In 2004 he became the absolute winner of the Prague Spring International Music Competition. He has won numerous awards such as: Maria Canals Piano Competition in Barcelona, Vendome Prize in Vienna, Stiftung Tomassoni Wettbewerb in Cologne, Concertino Praga, etc.
In August 2007 he received an invitation from the BBC Symphony Orchestra to perform at the BBC Proms at London's Royal Albert Hall under the baton of Jiří Bělohlávek, he performed Bohuslav Martinů's Piano Concerto No.4. In November 2014 he made his debut under the baton of Sir Simon Rattle with the Berlin Philharmonic.
Ivo Kahánek regularly collaborates with the Czech Philharmonic. He has appeared as a soloist with the Mahler Chamber Orchestra, Wiener Symphoniker, BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra Glasgow, Tonhalle-Orchester Zurich, Bamberg Symphony, Essener Philharmoniker, WDR Cologne Orchestra and Zurich Chamber Orchestra. He has collaborated with conductors Semyon Bychkov, John Eliot Gardiner, Jakub Hrůša, Andrés Orozco-Estrad, Rafael Payar, Vladimir Ashkenazy, Tomáš Netopil and Andrej Borejka. He performed together with violinist Daniel Hope, cellist Alissa Weilerstein, the Pavel Haas Quartet and the Tetzlaff Quartet, soprano Martina Janková and tenor Pavel Černoch.
Under the Supraphon music label, he has recorded a total of fifteen CDs with works by Fryderyk Chopin, Antonín Dvořák, Leoš Janáček, Bohuslav Martinů, Gideon Klein, etc. His recording of the Piano Concertos by Antonín Dvořák and Bohuslav Martinů with the Bamberger Symphoniker conducted by Jakub Hrůša won him the prestigious BBC Music Magazine Award, BBC Music Magazine's Recording of the Month, Choix de Classique HD, BBC Radio 3 Recording of the Week, the Angel Award in the Classical category, and has been nominated for an ICMA International Award. Ivo has also been awarded the Diapason d'Or and Opera News selections of the month for his album of Bohuslav Martinů Songs with Martina Janková and Tomáš Král. In 2021, he recorded the complete piano works of Antonín Dvořák on 4 CDs, which was also nominated for an ICMA at the end of 2021, received top ratings in Gramophone and Diapason magazines.
Ivo Kahánek is a graduate of the Janáček Conservatory in Ostrava and the Academy of Performing Arts in Prague. He completed a study internship at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama in London and master classes under Karl-Heinz Kämmerling, Christian Zacharias, Alicia de Larrocha, Imogen Cooper, Peter Frankl and other personalities. He is currently an associate professor at the Faculty of Music and Dance of the Academy of Performing Arts in Prague and conducts piano masterclasses at the Summer Music Academy in Kroměříž and the Prague Conservatory Piano Courses.