Tomas Karpisek

double bass, composer

Tomáš Karpíšek is embarking on a career as both double bass player and a composer.

He grew up in the musical environment of his family. He started studying the double bass at the Pilsen Conservatory, but graduated at the International Conservatory in Prague with MgA. Petr Ries (co-principal double bass in the Czech Philharmonic). Then he continued at the Academy of Music and Performing Arts in Prague under Prof. Jiří Hudec (principal double bass in the Czech Philharmonic, Professor at the Academy in Prague, Fellow RNCM Manchester), where he has finished his bachelor. He is currently studying his Master Degree at HfM Freiburg with Prof. Božo Paradžik. Beside his major -classical double bass he devotes himself to jazz double bass as well and at HfM Freiburg has regularly lessons with famous German jazz bass player Dieter Ilg.

Between 2012 – 2014 was a member of the Orchestral Academy in the Czech Philharmonic. Here he played under the baton of remarkable conductors such as Jiří Bělohlávek, Manfred Honeck, Herbert Blomstedt, Marin Alsop, Semyon Bychkov etc. He also took part in a recording project of Complete Symphonies by A. Dvořák for Decca Records and the Czech Television. He finished his two years participation in June 2014 with a tour with the orchestra to Asia.

Since September 2015 to July 2016 he was a member of SWR Sinfonieorchester Baden-Baden and Freiburg where he held the position of Praktikant / Internship.

Tomáš Karpíšek extended his musical education with an Erasmus scholarship at the Royal Academy of Music in London. Here he studied under the tuition of Prof. Graham Mitchell (principal English National Opera) and Prof. Dominic Seldis (principal Royal Concertgebow Orchestra, Amsterdam). He also studied baroque double bass with Prof. Chi-Chi Nwanoku MBE (principal Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment). Here, at the Royal Academy of Music, he participated in masterclasses given by Matthew MacDonald (principal double bass Berlin Philharmonic) and Joel Quarington and also took part in many orchestral projects under the leadership of Maxim Vengerov, Edward Gardner, Oliver Knussen and Sir Mark Elder. The climax of his orchestral experiences in London was a performing of Britten’s War requiem in the Royal Festival Hall under Marin Alsop.

While studying, Tomáš Karpíšek obtained many prizes in national or international competitions: e.g. - 1st Prize in Inter-Conservatories Competition (2011, Prague) or 1st Prize in the International Franz Simandl Double Bass Competition (2008, Blatna, Czech Rep.). Most recently he won 3rd place in the internal Double Bass Prize at the Royal Academy of Music. He also took part in many international double bass masterclasses and conventions with players such as Josef Niederhammer, Božo Paradžik, Duncan McTier, Veit-Peter Schüssler, Jiří Hudec, Miloslav Jelínek (etc). 

He works with many orchestras and chamber music groups, such as the Pilsen Philharmonic and Musica Bohemica, and has regularly participated in the International Music Festival Kutna Hora, Czech Rep., (2012, 2013, 2014 and 2015). Beside classical music he is also interested in jazz and folk music. In September 2015 he played with his colleague cellist Eduard Šístek recital in Bayern at Max Reger Tage Festival.  

Tomáš Karpíšek began studying composition at the Pilsen Conservatory with Prof. Jiří Bezděk, Ph.D. He took part in International Composition Masterclass in Kroměříž, (CZE) - PostFest 2010. He received 3rd prize for his Sonata for Flute and Piano in the International Composition Competition Generace, 2010, and his Suite for Double Bass Solo No. 1 – ‘Liturgical’ was published in 2014 by Recital Music (UK). His compositions have been performed at many festivals in the Czech Republic (e.g. Days of Contemporary Music in Prague 2012, 2013 and 2014, Smetana Days Festival in Pilsen) and abroad (Max Reger Tage 2015 (DE), Teppo-Fest 2016 (UK), Germany, Switzerland, Slovakia).

His suite for symphony orchestra The Tales of Don Quixote was premiered and recorded by Pilsen Philharmonic in May 2015. His newest orchestral work for large symphony orchestra fantasy Mže – Amnis Iter for large symphonic orchestra had the world premiere in Pilsen in October 2015, where the Youth Orchestra of Europe performed it under the baton of Norman Gamboa on the occasion of project 5 RIVERS within Pilsen – European City of Culture 2015. This project received in September 2016 the Artistic prize of City of Pilsen for its artistic contribution to citi´s culture. 

His future highlights include solo concert at the BASS2016 Prague double bass convention or commissioned piece for solo bass from The Recital Music publishing. His Suite for Double Bass Solo No. 1 was appointed as a compulsory piece at the F. Simandl International Double Bass Competition 2016 (CZE).

In September was appointed as a Solo Double Bass for the newly-born project - Central Bohemian Philharmony of Youth. Since September 2016 is Tomáš Karpíšek also a mener of Czech Chamber Music Academy.  

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Short Profile

NameKarpíšek, Tomáš
Date of Birth1991-08-07
Born inCzechia, Europe
Main languageCzech
Additional languages English,  German 
attended UniversitiesAcademy of Music in Prague, Royal Academy of Music in London, Hochschule of Musik in Freiburg, Conservatory in Pilsen (Composition)
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2015-09-29 Der neue Tag, Weiden
"Er spielt seine Musik absolut authentisch und suggestiv-überzeugend."
(Peter Donhauser)
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