Leon Koudelak

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Leon Koudelak
Leon in Nagoya 2008.JPG
Leon Koudelak in Nagoya 2007
Background information
Born (1961-07-17) 17 July 1961 (age 55)
Krnov, (Moravian-Silesian)
Genres Classical music
Instruments Guitar
Years active 1977 - present
Labels Tyrolis Music (A)[1]
Tyrolis Classic (FL)
Associated acts Liechtensteiner Gitarrenzirkel,[2] Liechtensteiner Gitarrentage (LiGiTa)[3][not in citation given], Thailand Guitar Society,[4] Asia International Guitar Festival & Competition (AIGF),[5] Pattaya Classical Guitar Festival & Competition,[6] Indonesia Guitar Society,[7] Tirana International Guitar Festival & Competition[8]
Website Leonkoudelak.weebly.com

Leon Koudelak is a Czech classical guitarist.

He has toured internationally in most parts of Europe, Asia and the Americas. He inspired the composer Michael Buchrainer to write guitar music.[9] In addition to his concert career,[10] he co-founded the Liechtenstein Guitar Festival (Ligita),[2] the Asia International Guitar Festival (AIGF) in Bangkok[11] and the Pattaya Classical Guitar Festival.[6][12] For the XIV Festival Hispanoamericano de Guitarra, Manuel Zavala y Alonso described him as "La mano santa de la guitarra"[13] ('the holy hand of the guitar'). In 1996 he released a CD with the major guitar solo works by Joaquin Rodrigo.[14] Rodrigo wrote him a letter expressing great enthusiasm after listening to his CD about his interpretation.[15] On the following concert tour, Koudelak played a complete program with works by Joaquin Rodrigo.

Early life and career[edit]

Leon Koudelak and Karl Scheit in Vienna 1981
Leon Koudelak and Julian Bream in Liechtenstein 1985
Leon Koudelak with Leo Brouwer in Havana 1998

In his teenage years, Koudalek studied with guitarists and teachers including Karl Scheit[16] (Koudelak was one of his last students) at the University of Music and Performing Arts, Vienna, at the Zurich University of Music and Arts with Konrad Ragossnig and was one of the few students of Julian Bream in Liechtenstein[17] l.[18] He obtained a Bachelor's degree, a Master of Art Education degree, the Masters of Arts degree and the Magister (degree) in Vienna and Zurich .[19] During his time in Vienna he studied as well Contemporary Music with Roman Haubenstock-Ramati.

Koudelak lived from 1983 to 1986 in Spain, learning with flamenco guitarists the flamenco technique. In that time he became a friend of the flamenco guitarist Merenge de Cordoba. Later he changed from the apoyando technique to a combination of apoyando and sin apoyar.

Shortly after he became a prize winner of the guitar competition Fundación Jacinto e Inocencio Guerrero in Madrid, he was contacted by a Swiss concert agency[20] with which he signed a long-year contract as well an exclusive contract with Tyrolis Music.[15] In 1989 he recorded his first album with Tyrolis Music, Guitar Music from Spain, Mexico and Brazil, and in 1993 the CD Modern Works for Guitar. He performed at music festivals and concerts in Europe, in Germany, Great Britain, Spain, Portugal, Czech Republic and Slovak Republic, Austria, Switzerland, Italy, Belgium, the Netherlands, Hungary, France, Greece or Liechtenstein.[10] He performed premieres in Vienna of works by the composers Roman Haubenstock-Ramati, Karlheinz Stockhausen, and Michael Buchrainer[10]

The 1996 album Joaquin Rodrigo - Guitar Music and the 1997 Pavana Triste were released by Tyrolis Music and led him to music festivals and concert halls.[10]

21st century[edit]

In 2000, after a concert in Bangkok in 2001, he met Woratep Rattana-umpawan and suggested that he found a guitar festival, and offered his help to make the classical guitar popular in Asia. This led to the founding of the Asia International Guitar Festival in Bangkok.[21] After being the artistic director of the LiGiTa (Liechtensteinische Gitarren Tage) over 10 years, Koudelak start to work at the same position in Bangkok for the Asia International Guitar Festival in 2001. In the same year, he recorded in a music studio in Bangkok the CD Exotic Fruits, which was released 2002 by Tyrolis Music and became the CD of the year by the French technical periodical Les Cahiers de la Guitar.[citation needed]

In 2002, he led the premiere of the guitar concert "Evasion 2002 – "Eschner - guitar concert" by Michael Buchrainer with the "Symphony Orchestra Liechtenstein at the Music Festival of Liechtenstein (LiGiTa).[22] In the years 2003, 2006 and 2007 he went back to Europe to perform concerts but stayed based in Asia.

Car accident and respite from excessively touring[edit]

Leon Koudelak (left) with Woratep Rattana-umpawan in Manila 2011

Since end of 2005, Koudelak resides in Thailand, on an extended respite from excessively touring.

In June 2005, on the way from Switzerland to perform a concert in Barcelona, Spain, with his sport car, Alfa Romeo, Koudelak was involved in a car accident with a triple disc herniation. He was immediately flown by helicopter to the Kantonsspital St. Gallen to do a surgical procedure, a spinal cord injury. He recovered within six months and returned to performing in concerts. He founded in 2008, together with Woratep Rattana-umpawan, the Thailand Guitar Society[23] and teaches in Bangkok at Mahidol University (College of Music, Mahidol University) and Silpakorn University[24][not in citation given] and leads his own guitar class at the Thailand Guitar Society, which is attended by students from all parts of the world, mostly from Asia (India, Arabia, Indonesia, Philippines, Thailand, Japan, Singapore, China and Vietnam). In addition to being invited to play at music festivals and other music events in Asia,[10] often with Woratep Rattana-umpawan as guitar duo, he also organizes music festivals in Thailand and acts as artistic director at the Thailand Guitar Society.[25]

Comeback and current work[edit]

In an interview in June 2012 for the Japanese guitar magazin "Homa Dream",[26][27][28][29] In August 2012, Koudelak agreed to cooperate with the Indonesia Guitar Society [30] and was appointed as chairman of the steering committee of the Indonesia International Guitar Festival & Competition.[31] Furthermore, he was included in February 2013, as a member of the Honour Committee for the Tirana International Guitar Festival & Competition (Albania).[32]

His 2013 Europe concert tour started in Brussels at the Brussels International Guitar Festival[33] on 26 April 2013 and ended at the Tirana International Guitar Festival on 25 May 2013.[34]

A concert tour in Asia followed from June until December 2013 with confirmed dates in Bangkok, Jakarta, Tokyo, Kathmandu and Singapore.[10]

Since 2013, Leon Koudelak performs regularly in Europe and Asia and was invited to prestigious guitar festivals like Iserlohn Guitar Symposium in Germany, Forum Gitarre Vienna in Austria, Liechtensteiner Gitarren Tage, Liechtenstein, Moisycos International Music Festival, Italy, Hibernal de Chitara, Bucharest, Romania, Asia International Guitar Festival, Bangkok, Thailand, Pattaya Classical Guitar Festival, Thailand, Indonesia International Guitar Festival, Jakarta, Indonesia, Kathmandu International Guitar Festival, Nepal, Calcutta International Guitar Festival, India, Delhi International Guitar Festival. India.[35]

Honours and awards[edit]

Koudalek is a prize winner of the guitar competition "Fundación Jacinto e Inocencio Guerrero" in Madrid,[citation needed] and received for his artistic performances the Appreciation Award from the Federal Ministry of Education, Arts and Culture (Austria), (Austrian Federal Ministry for Science and Research).[36]

The CD Exotic Fruits, released in 2002 by Tyrolis Music was awarded as "the best CD of the year" by French Technical Periodical "Les Cahiers de la Guitare".[citation needed]

In August 2012, Koudelak was appointed as chairman of the steering committee of the Indonesia International Guitar Festival & Competition.[31] and became 2013 member of the honours committee for the Tirana International Guitar Festival Competition.[32]


Koudelak has an exclusive contract with Tyrolis Music, with whom he has recorded and released eight CDs so far.

  • 1989 Guitar Music from Spain, Mexico and Brazil [37]
  • 1993 Modern Works for Guitar [38]
  • 1996 Joaquin Rodrigo - Guitar Music [39]
  • 1997 Pavana Triste [40]
  • 2002 Exotic Fruits[41]
  • 2005 Leon Koudelak "best of"
  • 2011 Live in Seoul
  • 2011 Pavana Triste (Album new edition)[42]

He recorded works by Dionisio Aguado, Anton Diabelli, Lennox Berkeley, Michael Buchrainer, Antonio José, Maurice Ravel, Joaquin Rodrigo, Joaquin Turina, Carlo Domeniconi, Manuel Maria Ponce, Heitor Villa-Lobos, Roland Dyens, Francisco Tarrega, Jon Lord, David Coverdale, Glenn Hughes, Leo Brouwer, Eduardo Martin and others.


The DVD Leon Koudelak: "Live in Seoul" was released 2008 by the Thailand Guitar Society.[23][43]

  • currently only available in Asia.

The DVD Leon Koudelak: Live in Seoul, in a remastered "10th Year's Anniversary Edition", was released by Tyrolis Classic in February 2011.[44]

On his world tour 2001, a concert in Seoul was recorded and broadcast worldwide by Arirang TV.[citation needed]


  1. ^ "Discography". Leonkoudelak.weebly.com. Retrieved 2014-01-13. 
  2. ^ a b "Der Gitarrenzirkel und die ligita". Gitarrenzirkel.li. Retrieved 2013-12-31. 
  3. ^ "Internationales Gitarrenfestival - 24. Liechtensteiner Gitarrentage ligita vom 2. bis 9. Juli 2016". Ligita.li. Retrieved 2016-12-27. 
  4. ^ Thailand Guitar Society - official homepage. "Thailand Guitar Society". Thailand Guitar Society. Retrieved 2016-12-27. 
  5. ^ "Asia International Guitar Festival & Competition 2013". Thailandguitarsociety.com. 20 January 2013. Archived from the original on 10 November 2013. 
  6. ^ a b "Pattaya International Guitar Festival & Competition 2013". Thailandguitarsociety.com. Archived from the original on 28 October 2013. 
  7. ^ "Chairman of the Steering Committee". Indonesia Guitar Society. 2013-03-13. Retrieved 2014-01-01. 
  8. ^ "Honour Committee". Gfa.al. Retrieved 2014-01-01. 
  9. ^ "Michael Buchrainer - Werkliste". Musikdokumentation-vorarlberg.at. Retrieved 2016-12-27. 
  10. ^ a b c d e f "Tourography". Leonkoudelak.weebly.com. Retrieved 2014-01-10. 
  11. ^ "Asia International Guitar Festival & Competition 2013". Thailand Guitar Society. Archived from the original on 10 November 2013. 
  12. ^ "Third Pattaya Classical Guitar Festival". Pattayapeople.com. Retrieved 2013-12-31. 
  13. ^ [1]
  14. ^ ASIN B000025SRC, Joaquin Rodrigo: Leon Koudelak
  15. ^ a b "Archives". Leonkoudelak.weebly.com. Retrieved 2014-01-10. 
  16. ^ "Karl Scheit | Gitarre-Archiv Österreich". Gitarre-archiv.at. Retrieved 2013-12-31. 
  17. ^ "Internationale Meisterkurse Vaduz > Home". Meisterkurse.li. Retrieved 2014-01-13. 
  18. ^ "Diplomas". Leonkoudelak.weebly.com. Retrieved 2014-01-13. 
  19. ^ "Leon Koudelak - Diplomas". Thailand Guitar Society. Archived from the original on 11 November 2013. 
  20. ^ Čeština. "Hollabolla Kulturmanagement - Liechtenstein Business Database". Lie.bizdirlib.com. Retrieved 2014-01-13. 
  21. ^ "Asia International Guitar Festival & Competition 2014". Aigf.weebly.com. Retrieved 2014-01-10. 
  22. ^ "Michael Buchrainer - Text". Musikdokumentation-vorarlberg.at. Retrieved 2014-01-10. 
  23. ^ a b "Asia International Guitar Festival & Competition 2013". Thailand Guitar Society. Archived from the original on 29 July 2013. 
  24. ^ "Ю╦└Ю╦⌠Ю╦╟Ю╦■Ю╦╦Ю╦Ёю╦╢Ю╦╒Ю╦╡Ю╦┤Ю╦└Ю╦╗Ю╦╡Ю╦╙Ю╦∙Ю╦Ёю╧▄ Ю╦║Ю╦╚Ю╦╡Ю╦╖Ю╦╢Ю╦≈Ю╦╒Ю╦╡Ю╦╔Ю╦╠Ю╦╒Ю╦╗Ю╦╢Ю╦╔Ю╦⌡Ю╦╡Ю╦│Ю╦Ё". Music.su.ac.th. Retrieved 2016-12-27. 
  25. ^ "Concert Guitar Gallery". Thailand Guitar Society. Archived from the original on 10 November 2013. 
  26. ^ [2]
  27. ^ [3]
  28. ^ [4]
  29. ^ [5]
  30. ^ "Indonesia Guitar Society". Indonesia Guitar Society. 2013-05-30. Retrieved 2013-12-31. 
  31. ^ a b "Chairman of the Steering Committee". Indonesia Guitar Society. 2013-03-13. Retrieved 2013-12-31. 
  32. ^ a b "Honour Committee". Gfa.al. Retrieved 2013-12-31. 
  33. ^ "Brussels International Guitar Festival & Competition 2014". Bigfest.be. Retrieved 2013-12-31. 
  34. ^ "Concerts". Gfa.al. Retrieved 2013-12-31. 
  35. ^ "Tourography - Leon Koudelak - Official Homepage". Leonkoudelak.weebly.com. Retrieved 2016-12-27. 
  36. ^ "Diplomas - Leon Koudelak". Leonkoudelak.weebly.com. Retrieved 2014-01-05. 
  37. ^ [6]
  38. ^ [7]
  39. ^ [8]
  40. ^ [9]
  41. ^ [10]
  42. ^ Pavana Triste (new edition) Archived August 12, 2010, at the Wayback Machine.
  43. ^ レオン・クーデラック/ライブ・イン・ソウル2001/Leon Koudelak : Live in Seoul 2001/ギター、DVD Archived July 12, 2011, at the Wayback Machine.
  44. ^ "Videos". Leonkoudelak.weebly.com. Retrieved 2014-01-13. 

External links[edit]