Emil Viklicky was born in Olomouc, Czechoslovakia (now the Czech Republic), where in 1971 he graduated from Palacky University with a degree in mathematics. While a student he devoted much time to playing jazz piano. In 1974, he was awarded the prize for best soloist at the Czechoslovak Amateur Jazz Festival, and that same year he joined Karel Velebny's SHQ ensemble. In 1976, he was a prizewinner at the jazz improvisation competition in Lyon, and his composition Green Satin (Zeleny saten) earned him first prize in the music conservatory competition in Monaco, where in 1985 his Cacharel won second prize in the same competition.
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”Combine elements of Bud Powell and Oscar Peterson with a deep infusion of
Moravian soul, and you have Emil Viklicky, the patriarch of Czech jazz piano.”
—Jack Massarik, London Evening Standard
, 10 Dec. 2007
“Emil Viklicky's chiming chords and poignant melodic turns on Moravian
love songs had a Keith Jarrett-like eloquence.”
—John Fordham, Guardian
, 21 Jan. 2007
“Emil Viklicky is one of those European jazz pianists who has
successfully incorporated elements of his indigenous folk culture into jazz.
When he performs his original compositions with their indebtedness to Czech
and Moravian folk forms, a very distinctive and rewarding synthesis occurs