Luka Juhart is musician, accordion player and music teacher. There is a determination, a stubborn conviction even, in everything he does. For a number of years now, he has been tirelessly devoted to collaborating with contemporary composers, commissioning their new works, entering into a creative dialogue with them, producing to date, either alone or in various ensembles, over 40 premieres of new pieces.
He regularly collaborates with Uroš Rojko, with whom he plays also in the Quo Vadis Trio, and he has an on-going artistic liason with Vinko Globokar. As a soloist, he performed not least in two of Globokar’s monumental pieces Radiographie d’un roman (Donaueschingen, SWR Sinfonieorchester Baden-Baden und Freiburg), and Der Engel der Geschichte (Slovene Philharmonic Orchestra under Diego Masson). Moreover, over the last few years, Globokar’s demanding and before then only rarely performed Dialog über Luft has become the most frequently played piece on Juhart’s repertoire, his interpretation endowing it with new life.
Besides these two composers, Juhart also regularly collaborates with Thomas Larcher, Claus-Steffen Mahnkopf, Eduard Demetz, Klaus Huber, Bojana Šaljič Podešva, Vito Žuraj, Matej Bonin, Volker Heyn, Arturo Fuentes and numerous other composers. These “sound encounters” have been well documented on CD. In 2010 Zavod Sploh and l’innomable records brought out his CD Dialog with compositions of five contemporary authors. His interpretations have later found their way into the compilation of recordings from the Donaueschingen Festival brought out by NEOS, Eduard Demetz’s album and into the selected performances from the Belgian festival Transit.
All of this, however, is not a simple matter of specialization. His in-depth approach to contemporary sound is more than a case of exploiting a repertoir niche. Today still, for example, he regularly plays Baroque music, something that he motivates also by his concern for the culture of playing, saying how he might in the long run lose the knack for detailed articulation and phrasing if he were to play only contemporary music. So, throughout his studies he attended classes and master courses with specialists in old music, with harpsichord and organ players, viola da gamba players and conductors, and to this day he plays such music regularly with, for example, Camerata Zurich, Thomas and Patrick Demenga, Christoph Bossert and Volker Jacobsen.
His approach to contemporary music in any case forswears any closure, and as an accordionist he has never operated merely in the space prescribed by the institution of Central European music tradition. He has already delved into contemporary free improvisation, a musical undertaking that transposes a musican trained to render written-down music perfectly into entirely unpredictable situations, confronting him with hitherto unknown risks. Part of his opting out from music specialization is also his interest in composition, out of which, in 2013, the piece hrUP for accordion emerged, so far Juhart’s only excursion into composition.
Interestingly diverse also are the institutions and spaces where Luka Juhart delivers his work and the work of contemporary composers. He has played in renowned concert halls, such as the Royal Albert Hall, Wiener Musikverein and Tonhalle in Zurich. But even so, he is one of those instrumentalists, who seem to be growing in number, who do not tie their music aesthetics and the traditional undergirdings of their playing exclusively to traditional environments and spaces of music art.
His first album Dialog was thus not released by one of the classical music record companies, but by “Zavod Sploh” and “l’innomable”, whose focus is primarily on free improvised music close to sound environments propagated by the underground. We have heard him play also in the series of improvisation concerts “Confine aperto” and the Festival of Sound Arts “EarZoom”.
He had performances at important European festivals such as: BCC Proms, Klangspuren Schwaz (Austria), Warsaw Autumn, Transit in Leuven (Belgium), November Music at the Dutch ’s-Hertogenbosch, alongside the collaborations with orchestras. Juhart also played with the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra, Vienna Radio Symphony Orchestra of ORF, Munich Chamber Orchestra, RSO Saarbrücken, Mozarteumorchester Salzburg, Windkraft ensemble and Ensemble Aventure. He also gives lectures for composers and students of the accordion: he has given workshops at various conservatories and academies, mostly in Central and Northern Europe. Since 2012, he has been lecturing at the Academy of Music in Ljubljana, since 2014 as a docent.
He studied at State Academy of Music in Trossingen (Germany) in the class of Prof. Hugo Noth, whom he joined after his finals at the music gymnasium in Maribor with Prof. Andrej Lorber. He completed his postgraduate studies in the master class of Prof. Stefan Hussong at the Academy of Music in Würzburg in 2008. Since then he has been constantly commuting between European towns and Slovenske Konjice, where he lives with his wife and two children.