The harpsichordist and conductor Václav Luks founded the Prague baroque orchestra Collegium 1704 and vocal ensemble Collegium Vocale 1704 on the occasion of the project Bach — Prague — 2005. In 2008, Music Bridge Prague — Dresden began, bringing together the two cities’ wealth of cultural traditions, which in 2012 led seamlessly to a second Collegium 1704 concert series at the Rudolfinum in Prague. In 2019 Collegium Vocale 1704 launched a series of chamber concerts, continuing since 2021 at Vzlet, the Prague palace of culture.

Recently, it has received invitations from such prestigious presenters and concert halls as Salzburger Festspiele, Berliner Philharmonie, Theater an der Wien, Wiener Konzerthaus, BOZAR in Brussels, Chopin Festival in Warsaw, Elbphilharmonie in Hamburg, Zaryade in Moscow, and it is an ensemble-in-residence at the Opéra Royal in Versailles and Bachfest Leipzig. In May 2021, Collegium 1704 opened the international music festival Prague Spring with a performance of Smetana’s My Country.

In the field of opera, Collegium 1704 followed up on the international successes of its production of Handel’s Rinaldo with performances of Mysliveček’s L’olimpiade, nominated for the 2014 International Opera Awards, and of Vivaldi’s Arsilda in modern-era world premiere. In February 2022 presented Händel ́s opera Alcina directed by J. Heřman in co-production with ND Brno, Opéra Royal de Versailles and Théâtre de Caen.

In 2014, Collegium 1704 collaborated with Bejun Mehta on a DVD of Gluck’s opera Orfeo ed Euridice with the stage director Ondřej Havelka and with Rolando Villazón on the making of the BBC 2 documentary Mozart in Prague. The ensemble recorded music for the director Petr Václav’s upcoming feature film Il Boemo about the life of Josef Mysliveček, to be released in July 2022.

Their recordings are popular with both listeners and music critics (Diapason d’Or, CD of the Month & Editor’s Choice, and nominations for CD of the Year by Gramophone). Among their successful CD recordings have been Mysliveček’s violin concertos, Bach’s B Minor Mass, Zelenka’s Sonatas and Missa Divi Xaverii. Their most important recent achievements include the first complete Czech recording of Handel’s Messiah and a 3-CD with Rameau’s opera Les Boréades, which won the Trophées 2020 and Edison Klassiek awards for the best opera release of the year.

In 2021, the ensemble founded its own online platform UNIVERSO 1704, where it releases premieres of video-concerts that connect exceptional works in top-class interpretations with the genius loci of attractive places in the Czech Republic and Germany.


Václav Luks studied at the Pilsen Conservatoire and the Academy of Performing Arts in Prague, and he furthered his education with the specialised study of early music at the Schola Cantorum Basiliensis in Switzerland.

In 2005 he founded the Prague Baroque orchestra Collegium 1704 and the vocal ensemble Collegium Vocale 1704. Under his leadership, the ensembles have made guest appearances at prestigious festivals, have performed in important European concert halls in such cities as Berlin, Vienna, Salzburg, Brussels, Amsterdam, Warsaw, and London, and have shared the stage with some of the world’s most acclaimed singers including Magdalena Kožená, Karina Gauvin, Vivica Genaux, Sandrine Piau, Philippe Jaroussky, Bejun Mehta, Sarah Mingardo, Adam Plachetka, and Andreas Scholl.

Their recordings have won not only the enthusiastic acclaim of listeners, but also numerous awards from critics including Les Trophées, the Diapason d’Or, and the Preis der deutschen Schallplattenkritik. In May 2021, Václav Luks conducted Collegium 1704 at the opening concert of the Prague Spring International Music Festival.

His activities have played an important role in reviving interest in the music of the Czech composers Jan Dismas Zelenka and Josef Mysliveček and have strengthened Czech- German cultural ties by rediscovering the two countries’ shared musical traditions.

Under his leadership, Collegium 1704 recorded the music for Petr Václav’s documentary Zpověď zapomenutého (Confession of the Vanished) and for his feature film Il Boemo about the life of Josef Mysliveček, for which Václav Luks served as the chief musical consultant. Václav Luks has collaborated on operatic and theatrical productions with such stage directors as Willi Decker, Ursel Herrmann, Louise Moaty, David Radok, Jiří Heřman, J. A. Pitínský, and Ondřej Havelka.

Since 2021 he has been guest conducting the Handel & Haydn Society in Boston, and for the 2022-2025 seasons he is an artist-in-residence of the Kammerakademie Potsdam. Besides working intensively with Collegium 1704, Václav Luks also appears with other acclaimed orchestras in the field of early music such as the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment, the Netherlands Bach Society, the Akademie für Alte Musik Berlin,

Concerto Köln, and La Cetra Barockorchester Basel.
His engagements with modern orchestras include collaborations with the Czech

Philharmonic, the Orchestre Philharmonique de Monte-Carlo, the Norwegian Radio Orchestra, and the Southwest German Radio Symphony Orchestra among others. At a benefit concert for the restoration of the Notre Dame Cathedral, Václav Luks conducted the Orchestre nationale de France, with which he has been appearing regularly since 2019, and the French radio station France Musique devoted five broadcasts of its series Grands interpretes de la musique Classique to him. In June 2022 he was honoured with France’s Ordre des Arts et des Lettres for his significant contributions to culture.