Jiří Kadeřábek was born on April 14, 1978 in Zlín, Czech Republic into an arts-loving family. At the beginning, he was also significantly influenced by the strong and living Moravian folk tradition. He played, sang and, later on, composed jazz, rock and pop music, and also devoted to literature, the visual arts, theatre and film. After moving to Prague, he initially studied mainly non-art composition and piano at the Jaroslav Ježek Conservatory and subsequently solely art composition at the Academy of Performing Arts in Prague, where in 2012 he received a Ph.D. During the time of his studies, he participated in several composition workshops, residencies and private consultations in the Czech Republic, the Netherlands, France, Italy and the USA; most notably, in 2005 he attended a three-month residency for composers at La Sacem in Paris, where he was acquainted with the latest compositional methods and technologies. Studying within an Erasmus scholarship at the Royal Conservatory of The Hague in the 2008/09 academic year served for him to look back on and integrate his previous creative and interpretational experience in multi-genre and multi-media compositions. Upon the invitation and under the guidance of Tristan Murail, he spent the next academic year as a Fulbright Scholar at Columbia University in New York, where he has been given various composing and conducting opportunities since then. In 2016, he took part in a month CEEC Composers’ Field Trip across China which led to composing for ensembles and orchestras of traditional Chinese instruments as well as inspiration by Oriental culture in general.
Kadeřábek’s music, “capturing a peculiarly evocative image” (New York Times), “well crafted and compelling with its playful banter” (New York Arts), “impressive, seriously made and also entertaining” (NY Classical Review), “reminding of cubist paintings by Picasso”, “with the aim of nullification of progression and logical association, the establishment of timelessness” and “almost always revealing some mischievous coup de théâtre, curiously shocking yet at the same time incontrovertibly one with the work” (BBC), has garnered numerous awards and nominations, been commissioned and performed by orchestras and ensembles of such renown as the BBC Symphony Orchestra, Prague Radio Symphony Orchestra, PKF – Prague Phiharmonia, National Theatre in Prague, Center for Contemporary Opera, Slovak Philharmonic Choir, New Juilliard Ensemble, Ostravská Banda, Orchestr Berg, Fourbythree, Sybarite5, Ensemble Montage, Ensemble Calliopée, Prague Modern and Fama Quartet, presented at festivals, including MoMA Summergarden, Prague Spring, Moving Sounds, Music with a View, Trieste Prima, Noorderzon, Ostrava Days and Contempuls, and broadcast by radio and television stations, such as the BBC, Czech Radio, Czech Television, VPRO and OOG (the Netherlands), Magyar Rádió and Radio Slovenija. In 2012, Kadeřábek’s music represented the Czech Republic at the International Rostrum of Composers in Stockholm and in 2018 at the ISCM World Music Days in Beijing.
Kadeřábek’s opera No Man, commissioned by National Theatre in Prague, has been given under the baton of the composer for three seasons. The production was also repeatedly performed at the Theater Bremen, Germany and in 2019, its film recording was released on DVD.