The Czech cellist, Jitka Vlašánková, won the first prize in the national competition of the Music Schools in 1975. Later, she attended the Conservatory and the Academy of Music in Prague under Professors R. Lojda, S. Večtomov and Miloš Sádlo. She took master-classes with outstanding world-famous cellists (e.g. André Navarra, E. Rautio or B. Greenhouse and R. Garbousová at the Piatigorski Seminar in Los Angeles) and was granted a British council scholarship to study 6 months under W. Pleeth in London. During her studies she participated in several national and international competitions e.g.: 1st prize in National Beethoven Cello Competition (1981); 3rd prize in the Prague Spring International Cello Competition (1983); a prize for the best performance of D. Popper’s composition in the Pablo Casals International competition in Budapest (1985).
Jitka Vlašánková is a member of the Martinů Quartet. The Martinů Quartet first came together in 1976 at the Conservatory in Prague as students of Viktor Moučka, a member of the Vlach Quartet. During their studies at the Academy of Music, the members of the Quartet were taught by Antonín Kohout of the Smetana Quartet. At the same time they took part in master-classes with leading ensembles such as the Tel Aviv, Amadeus, Guarneri, Juilliard and Alban Berg Quartets.
The Quartet’s repertoire includes works from the mainstream of string quartet literature. Naturally it specialises in the works of Czech composers such as Smetana, Dvořák and Janáček, with particular interest in the works of Bohuslav Martinů. In January 2004 the Quartet’s recording of Martinů’s String Quartets, Vol. 2 (Naxos) won the “Best Chamber/Solo Instrumental 20th Century” category at MIDEM in France.
Although most of her professional life is devoted to the Martinů Quartet, Jitka Vlašánková gives solo recitals in her country as well as abroad (Holland, England, Germany) and records for the Czech Radio (e.g. cello sonatas by Dmitri Shostakovich, Sergei Rachmaninov, César Franck, Frédéric Chopin). She is a member of the Czech cello duo and the Czech cello trio with Petr Hejný and Jaroslav Kulhan (Panocha Quartet). Her other chamber music partners are the violinist Josef Suk, pianist J. Hála, clarinettist Ludmila Peterková and more.
Since 2000, Jitka Vlašánková has been a professor at the Music Gymnasium in Prague. She and is regularly invited to sit on juries of international competitions.