For the Vienna-based Janoska Ensemble, music is a treasured family tradition. In 2013, the group came together, founded by brothers Ondrej (violinist), František (pianist) and Roman (violinist), and their brother-in-law Julius Darvas (double-bassist).
Steeped in classical musical since childhood, the ensemble draws on instrumental traditions passed down in the family for six generations.
“Our most valued treasure is our music. For us, music is a passion, and we live it to the fullest,“ Julius says.
Each member has followed his own individual path to musical success with different instruments and instruction. However, when they perform together as an ensemble, something magical happens. That’s when the true Janoska Style emerges—original and profoundly personal, from the classical repertoire to original compositions influenced by jazz, pop, and world music.
“The biggest surprise for me was when I listened to the Janoska brothers playing their instruments in the very early years. They were about 7 or 8 years old, and their musical virtuosity just blew me away!“ Julius says.
This Janoska Style is evident is the ensemble’s latest album Revolution on Deutsche Grammophon. The album is a great example of the Janoska Ensemble’s genre-hopping style. In addition to original pieces and works by Tchaikovsky, Kreisler and Wieniawski, one third of the album is devoted to the Beatles and their influence on both the ensemble and musical history.
“The Beatles revolutionized pop music in the ’60s. We want to revolutionize classical music. Through improvisation, virtuosity, and spontaneity we want to free classical music from its strict boundaries,“ Julius says. “There was a lot of improvisation in the Baroque, and unfortunately, most of it is lost in classical music today.“
The group is now touring through Europe, the United States, and Asia for the promotion of the new album. The tour includes concerts with orchestras, such as a concert in the Wiener Konzerthaus with the Wiener Symphony Orchestra.
The ensemble travels constantly for their craft, have already given concerts on 4 continents. “During our concert tours we getting to know a lot of different cultures, which inspire us and strongly influence our music,“ Julius says. “Each country has its own history and cultural treasures, original customs and traditions, stunning nature and traditional cuisine – so every journey is priceless for us. We are always curious to get in touch with the music and the people of each different country.“
Four personalities, one mission
Beside of making music, the four members have a wide palette of hobbies. Ondrej is an outdoorsman who likes to fish; František loves to dance salsa; Roman is a ambitious hobby chef; and Juilius collects instruments. For all four, their families enrich their lives and are very important so they try to spend as much time as they can with them.
As far as their musical choices, a composition has to touch them deeply inside, and each concert is a special moment. “We are 4 strong personalities, and we all create our own works. Everyone is allowed to develop freely in the ensemble,“ Julius says. “None of our concerts will ever sound the same.“
At their concerts, Julius recalls people clapping for a great solo in the middle of the piece or rocking their feet and just having a great time, breaking down the wall between the audience and the musicians. Their music has a message: All you need is love.
“We want to put a smile on our audience‘s faces,“ Julius says.
The Janoska Ensemble wants this love for music to continue, as they “storm Olympian heights in music and reach the top of the musical mountain.“
Learn more on the Janoska Ensemble’s website.