Hornist Radovan Vlatkovic is one of the world's most prominent players of his instrument, with an international career as a concerto soloist, chamber and solo player, and educator. He has often championed contemporary music.
Vlatkovic was born on January 29, 1962, in Zagreb, then in Yugoslavia. His family spent two years in the U.S. when he was a child, and at six he took his first horn lesson there. Back home in Zagreb, he studied at the city's Academy of Music, and he went on for further studies at the Northwest German Academy of Music in Detmold. Prizes at competitions in Belgium, Yugoslavia, Italy, and Munich (the ARD International Competition, where he was the first hornist to win an award in 14 years) landed him a post as principal horn of the Berlin Radio Symphony Orchestra (now the Deutsches Symphonie-Orchester Berlin). In 1990, he departed in favor of a solo career that has proven internationally successful. Vlatkovic has appeared all over Europe, the Western hemisphere, the Middle East and East Africa, East Asia, and Australia, performing with such groups as the Sinfonieorchester des Bayerischen Rundfunks, the English Chamber Orchestra, and the NHK Symphony Orchestra in Japan. He has often performed contemporary music and has given the premieres of works by Sofia Gubaidulina, Elliott Carter, and Krzysztof Penderecki, among others.
Vlatkovic has made several recordings, beginning with a 1990 album of Richard Strauss' two horn concertos on the EMI label. His recording of Mozart's horn concertos with the English Chamber Orchestra won the coveted Preis der deutschen Schallplattenkritik in Germany. He has also recorded for Channel Classics, and in 2020, he recorded the Penderecki horn concerto with the London Philharmonic Orchestra on that group's in-house label. Vlatkovic has taught at the Staatliche Hochschule für Musik und Darstellende Kunst in Stuttgart, Germany, and as of the late 2010s, was professor of horn at the Mozarteum in Salzburg, Austria, and at the Reina Sofía School of Music in Madrid.