Karel Vrtiška was born in 1990 in Prague, where he studied under Professor M. Tomanová at ZUŠ Ilji Hurníka (the Ilja Hurník Elementary School of Fine Arts) and under Professor J. Toman at Hudební škola hlavního města Prahy (Music School of Prague).
In 2010 he successfully completed his bachelor’s degree at the Music and Dance Faculty of the Academy of Performing Arts under doc. B. Krajný. He completed his master’s degree at the Hochschule für Musik in Nuremberg in the class of Professor W. Manz with a merit stipendium in 2012. He completed his master’s degree at the Academy of Performing Arts in Prague in the class of Professor M. Kasík in 2015.
Karel Vrtiška received his first recognition in 1999, when he won 1st prize in the Prague round of the ZUŠ (Elementary Schools of Fine Arts) competition and 2nd prize in the “Prague Junior Note“ competition. Over the next few years he received a number of awards at international competitions - 1st prize in the international piano competition “Carl Czerny“ (2001), 1st prize in the “Virtuosi per musica di pianoforte“ competition in Ústí nad Labem (2005), the title of laureate in the International Smetana Competition in Plzeň (2008), 2nd prize in the international piano competition “Carl Czerny“ (2005), 1st prize and overall winner of the Prague round of the ZUŠ (Elementary Schools of Fine Arts) competition, the title of laureate in the Beethoven’s Hradec competition (2009), the title of laureate in the V. Novák competition in Kamenice nad Lipou (2010), the title of laureate in the International Smetana Competition in Plzeň (2014) and 2nd prize in the International Beethoven’s Hradec competition (2016).
He has given solo performances under conductors Paul Freeman, Libor Pešek, Marco Ivanovič, Peter Vrábel, Koji Jawamoto and with musical accompaniment by the Czech National Orchestra, Berg Orchestra, the Prague Symphony Chamber Orchestra, Academy Chamber Soloists of Prague, Pilsner Philharmonic Orchestra, Czech Chamber Philharmonic Orchestra Pardubice or the Moravian Philharmonic Orchestra Olomouc.
He has accepted invitations to record for Czech Radio, Czech Television and for the BBC.
He participated in interpretation master classes with P. Badura-Skoda, G. Ohlsson, W. Askenazy and A. Gavrilov. In master classes with P. Zukerman in Ottawa, Canada, he performed at the final concerts in the Tabaret Hall and National Arts Centre.
He also had his own piano recital at the international music festival Prague Spring and performed in the subscription cycles of the Czech Philharmonic, the Moravian Philharmonic Orchestra Olomouc Bohuslav Martinů Philharmonic and Bach for All festival. Besides the solo playing he concentrates on the chamber music as well – in 2015 he gave performances at the Moscow International Festival of Chamber Music “Vesna v Rossii“, at the Kyoto International Music Students Festival in Japan and at the presentation „Prague Art Academies: Independent Spirits“ of three main Prague art schools in the Czech centre in New York. Since the season 2016/2017 he has been put on a List of young artists of the Czech musical fund. Presently, apart from his solo career, he works as an accompanist in Academy of Performing Arts in Prague and Gymnázium a Hudební škola hl. m. Prahy (high school focusing on music).