• 1944

    maturita (final exam) at the secondary grammar school in Tisovec, previously study of piano and musical theory in Brezno nad Hronom (Walter Brachtel) and study of violin at Tisovec (F. Fábry) 

  • from 1945

    Comenius University Medical Faculty and simultaneously State Conservatory at Bratislava (conducting – Kornel Schimpl, composition – Eugen Suchoň, Ján Cikker, organ – Jozef Weber)  

  • 1946

    attended lectures in musicology and aesthetics at the Philosophical Faculty of Comenius University, Bratislava    

  • 1947 – 1948

    private lessons in conducting with Ľudovít Rajter, Pavel Dědeček and Václav Talich    

  • 1948 – 1952

    Academy of Musical Arts in Prague (orchestral conducting – Karel Ančerl, Alois Klíma, choir  conducting – Metoděj Doležil, opera conducting – Robert Brock, organ – Jiří Reinberger)  

  • 1948 – 1949

    study of musicology and aesthetics at Charles University (Jan Mukařovský, Anna Patzaková)  

  • 1954 – 1962

    external lecturer at the Academy of Performing Arts, Bratislava, conductor of the Slovak Teachers’ Choir

  • 1954 – 1960

    rehearsal pianist and afterwards assistant conductor in the Slovak National Theatre Opera    

  • 1962 – 1965

    artistic director of singspiel at the Jozef Gregor Tajovský Theatre (today the State Opera in Banská Bystrica)    

  • 1967

    organ soloist at the Cairo Symphony Orchestra in Cairo (Egypt) and teacher at the Cairo Conservatory

  • April 1968

    conducted the Belgian premiere (and subsequently 18 reprises) of Suchoň’s opera Vortex in the Royal Flemish Opera in Antwerp

  • 2016

    honorary degree Doctor honoris causa (Matej Bel University in Banská Bystrica) 

Ján Valach has lived in Belgium since 1971. He founded and conducted the Antwerp Chamber Choir, and he has been conductor of the Royal Flemish Opera in Antwerp and of the opera in Ghent and artistic director and conductor of the Arti vocali Antwerpen Royal Oratorio Society. As conductor and concert organist he appeared in such leading world musical centres as London, Paris, Strasbourg, Brussels, Vienna, Salzburg, Rome, Zurich, Berlin, Hamburg, Moscow, New York, Boston, Cleveland, Los Angeles etc. He has made guest appearances in many orchestral and professional bodies in Europe and the USA.  


He was a jury member in international competitions, lectured on problems of musical pedagogy, and led seminars on Czech and Slovak music. He has made recordings for radio and television stations, as well as for recording companies. 

In the 1960s he was a teacher of compositional subjects at the Žilina Conservatory. He organised the first student organ concerts in Slovakia, which some thousands of students have taken part in during the various cycles. Later he worked as a teacher at the Ghent Conservatory and at the Academie Brusel-Meise as a teacher of organ playing.

After almost 20 years in exile, in 1990 he gave his first concert in Prague, and in 1992 he was invited to the Bratislava Music Festival. In 2006 he undertook organ tours in Slovakia and in 2007 and 2008 he conducted in Bratislava.


He engages in composing and arranging music. He composes works for organ and also vocal (choir and solo), chamber and orchestral works.