After completing his guitar and musicology studies in his native Brno, Czech Republic, Jan Cizmar was at the Royal College of Music in London studying classical guitar and later lute with Jakob Lindberg. Following were his studies with Nigel North, Joachim Held, Mike Fentross and Christina Pluhar at the Royal Conservatory in Den Haag, The Netherlands. As well he has taken masterclasses with Hopkinson Smith, Evangelina Mascardi and Yasonuri Immamura.
Jan Cizmar is versatile performer on plucked instruments, in last years focusing on historical lutes and early guitars. He has performed with groups such as Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra, Orkest van de 18de Euuw (Frans Brüggen), Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment (OAE), Collegium 1704 (Václav Luks), Ensemble baroque de Limoges (Christophe Coin), Ensemble Elyma (Gabriel Garrido), European Baroque Orchestra (EUBO), Britten Pears Baroque Orchestra (BPBO) or Vox Luminis at festivals across Europe, in Asia and in USA.
In his non-early music past he was busy as a rock, jazz and later as a classical guitarist. He toured Europe with New York production of Jesus Christ Superstar as a rock guitarist and has appeared on stage a.o. with the Lindsay Kemp Company – Spanish tour of Elisabeth I: El ultimo baile, Leine & Roebana Dance company, a.o.
He was the founder and editor-in-chief of the Czech guitar and lute magazine Kytara and regularly contributes to other musical periodicals. He has also worked as a musical editor for several publishing houses including Bärenreiter.
On 26 May 2013, Jan Cizmar performs with soprano Laila Neuman in the Geelvinck Salon with a program with compositions of Dowland and Purcell.
On 8 June 2014 Jan Cizmar performs on lute, together with Petr Wagner on viola da gamba, in the program ‘The Angel, the Devil and the Girl / de Engel, de Duivel en het Meisje’, written and presented by Marion Altena.