JACQUES ROUVIER, pianist ( France)
French pianist Jacques Rouvier (born on the 18th January 1947 in Marseille), studied at the ParisConservatory with Jean Hubeau, Vlado Perlemuter, Pierre Sancan and Jean Fassina. He won two “Premiers Prix” in piano performance (1965) and in chamber music (1967).
Rouvier was remarkably successful at piano competitions in his youth winning the Grand prize at the Concours des Jeunesses musicales in Montreal in 1965 and first prize at both the Viotti International Music Competition in Vercelli and the Barcelona “Maria Canals” Competition in 1967. He then took third prize at the Marguerite Long-Jacques Thibaud International Competition in Paris in 1971, securing an international career.
In 1970 he founded a piano trio with Jean-Jacques Kantorow and Philippe Muller with whom he continues to perform. Among more then 30 CDs, his recording of the complete works for piano by Ravel and Debussy won the Grand Prix du disque.
In addition to his performing activities, Rouvier was a piano teacher at the Paris Conservatory since the age of 28. Now he is teaching at UDK in Berlin and at the Mozarteum in Salzburg. His former students include: Hélène Grumaud, Franck Braley, Philippe Guisiano, Arcadi Volodos, David Fray,Lidija&Sanja Bizjak, David Kadouch, Yuri Favorin, Jean-Paul Gasparian…
He is a regular jury member in the international competitions like Tchaikovsky, Chopin, Santander, Leeds, Marguerite
Long, Montreal, Dublin, Hamamatsu, Sendai, Seoul, Genève…
MATE BEKAVAC, clarinet, duduk (Slovenia)
Mate Bekavac is recognised as one of the great clarinetists of his generation, despite of his “commercial shyness”. Wherever he appears, he’s hailed among collegues and critics as the “secret favorite”, a full-blooded musician and a virtuoso who risks and isn’t spoiled by current fashion tendencies of music industry. A devoted, silent seeker with a special, subtly nuanced sound beyond bright or dark, french or german clarinet stereotype tendencies (he is perhaps the only one who ever gained perfection in both systems), always in favor of musical expression and sincere transmission of written or hidden musical texts. His repertoire ranges from baroque adaptations, classical, romantic and contemporary clarinet repertoire, as well as jazz and klezmer influenced pieces. He gained his wide international acclaim by his single time performance of his own arrangement of the Carmen Fantasy, which is documented on YouTube.
He was born in Ljubljana, Slovenia in 1977 and received his first musical education with F.Trzan and D.Brlek in native Ljubljana. He continueted his studies at University of Graz with B.Kovacs, then took his MA degree at Salzburg Mozarteum with A.Brandhofer. He also studied in profesional studies program at Juilliard School of Music in New York under C.Neidich and in “cycle de perfectionement” at Paris Consrvatory (CNSM) with Michel Arrignon. He has won the Mozarteum 1992 award, the Eurovision Jury award in Warsaw 1994, Grand prix of the Yamaha competition in Vienna 1994 and competitions in Lisabon (1994), Seville(1995), Belgrade(1997). He was also finalist of YCA competition on New York 1996. He appeard as soloist with chamber orchestras Franz Liszt, Cappela Istropolitana, Camerata Israel, Moscow soloists Salzburg soloists, Munich soloists and Zagreb soloists, Orchester der Philharmonie der Nationen, Saarlandischen Rundfunk, Orchester der Oper in Frankfurt, Symphonie Orchester Basel and all slovenian orchestras.
His special devotion, love and central part of his musical career is chamber music, played with Gidon Kremer, Yuri Bashmet, Lyn Harrell, Heinz Holliger, Irena Grafenauer, Kuss-Philharmonia Berlin-, Arriaga-, Minguet and Doric string quartets, Elena Baskhirova, Khatia Buniatishvili, Katia Skanavi, Patricia Kopachinskaja, Sol Gabeta, Alina Ibragimova, Frans Helmerson, Nicolas Altstaedt, Claudio Bohorques, Maxim Rysanov, Antoine Tamestit, members of Orchester der Bayerischen Rundfunk, MET-orchestra New York and London Symphony orchestra. He collaborated with conductors M. Jansons, B.Haitink, N.Harnoncourt, K.Masur, Z. Mehta, C.Davies, N.Jaervi, C.Mackerras, C.Hogwood, M.Perahia, I.Perlman. Frequently he is guest at festivals in Lockenhaus, Jerusalem, Les Museiques in Basel, Rheingau Musik Festival, Ludwigsburger Festspiele, Dubrovnik, Lucerne and Munich. As an orchestral musician he played solo clarinet in Chamber Orchestra of Europe, Mahler Chamber Orchestra and Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra.
He tends to enjoy most of his time away from daily tumult in slovenian mountains, studying, researching, developing new insights and ways of musical understanding as well as discovering nature and passionatly cooking on open fire for his friends and himself.
More than 20 years after its establishment, Kronberg Academy prides itself on being a private educational institution which provides all-round training for exceptionally gifted young violinists, violists and cellists and accompanies them as they make their way to a top international career – with the support and cooperation of some of the leading contemporary musicians.
Since 2007 the officially recognised exclusive study programme, the “Kronberg Academy Master” for future soloists, which was set up by Kronberg Academy in cooperation with the Frankfurt University for Music and the Performing Arts, has been a key component and one of the mainstays of Kronberg Academy’s work to provide support for outstanding next-generation artists. It is supplemented by the wide range of projects that are all designed to give highly gifted young musicians the inspiration, encouragement and support that come from meeting great artists.
The Kronberg Academy Masters study programme, its festivals, masterclasses, competitions and the unique chamber music project Chamber Music Connects the World as well as many ongoing promotional measures ensure that today Kronberg Academy is an institution with a worldwide reputation and is seen as the crucial cornerstone in an artistic career.
WILLIAM HAGEN, violin (USA)
William Hagen was born in Salt Lake City, Utah (USA), in 1992 and began playing the violin when he was four years old. At the age of 10 he began his musical education with Robert Lipsett at the Colburn Community School of Performing Arts in Los Angeles. After spending two years with Itzhak Perlman at the Juilliard School, he returned to California in 2012 to continue studying with Robert Lipsett at the Colburn Conservatory of Music. He has also participated in masterclasses with Ana Chumachenco, Pinchas Zukerman, Gábor Takács-Nagy and Menahem Pressler.
Since his debut at the age of nine with the Utah Symphony Orchestra, William Hagen has performed with orchestras such as the St Louis Symphony, the Orchestre Philharmonique Royal du Liège, the ORF Radio Symphony Orchestra, the Brussels Philharmonic, the National Orchestra of Belgium and the Aspen Philharmonic at the Aspen Music Festival, with conductors such as Marin Alsop, Placido Domingo, Ludovic Morlot, Christian Arming, and Hugh Wolff, and has given recitals in Tokyo, Brussels and Los Angeles as well as at the Colmar Festival in France. William won third prize at the 2015 Queen Elisabeth Violin Competition and second prize at the 2014 Fritz Kreisler Competition in Vienna. He plays an Andrea Guarneri violin built in Cremona in 1675.
William Hagen took part in masterclasses with Christian Tetzlaff and Mihaela Martin at the 2015 Kronberg Academy Festival and performed alongside Mate Bekavac, Gidon Kremer, Steven Isserlis and Christian Tetzlaff in Chamber Music Connects the World in 2016. Since October 2016 he has been studying as a Young Soloist at Kronberg Academy with Christian Tetzlaff. These studies are funded by the Dieter und Elisabeth Feddersen Stipendium.
PER RUNDBERG, piano (Sweden)
Per Rundberg, born in 1971 in Skelleftea, Sweden, studied at the Royal Academy of Music in Stockholm with Prof. Staffan Scheja and with Seta Tanyel at the “Yehudi Menuhin School“ in Stoke d’ Abernon in England. He continues his studies at the „University of Music Mozarteum“ in Salzburg with Prof. Karl – Heinz Kämmerling risulting 1995 in a diploma with honours and he studies as well at the „Ècole Normale de Musique Alfred Cortot“ in Paris, the „Franz Liszt – Akademie“ Budapest, in Rome and with Murray Perahia.
Rundberg frequently gives concerts all over Europe and in the USA and performed at major concert halls such as the Concertgebouw Amsterdam, Konzerthaus Wien, Konserthuset and Berwaldhallen Stockholm. As a soloist he performed with various orchestras including the Camerata Salzburg with Sir Roger Norrington, the Mozarteum Orchester with Ivor Bolton and Johannes Kalitzke, the Swedish Radio Symphony Orchestra, Morávska Filharmonie, Czech Republic Filharmonie, dem Ostrobothnian Chamber Orchestra Finnland and the Umea Symphonyorchestra. He often was invited to perform at major festivals like the Salzburg Festival, Schleswig – Holstein Festival, Feldkirch Festival, Nuovi Spazi Musicali and Festival di Nuova Consonanza and Festival di Pasqua in Rome, Bilbao 2001 and Aspekte Salzburg.
Per Rundberg recorded CDs on various labels like Accent Music, Polymnia Records and KcClassics and performed in several radio and TV – transmissions. His dedication to contemporary music led to many first performances and close work with some of the most prominent composers of our time like Arvo Pärt, Franco Donatoni, Beat Furrer, Giya Kancheli, George Crumb und Klaus Ager.
ZIJAH SOKOLOVIĆ, actor (Bosnia and Hercegovina)
The author of the play “The Actor… is an actor … is an actor” played for 41 years 1622 times and premiered in 25 cities of the world. The author of the cabaret “CABAres, CABArei”, that is being performed 26 years 1377 times and premiered in Sofia, and cabaret “Medjuigre 0 – 24” playing 13 years 374 times. He is the author of the play based on A.P. Čehov’s “Bear”, as a joke for a jazz trio and one actor in ten scenes, the performance of the EU Month of Culture, awarded with 22 Grand Prix prizes at the international festivals of the world.
He is the founder of the Thearto project in Salzburg and Zagreb, where young people are informed, in the form of a theater show , about the social problems they face while growing up. Winner of the Golden Laurel Wreath of the EU as one of the best educational projects. UNDP Goodwill Ambassador for Tolerance and Against Violence. He was a professor of acting at Bruckner University in Linz-Austria and AU Osijek and visiting professor (level doctoral studies) at the Academy of Fine Arts in Belgrade.
In his acting career, he received 79 awards, 3 Lifetime Awards, 4 Golden Laurel Wreath, 3 Golden Medals, 2 Golden Bears, Golden Arena, Sixth Anniversary Award of the City of Sarajevo, Seven Secretaries of SKOJ , Medal of Work, Grand Prix for Directing in Moscow, Kiev , Kiel, Yerevan … Works in theaters in Vienna, Sarajevo, Zagreb, Belgrade, Ljubljana, Podgorica, Skopje, in the cultural centers and other spaces possible for theater performances …
ALEKSANDAR MADŽAR, piano (Serbia)
Aleksandar Madzar was born in Belgrade in 1968. He started playing the piano under the guidance of Gordana Malinovic at the age of six, and later studied in Novi Sad, Belgrade, Moscow and Brussels , with Arbo Valdma, Elisso Virsaladze and Daniel Blumenthal.
He won prizes in Geneva, Leeds, the ‘Busoni’ and ‘Umberto Micheli’ competitions and gave his debut with the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra and Ivan Fischer in 1990. He has since then been performing regularly all over Europe, enjoying a rich and varied career in recital, concertos (with André Previn, Marcello Viotti, Paavo Järvi, Andris Nelsons) and chamber music, occasionally also touring North and South America, South Africa and the Far East and Australia.
Aleksandar is a frequent guest of the Wigmore Hall in London, the Theatre de la Ville in Paris, the Brussels ‘Bozar’, the Amsterdam Concertgebouw, as well as the Conservatorio in Milan; the Delft, Lockenhaus, Peasmarsh and Juventus (Cambrai) summer festivals. His regular chamber music partners include, among others, the Takács Quartet, Anthony Marwood, Nicolas Altstaedt, Vilde Frang, and the soprano Juliane Banse.
He recently toured Germany, Italy and the Netherlands with the Nordwestdeutsche Philharmonie, and was chosen by Zubin Mehta as soloist for the 60th anniversary of the maestro’s collaboration with the Belgrade Philharmonic.
Aleksandar Madzar teaches at the Royal Flemish Conservatoire in Brussels, and frequently gives masterclasses in other colleges.
IVAN KARIZNA, cello (Belarus)
Cellist Ivan Karizna was born into a family of musicians in 1992 and started playing the cello at the age of five. He had his first lessons with Vladimir Perlin when he was seven. Between 2009 and 2014 he studied with Jerôme Pernoo at the Conservatoire National Supérieur de Musique et de Danse in Paris. His studies, which he completed with distinction, were followed by two postgraduate years.
Ivan Karizna won third prize at the 14th International Tchaikovsky Competition in 2011 and first prize at the Umanitaria International Competition in Milan in 2015 and at the Luis Sigall Competition in Chile 2016. In 2017 he was awarded fifth prize at the renowned Queen Elisabeth Muic Competition. He has already performed with numerous renowned orchestras, including the Moscow Virtuosi, the Mariinsky Theatre Symphony Orchestra, the Saint Petersburg Philharmonic Orchestra, the Orchestre philharmonique de Strasbourg, and the Slovenian Radio Symphony Orchestra. Ivan Karizna has also taken part in festivals such as the Yuri Bashmet International Music Festival and the Festival International de Colmar. His first recording was released on the Soupir label in 2016.
In 2012 Ivan Karizna took part in Chamber Music Connects the World, where he played with Gidon Kremer, Yuri Bashmet and Christian Tetzlaff. Since 2016 he has been studying at Kronberg Academy with Frans Helmerson. These studies are funded by the Virtuoso Stipendium.
IRENA GRAFENAUER, flute (Slovenia)
Irena Grafenauer started her musical education at the age of 8. After graduating from the Academy of Music in Ljubljana in 1974, she continued her studies with Karlheinz Zöller and Aurèle Nicolet. She won First Prize in three international competitions: in Belgrade (1974), Geneva (1978) and Munich (1979). From 1977 to 1987 she was principal flautist with the Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra under Rafael Kubelik and Sir Colin Davis. On October 1987 she was appointed Professor at the Salzburg Mozarteum. She has successfully toured most European countries, the United States, Japan, and Australia as a soloist. She has performed regularly at Gidon Kremer’s Lockenhaus Festival since 1981 and toured extensively with ”Kremer & Friends”.
Irena Grafenauer formed a duo with the harpist Maria Graf, with whom she has enjoyed a long and harmonious partnership. She has also worked regularly with the Berlin Philharmonic Duo Jörg Baumann and Klaus Stoll, pianists Oleg Maisenberg, Robert Levin, and Helmut Deutsch, Guitar-player Eliot Fisk and the Cherubini String Quartet.
Irena Grafenauer records exclusively for the Philips label. She has been contracted to record concertos and quartets by Mozart with members of the Academy of St. Martin-in-the-Fields and the French album with music by Debussy, Ravel, Ibert and Roussel.
For more then two decades, she was teaching in Mozarteum, Salzburg.
DAVID CASTRO-BALBI, violin (France)
David Castro-Balbi began playing the violin at the age of five. He graduated from the Conservatoire à Rayonnement Régional de Paris (class of Larissa Koloss), the Conservatoire National Supérieur de Musique de Paris (class of Svetlin Roussev), the Hochschule für Musik Hans Eisler in Berlin (class of Kolja Blacher) and Hochschule für Musik Franz Liszt in Weimar (class of Friedmann Eichhorn).
He was chosen at the age of fifteen to play with the Académue Internationale de Musique at Victoria Hall in Geneva and at the Théâtre des Champs-Elysées in Paris under the batton of Seiji Ozawa in 2009.
He took several 1st prizes at many national and international competitions. He won the 1st prize at the Young Artist Competition in Colorado (USA) and at the Mircourt International Violin Competition. He also became a prize-winner and received the audience award at the international Jeunesses musicales de Belgrade competition. He won the 1st prize and four special prizes at the International Louis Spohr Competition for Young Violinists in Weimar in 2013. In chamber music, he received the 2nd prize and a special prize for the best interpretation of a contemporary work at the International Franz Schubert und die Musique der Moderne competition in Graz (Austria) and the 1st prize at the Kiejstut Bacewicz Chamber Music International Competition in Lodz (Poland).
From 2015-16 he was a soloist with orchestra of Theater Gera-Altenburg. Since March 2016 he has been a guest soloist with the Staatkapelle Weimar. He frequently appears in a trio with cellist Alexandre Castro-Balbi and pianist Lucas Debargue. He plays a violin made by Giovanni Battista Guadagnini (1690) which once belonged to Louis Spohr.
TIMOTHY RIDOUT, viola (Great Britain)
The British violist Timothy Ridout began his studies with Martin Outram at the Royal Academy of Music in London, which he completed with an award for special achievements. In the same year he was the first British violist to ever win first prize at the Lionel Tertis International Viola Competition. Additional competition successes include first prize at the Cecil Aronowitz International Viola Competition in 2014 and second prize at the Windsor Festival International String Competition in 2015. He was also awarded a special prize at the Max Rostal International Competition in 2015.
Besides giving numerous concerts with renowned orchestras such as the Rotterdam Philharmonic Strings and the Philharmonie Baden-Baden, Timothy Ridout has performed at international chamber music festivals such as the International Music Festival in Bad Kissingen, the Schubertiade in Hohenems and the Next Generation Festival in Bad Ragaz. Furthermore, he has taken masterclasses with Maxim Rysanov, Hartmud Rohde and Thomas Riebl. From 2011 to 2014 he was a member of the Celan Quartet.
He plays a viola by Pergerino di Zanetto from 1565-75, which is on loan to him by the Beares International Violin Society.
Since 2016 Timothy Ridout has been studying at Kronberg Academy with Nobuko Imai. These studies are funded by the Lutz Raettig Stipendium.
LUCIANO POMPILIO, guitar (Italy)
Luciano Pompilio graduated with honors in classical guitar at the “U. Giordano”, Conservatory of Music in Foggia, Italy.
Simultaneously, Luciano achieved post graduate degrees analyzing Britten’s Nocturnal at the Humanities College in Bologna, Italy.
Maestro Pompilio took 15 first prizes at guitar competition reaching the final rounds in over 25 guitar competitions.
His duo work with Maestro Giuseppe Caputo, was rewarded fist prize at the “Montelimar Competition” in France, considered the most prestigious duo guitar competition in the world. Luciano and Giuseppe were the first Italians to achieve this amazing feat.
In his recent visit to Paraguay, Maestro Pompilio was awarded “Premio Republica”, one of Latin America’s most prestigious civil awards. He is considered among the best performers of the music of the legendary Paraguayan composer Agustin Pio Barrios Mangoré.
Maestro Pompilio has produced eight CDs.
“Tribute”, last CD, made the top 30 Itunes top 200 release list in both Canada and Germany. Maestro Pompilio has toured Europe, Asia and America on several occasions.
He is artistic director of the“Città di Manfredonia” International Guitar Festival and the Season Chamber Music “In Concerto” in San Giovanni Rotondo.
LORENZO DI BELLA, piano (Italy)
“Lorenzo Di Bella is a remarkable talented pianist, a brilliant virtuous, an exciting and refined musician. I was his teacher for three years and always admired his great technical skills and also his strong artistic personality, above all, his desire to “speak” to the public” …these were the words of Lazar Berman some months before he died.
Prize winner of several international piano competitions he received in 2005 the 1st Prize and Gold Medal at “V. Horowitz” International Piano Competition in Kiev.
In 2006 former Italian President C.A.Ciampi awarded him with the “Sinopoli Prize” in honour of the famous orchestra director Giuseppe Sinopoli, passed away in 2001.
In the last years he has performed with great success at the Two World’s Festival in Spoleto, Teatro “La Fenice” in Venice, “Teatro Olimpico” in Vicenza, “Teatro delle Muse” in Ancona, “Michelangeli” Hall in Bolzano, Montreal (Maison Symphonique), at the Liszt Festival in Utrecht, ETH of Zurich, Chopin Festival in Marianske Lazne, Hamburg, Berlin, Praha, Krakow, Sarajevo, Beijing, Tianjin, Wuhan, Xi’han, Guangzhou, Shanghai(Oriental Center), Denver (C.I.P.A.) at the “Società dei Concerti” in Milan, and in the Auditorium “Parco della Musica” in Rome where he played with the Santa Cecilia National Symphony Orchestra conducted by M° James Conlon.
Lorenzo Di Bella began his piano studies at the age of 5. A promising pupil, he graduated at the Conservatorio Rossini of Pesaro. The following five years he attended the courses of Franco Scala and Lazar Berman at the “Piano Academy – Incontri col Maestro” of Imola, graduating in 2002, and completed his studies at the “National Academy of St. Cecilia” in Rome with Sergio Perticaroli, where he graduated on June 2004 with the highest vote.
His intense musical activities led him to collaborate with many orchestras: Orchestra Filarmonica Marchigiana, Orchestra “Pomeriggi Musicali” of Milan , San Remo Symphony Orchestra, Philharmonie of Bacau, O’Porto National Orchestra, National Symphony Orchestra of Ucraine, Nancy Symphony Orchestra, SudWestDeutsche Philarmonie, Villingen-Schwenningen Symphony Orchestra, Philharmonisches Kammerorchester Berlin, Moravian Philarmonic Orchestra, West Bohemia Orchestra , Podkarpacka Symphony Orchestra and New World Philarmonic.
He has collaborated with important conductors: Kirill Karabits, Vassylis Christopoulos, Reinhard Seehafer, Jorge Iwer, Zbinĕk Müller, Vladimir Sirenko, Michael Maciaszczyk, Michel Brousseau, David Crescenzi, Francesco Lanzillotta, Luigi Piovano.
Lorenzo Di Bella has a very active teaching schedule as a main piano professor at the High Music School “G.Braga” in Teramo and also as artistic director of the “Accademia Pianistica delle Marche” in Recanati (Italy).
He is founder and artistic director of the “Civitanova Classica Piano Festival” , the “Mugellini Music Festival” and “La Palma d’Oro” International Piano Competition in San Benedetto del Tronto( Italy).
ALEKSANDRA VREBALOV, composer (USA, Serbia)
Aleksandra Vrebalov has written 80 works ranging from concert music, to opera and dance.
Her works have been commissioned and/or performed by Kronos Quartet, Serbian National Theater, Carnegie Hall, Belgrade Philharmonic, The Forbidden City Orchestra in Beijing, Jose Limon and Rambert Dance Companies. Vrebalov, a fellow of MacDowell Colony, Rockefeller Bellagio Center, Djerassi, American Opera Projects, The Hermitage, and Tanglewood, is the recipient of The Harvard Fromm Commission, The American Academy of Arts and Letters Charles Ives Fellowship, Barlow Endowment Commission, and MAP Fund grant.
Her works have been recorded for Nonesuch, Cantaloupe, Innova, Centaur, Records, and Vienna Modern Masters. Vrebalov is a freelance composer living in NYC. For more info please see www.aleksandravrebalov.com
STRING QUARTET “TAJJ”
Aleksandra Krčmar Ćulibrk – I violin
Jovanka Mazalica – II violin
Jelena Filipović – viola
Timea Kalmar – cello
“gathered at the time when new is rarely born, united with the common idea and thought we create the old and the new music in the way close to the contemporary listener
respecting tradition and incorporating the rhythm of modern life
this is the picture of our era, our life, this is our music…….
“… TAJJ no longer puts individual members’ data in its rich biography. The name consisting of their first name initials aims to show the origin, genesis and the same string, i.e. quartet school, and to outline an attempt to subordinate individual characteristics to the common ideal of unity and harmony of quartet sound…..” (Marija Adamov, 2008)
By gathering the experience gained with famous artists: Ami Flammer, Istvan Varga, Arnold Steinhardt, Sandor Devich, and members of: Amadeus Quartet, Alban Berg Quartet, Bartok Quartet, Chilingiran Quartet, Daniel String Quartet, Medici String Quartet, Janacek Quartet and Smetana Quartet; and finally, by completing their master studies of chamber music at the Faculty of Music in Belgrade as students of professor Ladislav Mezei; TAJJ has found its art expression.
Three members of the string quartet transfer the knowledge and experience acquired in the field of chamber music to their students at the Academy of Art in Novi Sad at the Department for Chamber Music: Aleksandra Krcmar Culibrk – associate professor (course: string quartet), Jelena Filipovic – associate professor (course: string quartet), Timea Kalmar – full professor (course: chamber music), while Jovanka Mazalica is employed at the opera orchestra of the Serbian National Theatre, as the leader of second violins.
The members of the TAJJ string quartet are Ph.D. students at the Academy of Art in Novi Sad in the class of professor Istvan Varga (Budapest), where they concentrate exclusively on the music from the 20th and 21st century.
TAJJ stepped out from the classical repertoire for the string quartet performing with great success the pieces of contemporary authors: A. Vrebalov, B. Kovac, D. Despic, J. Mitrusic, M. Statkic, I. Stefanovic, S. Tikmayer, S. Seghedoni, M. Golo, N. Koskhin, E. Kiraly, I. Vilson, J. Trbojevic, T. Andersson, S. Robinson, S. Vlajic, D.Vejnovic, Lj. Nikolic, M. Mihajlovic, A. Stepanovic, M. Dulic, A. Simic, I. Brkljacic, Hyekyung Lee,….while some of the authors specifically dedicated their work to this ensemble.
“The most creative relationships are those in which we support each other to be what we are, in which we accept risks, difficulties, success and experiment with an open heart and mind – in order to grow and create together. Only in such circumstances, considering the decade of our work together, we know that we would never come where we are without each other. Yes, the TAJJ quartet plays this music better than I hear it in my imagination”
(Aleksandra Vrebalov, 2009)
TAJJ has played at many concerts and festivals in the country and abroad: Germany, Netherlands, Hungary, Romania, Italy, Austria, France, Croatia, Montenegro, Republic of Srpska, Denmark, Sweden.
“…..The class in the world of music, the TAJJ quartet, has contributed to the reputation of Serbia with one of its best concerts this year. A fortunate coincidence gathered these four outstanding personalities who give themselves to the music with passion and, despite their individuality, succeed to be an excellent ensemble and confusingly natural…..”
(Michéle Fizaine, 2010)
With special pleasure the quartet performs with the famous soloists: S.Antunic (flute), L.L.Aksin (flute), V.Puskas (oboe), A.Tasic (clarinet), Z.Perisic (bassoon), G.Marinkovic (bassoon), N.Vasić (horn), M.Radić (horn), I.Marusevic (contrabass), R.Martinovic (piano), N.Bulatovic (piano), I.Kobal (piano), B.Gorunovic (piano),U.Ovaskainen (piano), E.Choi (piano), J.Simon (piano), V.K.Vitkay (soprano), D.Jovanovic (soprano), S.Stulić (tenor), B.Jatic (bass), L.Nika (accordion), T.Anderssohn (contrabass), George Mihalache (cymbal),
Edin Karamazov (guitar), Elena Manisita (mezzo-soprano)…..
“…The seriousness of the members of this ensemble, the passion to the chamber music and their artistic performance are proof of not only profound work on the music score but also of the care for noble sound and precise performance technique……” (I.Ianku,2005)
The quartet is the resident ensemble of Second International Competition of Pianists “Isidor Bajić Memorial” (2004), Sixth International Competition “Anton Eberst” (2013), Seventh International Competition of Pianists “Isidor Bajić Memorial” (2014), Seventh International Competition “Anton Eberst” (2014) and Eight International Competition “Anton Eberst” (2015).
“…The members of the TAJJ string quartet, the most sensitive and most difficult form of chamber music performance, have accepted the challenge and have responded to it highly professionally which means they are fully prepared and diligent, but also devoted, inspired and passionate. Their almost five hours long performance in one day, in which they played with eight different soloists of the chamber finals, playing a complex composition in the form of piano quintet with each of them for almost 40 minutes deserves admiration, and they performed it with perfect shape and concentration, playing harmoniously with each of the selected pianists, paying full attention and well adjusting to the different artistic natures and interpretation demands of each of them …“ (M. Adamov 2004)
TAJJ Quartet’s discography:
“Come Raggio di Sol” (the first CD of vocal chamber music in Vojvodina): Branislav Jatic – bass, Maja Grujic – piano, TAJJ string quartet, Brankica Djukic – piccolo-flute and Vladimir Puskas – oboe) – 2002,
“TAJJ String Quartet”: TAJJ string quartet with pieces by C. Debussy, S. Seghedoni, D. Schostakowitsch, A. Vrebalov and B. Kovac – 2006
“Pannonia Boundless”: TAJJ string quartet – pieces by Aleksandra Vrebalov – 2009,
“Chamber Music”: TAJJ string quartet, Vladimir Puskas – oboe and Istvan Cik-percussions – pieces of Boris Kovac – 2010,
“Catalogue of Memories”: New Ritual Ensemble pieces by Boris Kovac -2012,
“Experience“: Lelo Nika Septet – 2013,
“LUDO”: TAJJ string quartet and Macedonian Symphonic Orchestra, music for the movie “LUDO” composed by Sune Kolster – 2014,
“Concerto for string quartet”: TAJJ string quartet – a piece by the composer Thommy Andersson Written for the string quartet TAJJ – 2015,
“Moments” (string quartet TAJJ) pieces by contemporary Serbian authors – 2015.
“…during the career spanning over almost two decades, TAJJ has performed numerous concerts and concert tours which established it as one of our leading ensembles. In addition to the performances in the country, the TAJJ quartet has played with great success all over Europe from Croatia, Italy, France, Germany and the Netherlands to the Scandinavian countries, while several compact discs of this ensemble have been published in Serbia, mostly the author albums of individual composers….” (B. Hložan 2016)
IRA PRODANOV KRAJIŠNIK, musicologist (Serbia)
Ira Prodanov, PhD musicologist is full time professor at the Academy of Arts, University of Novi Sad, Serbia. Areas of her competences are European and Serbian music of 20th and 21-century music (expressionism, neoclassicism, avant-garde, aleatorics, minimalism, postmodernism). Lately she is engaged in the micro history studies. She investigates interdisciplinarity in music, especially relationship of music and media, music and religion, theory and practice of popular music. She regularly lectures Life Long Learning courses accredited by Serbian Institute for Advancement of Education in the field of transferring knowledge, communication and presentation skills and popular music. Ira Prodanov holds following courses at her home institution: History of Music of the 20th in Europe and Serbia; Music and Media; Baroque Music; Music of 18th Century, Religion in the 20th Century Music. She was the coordinator for Tempus project InMusWB at the Academy of Arts, Univ. of Novi Sad. She conducts a scientific project Cultural Identities in the artistic production of the Academy of Arts (2016 / 2020); at the moment she is the member of the team of the new Erasmus + K2 project DEMUSIS (2019/2022). She has published several books and more than 50 scientific papers. Ira Prodanov has introduced a new master program Music and Media at her faculty within the frame of Tempus InMusWB project. She translates books from German and English to Serbian language and writes theatre plays for children.
MIHAJLO ZURKOVIĆ, piano (Serbia)
Mihajlo Zurković (1978) was born in Sombor, Serbia where he started playing
piano. At the age of 14, being given a full scholarship, he became a student of the “Zero Year” (for outstanding young talents) at the Academy of Arts in Novi Sad, in the class of Jokuthon Mihailović. He graduated and later obtained a master’s degree at the Academy of Arts in the same class. At present, Zurković is on doctoral studying program at the Faculty of Music Art in Belgrade under Jokuthon Mihailović’s mentoring and also employed as a docent lecturer for piano at the Academy of Arts in Novi Sad. He won numerous awards at national and international competitions and among them the most important are: Top Prize at the International Competition “Petar Konjović” (Belgrade, 1995), First Prize at the European Piano Competition (Moncalieri – Italy, 1995), Third Prize at the International Competition “Frederic Chopin” (Novi Sad, 1997), Finalist of the Dinu Lipatti Competition (Bucharest – Romania, 2002), First Prize at the International Forum (Kiev – Ukraine, 2009).
He had his first solo concert at the age of 12 and since then he has played over 500 recitals, chamber music concerts and appeared many times as a soloist with different orchestras. His performances have led him round Europe (Italy, France, Romania, Hungary, Russia, France, Spain, Belgium, Slovenia, Croatia, Montenegro, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Serbia, Macedonia), China, Japan and USA. He participated in the project “Operation 40 Fingers” within he had a concert tour in Italy in the concert season 2007/08. In December 2009, he had debut recitals in prestigious halls of New York : two concerts in Bechstein Concert Hall and a concert in Symphony Space. In March
2010, he proceeded his concert activity with the recitals in Russia, playing in very important halls of St. Petersburg such as: Small Hall of Rimsky-Korsakov Conservatory, The Great Hall of Mussorgsky College (within the festival dedicated to Frederic Chopin) and in one of the most prestigious halls in St. Petersburg – Sheremetev Castle.
He has recorded for Swiss Radio, Radio Vaticana, Radio Television of Montenegro, MTV2-Hungarian National Television and Serbian National Television. In 2009, Zurkovic recorded LIVE CD produced by “Laza Kostic” Cultural Centre (Sombor) and the Academy of Arts (Novi Sad) with pieces by Schubert, Scriabin, Brahms and Chopin.
In 2012, he refounded « SOMUS » music festival in his home town and became its artistic director.
« …For its part, Misha Zurković sported nothing short of amazing piano skills. His is to be
considered in all respect a superior talent, unconditionally capable of expressiveness and
clarity of the sound and should be considered, without any fear of exaggeration, one of the
biggest names in the piano world… »
Alessandro Samsa, Recensioni di musica classica, 2014
« We were overwhelmed with the approach that is at once intimate and extrovert,
with an aesthetic palette of finely differentiated tone colors, tumultuous emotions,
impeccable virtuosity, and at the same time seemingly simple and easy surrender
which musicality was never questioned. Zurkovic’s interpretation captivates from the
beginning to the end with its beauty and exciting musical flow, minutely formed
details and stylistic persuasiveness. »
Marija Adamov, Dnevnik 2016.
BOŠKO JOVIĆ, guitar (Bosnia and Hercegovina)
He finished elementary and secondary music school in Zenica, general and instrumental section (guitar department ) in 1999 in the class of prof. Ljubinko Jović.
He graduated from the Sarajevo Music Academy (Department of Ethnomusicology) in 2004. He graduated from the Guitar Department in 2006 in the class of prof. Zoran Krajišnik. He graduated from the Guitar Department in the class of prof. Alexander Swetea in 2010. He has been working as a professor since 2000, and currently works at the Secondary Music School in Sarajevo.
His students received prizes at competitions in Bosnia and Hercegovina, but also at competitions abroad.
In addition to concerts of classical music, he often performs with artists from World Music, Jazz and Pop scene. Particularly worth mentioning is the long-standing cooperation with the giant Sevdah Amir Medunjanin, as well as cooperation with the famous “2Cellos” member Stipe Hauser and lauder Edin Karamazov.
Since 1994 he has performed as a soloist of the Chamber Symphony Orchestra Zenica, and has also played several times as soloist of the String Orchestra “2007” and the Sarajevo Philharmonic.
In addition to Bosnia and Herzegovina, he also performed in: Austria, Czech Republic, Croatia, UK, Serbia, Turkey, Italy, Montenegro, Belgium, Slovenia, Sweden, the Netherlands, Switzerland, India and Norway.
He works also as a studio musician. He played guitar parts in the music of the films “Twice Born” (directed by: Sergio Castellito, actors: Penelope Cruz, Emile Hirsch and Mira Furlan), and “Jasmina” (directed by: Nedžad Begović, actors: Zijah Sokolović, Nada Đurevska) .
The publishing house “Aquarius Records” from Zagreb announced in 2014 its first CD “Awakening”, which was well received both by the audience and by critics.
In 2018 he released his second CD called “Voyage”.
Since 2013, he has been promoting the Yamaha Guitar.
MUSTAFA ŠANTIĆ, accordion (Bosnia and Hercegovina)
Mustafa Šantić was born in Mostar, where he finished elementary and secondary music school. Music Academy finishes in Sarajevo. He is the creator of the cult band Mostar Sevdah Reunion. From 2007 to 2017 he worked as a clarinet professor at the music school in Mostar, and now works as director of the Music School at the Music Center “Pavarotti”.
Šantić, interpreting the terms sevdah and sevdalinka, says: “When we released our first album with Mostar Sevdah Reunion, we asked for the translation of the word sevdah. From an Arab angle, it is a fluid that circulates in the body and at certain times causes a different emotion, joy, pride, sadness … When we look at it from the Bosnian-Herzegovinian angle, sevdalinka is a music-poetic form. In sevdah you do not have to feel sad only by listening to sevdalinka, the cause can be a beautiful woman, beautiful nature, catching a fish … ” and continues that the entire philosophy of these territories in the last five hundred years is contained in the verses: “To beg me, I would not marry you, but if you would get married” I would poison myself””.
IVAN VANJA RADOJA, violin (Bosnia and Hercegovina)
He was born in Sarajevo in 1971, where he studied and graduated from the Academy of Music.
After graduation, he becomes a member of the Sarajevo Philharmonic where he remains for some time. During the work and exploration of music and its directions, his other love is born, toward sevdah and traditional music, and so he becomes a member of the BHRT National Orchestra.
He worked with many prominent names in the world music scene in the studio and in live projects. He participated in the creation and worked with Damir Imamović Trio, Bosko Jović Trio.
Since 2009, he is a member of the legendary world music band Mostar Sevdah Reunion, where the unique style of performance, combining the original sevdalinka with jazz, blues, soul and ethnic elements, fascinates audiences around the world.
JELENA JAKOVLJEVIĆ, vocal (Serbia)
Jelena Jakovljević was born in 1983 in Niš, where she completed her secondary music school at the Flute Department in 2002. In the same year, she began her studies at the Department of Wind instruments at the Faculty of Music in Belgrade, where she graduated in 2007 with the highest grade in the class of prof. Ljubisa Jovanovic. In 2016, she defended her Phd project, titled “Changes in Flute Sound and Technique in the Age of Romanticism” and obtained the title of Doctor of Arts at the Faculty of Music in Belgrade in the class of prof. Ljubisa Jovanovic. In 2008 she received a prize from the Fund “Jakov Srejović” at Music Academy in Belgrade, as the best graduate student of her generation. From 2007 to 2011, she was a soloist of the Niš Symphony Orchestra. While working with this orchestra, she has performed with eminent conductors such as: Srboljub Dinić (Austria), Danijel Đulije Moles (Italy), Andrej Andrejev (Bulgaria), Le FiFi (Vietnam), Azis Sadiković (Austria), Bojan Suđić (Serbia), Dejan Savić (Serbia), Vesna Šouc (Serbia), Darinka Matić Marovic (Serbia) and so on …
Since 2008 she has been engaged as an expert associate at the Department of Wind Instruments of the Faculty of Arts of the University of Niš. In 2009, she was promoted to the title of assistant, and in 2015, she obtained the title of assistant professor of the flute.
She has performed numerous successful solo concerts with NSO in Niš performing concerts for flute and orchestra by Mozart, Karl Philip Emanuel Bach, Joseph Haydn, and Johan Joachim Quanz. As a solo and chamber performer, she has appeared all over the country and abroad. She participated in the National Concert Season 2008 organized by the Ministry of Culture of the Republic of Serbia. She attended master classes of the most eminent flautists of today, such as Eagle Nicole (Switzerland), Emanuel Paji (Switzerland), Gouliang Han (Japan), Asa Kahenberg (Sweden), Silvia Karede (Italy), Dejan Gavric (Austria), Gunila fon Bar (England), Mihael Kofler (Austria), Feliks Rengley (Switzerland), Michel Debost (France), Mate Zupan (Slovenia) and Ljubisa Jovanovic (Serbia).