LIDIJA BIZJAK, pianist (Serbia/France)
Born in Belgrade in 1976, Lidija Bizjak began to play the piano at the age of six with Zlata Males. She graduated from the Music Academy in Belgrade in 1996 and then studied at the Paris Conservatoire under Jacques Rouvier and Maurice Bourgue, winning first prizes in both piano and chamber music.
Meeting Ferenc Rados, Murray Perahia, Leon Fleisher, Arie Vardi, Alexander Lonquich, Ida Levin, Christoph Richter, Ksenija Jankovic, Irena Grafenauer and Sergio Azzolini was very important for her.
After winning many national competitions, she won a top prize at the 2000 Dublin International Piano Competition, as well as the special prize for the compulsory modern piece.
Lidija has given a large number of recitals and performances with orchestra like Orchestre Philharmonique de Radio France, Orchestre National de France, Hong Kong Sinfonietta, Britten sinfonia, RTE Irland, Sinfonia Varsovia, Stuttgart Philharmonic orchestra, Orchestre de Capitole de Toulouse, Orchestre de Picardie, Belgrade Philharmonic… In 2000 she was chosen by the Cité de la Musique in Paris to represent France with Alexei Ogrintchouk in the international Rising Stars Series and performed in nine of the world’s most famous concert halls including New York’s Carnegie Hall, Wigmore Hall in London, Musikverein in Vienna, Concertgebouw in Amsterdam, Palais des Beaux-arts in Bruxelles…
She has participated in festivals such as PROMS in London, the Open Prussia Cove et St Magnus in Great Britain, Lockenhaus in Austria, la Folle Journée in Nantes and in Tokyo, Bemus, Nomus and Somus in Serbia, Roque d’Anthéron Colmar, Périgord Noir, Nohant, Juventus, Midem Classic in France, Martinu in Prague, Domaine Forget in Canada, Charlottesville in USA…
In 2002, she formed the piano duo with her sister Sanja and since, they have performed in the most important halls in Paris, in different festivals in Japan, France, Italy, England…
They won two special prizes at the ARD Piano duo competition 2005 in Munich and recorded their first CD for French label “Mirare” with Stravinski’s work for four hands (Sacre du printemps, Petruchka) which received Télérama’s ffff and a new released CD for Onyx label with Poulenc’s and Martinu’s concertos with Stuttgarter Philharmoniker and Radoslaw Sculz which received great reviews in Gramophone, BBC magazine, another Télérama ffff…
Lidija Bizjak’s first solo CD with Schubert and Schumann sonatas at Lyrinx France label received the “Diapason Découverte” award in 2007. Her recording of the Byzantine concerto for piano and orchestra by Serbian composer Ljubica Maric (1909-2003), made with the Serbian Radio and Television orchestra was released in 2010.
She is also teaching in Paris and Lille.
“Her Schumann is impassioned and hot-blooded; her Schubert, as with all the greatest performers, blends the tentative and the resolute, in just the right proportions. An encounter between the symphonic and the purely pianistic; between loveliness and dissonance. Nothing showy or facile. Nothing but music. And what music!”
Jacques Drillon, Nouvel observateur
“Lidija Bizjak’s piano sounds with regal abundance, without hardness, with a prolonged resonance that reveals what care this young artist takes not to go against the nature of her instrument; even more, how deeply she is in love with it – no less than with the music she plays…”
Alain Lompech, Diapason
“Lidija Bizjak displays a magnificent sense of poetry, a landscape of silences and murmurs; she also reveals the hidden depths of a work that does no favours to musical acrobats. This is top-flight piano playing.” Jean-Luc Macia, La Croix
“ refined, thoughtful, nearly perfect and exciting”
Barbara Pikullik, General-Anzeuger Bonn
“The Bizjak sisters’ duo proved itself to be of exceptional calibre. Their Sacre du printemps perfectly conveyed the tensions within the work, its colours and rhythms. The Poulenc sonata, with its undeniable narrative qualities, showed an excellent interpretation. This is a duo we need to hear again – as soon as possible!”
Jean-Luc Piere, Lettre du musicien
“Brilliant sound, precise fingerwork and excellent listning skills”
Anna Picard, Independent
“Excellent Serbian sisters, both are hughely talented and displayed wit and intelligence”
Colin Clarke, Classical source
“bags of charm”
Tim Ashley, Guardian
“Brethtakingly fine and delicate, not a hint of circus act. If concert promoters want to book a pair of piano-playing sisters, now they know where to go”
Damian Thompson, Telegraph
SANJA BIZJAK, pianist (Serbia/France)
Born in Belgrade in 1988 where she starts the piano with Zlata Males, Sanja Bizjak becomes a student at the Paris Conservatoire under Jacques Rouvier at the age of twelve. In 2004 she finished piano and also chamber music with Itamar Golan. Since she has been studying with Alexander Satz in Graz and Elisso Virsaladze in Munich and has played in master classes for Ferenc Rados, Menahem Pressler, Maurice Bourgue, Oleg Maisenberg, Igor Lazko, Felix Gottlieb and Stanislav Pochekin. In 2013 Sanja finished her postgraduate studies at the Royal College of Music in London, studying with Dmitri Alexeev as an RCM Scholar.
After winning many competitions for young pianists, she gained 2nd prize at the 2003 «Vladimir Horowitz» competition in Kiev and two special prizes at the 2005 ARD Piano duo competition with her sister Lidija with whom she founded a piano duo in 2002. Sanja has given a large number of recitals in Europe, United States, South America and Japan and performances with Sinfonia Varsovia, Britten Sinfonia, Hong Kong Sinfonietta, l’Orchestre d’Avignon, l’Orchestre du Capitole de Toulouse, Essen and Belgrade Philharmonic and Ukraine Symphonic orchestra.
She made her Paris début in l’Auditorium du Louvre in 2006 and has participated since in festivals such as BBC Proms, la Folle journée in Nantes and in Tokyo, La Roque d’Anthéron, Nohant, Piano aux Jacobins in Toulouse in France and Bemus in Serbia. She has played in halls like Royal Albert Hall in London, Victoria Hall in Geneva, Théâtre des Champs-Elysées, Cité de la musique, l’Auditorium du Louvre and Salle Gaveau in Paris, in Palazetto Bru-Zane in Venice.
Sanja made recordings for 3Sat, BBC 3, RAI 2, SAT, TV France 3, France Musique and Mezzo as well as a CD for the French label « Mirare » with works of Stravinsky and two non-comerical CDs for piano duo– live recital for Radio France’s programme “Déclic” and an two pianos recital (Mozart, Schumann, Brahms) for the Meyer Fondation and the Paris Conservatoire.
In April 2013 Sanja released her first solo CD dedicated to S. Rachmaninov’s “Etudes – Tableaux” for the French label DiscAuverS. She was laureate of the Natixis foundation in Paris from 2005. In 2012 Sanja received « Artlink » prize for the best young musician in Serbia for 2011.
“Brilliant sound, precise fingerwork and excellent listening skills”
Independent (Anna Picard)
“Excellent Serbian sisters, both are hugely talented and displayed wit and intelligence”
Classical Source (Colin Clarke)
“…bags of charm…”
The Guardian (Tim Ashley)
“Breathtakingly fine and delicate, not a hint of circus act. If concert promoters want to
book a pair of piano-playing sisters, now they know where to go”
Telegraph (Damian Thompson)
“MUZIKON” CHAMBER ORCHESTRA (Serbia)
Muzikon Chamber Orchestra is a multimedia ensemble that promotes quality, excellence and creativity, particularly focusing on original promotion and the emancipation of musical performance. Muzikon’s mission is placing the highest quality classical music at the core of today’s culture. Muzikon has existed as a chamber orchestra since 2017, when the first concert season titled “Hypercube” was organised. This was followed by regular concert seasons at Kolarac Concert hall (Belgarde). Within its concert season, Muzikon actively works on increasing the popularity of classical music, international cooperation, the development of musical excellence, encouraging local production and the development of a new, young audience. Apart from its classical repertoire, Muzikon has worked on developing a novel approach by featuring digital concerts, interactive design, 3D mapping and new technologies.
Artistic director of the orchestra is Milos Petrovic (Bamberg Symfoniker) and guest concertmeisters and section leaders are Jelena Ristic (Royal Concertgebouw), Jorg Vinkler (Orchestra Maggio del Fiorentino), Branko Kabadaic (Bamberg Symfoniker).
Muzikon had concerts with Boris Berezovsky, Stefan Milenkovich, Abraham Kreefmejer, Cordelia Hofer Teuch, Natasa Veljkovic, Vesna Stankovic, Minka Popovic and many others.
Apart from a classical repertoire Muzikon develops and performs projects including digital concerts, interactive design, 3D mapping and new technologies, and also a multigenre concerts like Queen real tribute Symphony, Metallica tribute Symphony, Schime & Muzikon (jazz project) etc. These rock spectacles were performed in various halls and open spaces in the region (Slovenia, Croatia, North Macedonia Montenegro) and Russia (Moscow, Vladivostok, Nizny Novgorod). Schime & Muzikon is a program of original jazz music composed by members of Schime band for jazz quartet and string orchestra. After very successful premiere in Belgrade, they received an invitation to perform at Moers festival (Germany) in May 2021.
PIANO DUO VESNA KRŠIĆ AND SNEŽANA NIKOLAJEVIĆ (Serbia)
Vesna Kršić, music theoretician and pianist and Snežana Nikolajević, musicologist and pianist, have been playing together as a piano duo since 1969, performing both on two pianos, and one piano four hands, with intense activity respectively. Their repertoire includes a great variety of pieces from different periods and styles, from early baroque to contemporary music. To date, they have performed аll major compositions by more than еighty composers written originally for this ensemble, many of which have been premiers. Along with the classical forms, they also cultivate аnd introduced new ways reaching audiences.
They have performed solo concerts and also with orchestras in Belgrade and many other venues in Serbia, in Croatia, Macedonia, France, Montenegro, Hungary, Israel and the USA. They often recorded for radio and TV, and have been јury members for national and international competitions. The Аssociation of Musical Artists of Serbia awarded the Piano duo Snežana Nikolajević – Vesna Kršić with the best concert of the year honor award ( 2009). Recordings of their performances are available on LP and CD.
On the occasion of three decades of playing of this duo, our prominent pianist Dušan Trbojević wrote: “When someone is over three decades continuously and successfuly engagaed especially in performing classical music, it doubtless deserves high recognition. And if someone s own popularity is not the most important of this artistic activity, but the mission – to be with their performing familiar to the listeners with the music of all epochs and styles, and, in such way to weave some research element in his art – then such work deserves full respect.
And in addition to what we said in this case that the two artists – piano duo Snezana Nikolajević and Vesna Kršić – are not by their primary vocation pianists, but all they do they make from the personal pleasure, not load with some dictations of a narrow professionalism, coupled with the desire to popularize this kind of repertoire and music performance – then this is some kind of rarely. Therefore the appearance and the function of this ensemble have in our musical life a special position.
DUBRAVKA JOVIČIĆ (Serbia)
Dubravka Jovičić, PhD, Ma, is one of the most prominent concert pianist in Serbia and the region. Born in Belgrade where she got both her general and musical education, she got her Bachelor and Master degrees in Piano at the Faculty of Music, University of Arts, in the class of the distinguished professor Mirjana Vukdragović. During her studies Dubravka Jovičić represented her Faculty very often on special occasions in Serbia and abroad. She was awarded with many recompences among which are the October Prize of the City of Belgrade for the student’s achievemnts, the University of Arts Prize, and the „Emil Hajek“ Fund Prize as „the most promising pianist“.
Dubravka Jovičić continued her professional improvement in Paris, Salzburg, Nice and London in the classes of famous pianists and professors, Pierre Sancan, Renzo Silvestri and Kendall Taylor with the scholarships of the French Government, and the British Council.
Dubravka Jovičić won several top prizes and recompences at international competitions (Bordeaux, Zagreb, Bratislava, Paris, Rovinj).
The PhD title Dubravka Jovičić gained at the Faculty of Philology, University of Belgrade, defending the theses untitled „Literary, theoretical and aesthetic aspects of the musical works by Romain Roland“ (1991).
As a concert pianist in her more then 40 years long career, Dubravka Jovičić realized more then 600 recitals and concerts with orchestra playing in 14 European countries at more then 50 international festivals, collaborating with 28 conductors and 15 orchestra. She promoted many premieres, among which the Piano Concerto by the famous Serbian composer Jugoslav Bošnjak, the Dyptich for piano and strings by the former Rector of the University of Arts, Aleksandar Obradović, and the Waldstein Express by the distinguished American composer Jesse Ayers, were dedicated to her. Dubravka Jovičić released two LP and 9 CDs, and made many recordings for the Music Archives of various radio stations.
Dubravka Jovičić was professor of Piano at the Faculty of Music, University of Arts in Belgrade, 42 years continuously. During that time 84 students got their diploma at all levels of study. She was also very active as a Dean of the Faculty of Musica, and the President of its Council, the member of the Senate of the University of Arts, the Head of Piano Department, and much more. In addition to the work at the Faculty of Music, she transfered her knowledge and the experience to the students at the Faculty of Arts, University of Niš, the Music Academy, University of East Sarajevo, and the Academy of Arts, Slobomir P University in Bijeljina.
Dubravka Jovičić was rewarded the Silver Medal (1997), and the Great Plaque with the Charte (2014) by the University of Arts in Belgrade „for her outstanding merits and contribution to the development of the University of Arts and the Faculty of Music“.
RITA KINKA, pianist (Serbia)
The Serbian pianist, Rita Kinka, was born of Hungarian descent and gave her first recital in 1975 at age 13. She enrolled and graduated at the Academy of Arts in Novi Sad at the age of 15, where she was guided by the renowned Professorrs Evgenij Timakin and Arbo Valdma. She completed her master studies at the Faculty of Music in Belgrade (Professor Dušan Trbojević, 1983) and Academy of Arts in Novi Sad (Arbo Valdma, 1981). She continued her master studies at the Julliard School of Music in New York (class of György Sándor) thanks to the scholarship of Gina Bachauer foundation, which she won at the international Queen Elisabeth Competition in Brussels in 1987 as the most promising young artist. She completed her studies at Juilliard in 1989.
Rita Kinka has played regularly in all the Yugoslav music centers and also in USA, Australia, Russia, Germany, Israel, Taiwan, Belgium, Croatia, Slowenia, Spain, Canada, Holland, France, Hungary, Bulgaria, Italy, England and Czechoslovakia. She has given over 700 recitals and performed as soloist with orchestras in almost all European countries, as well as in the USA, Taiwan, Israel, Canada and Australia. Her concerto repertoire includes works of J.S. Bach, W.A. Mozart, L.v. Beethoven, Felix Mendelssohn, Robert Schumann, Frédéric Chopin, Franz Liszt, Johannes Brahms, P. Tchaikovsky, Camille Saint-Saëns, A. Scriabin, Sergei Rachmaninov, S. Prokofiev, M. Ravel, Béla Bartók, and G. Gershwin; and her solo repertoire works of J.S. Bach, Bach-Busoni, J. Haydn, W.A. Mozart, L.v. Beethoven, F. Schubert, Robert Schumann, F. Chopin, F. Liszt, M. Mussorgsky, César Franck, S. Rachmaninov, A. Scriabin, Albeniz, C. Debussy, M. Ravel, Francis Poulenc, Igor Stravinsky, K. Szymanovski, S. Prokofiev, B. Bartók, Dmitri Shostakovich, Anton Webern, Arnold Schoenberg, O. Messian, L. Janacek, W. Lutoslavski, G. Ligeti, and G. Crumb.
Rita Kinka has received a number of Yugoslav awards and prizes and rewards at international piano competitions in Senigallia (1979), Vercelli (Viotti, 1981), Belgrade (Jeunesses Musicales, 1983), Zwickau (Robert Schumann, 1985), Sydney (1985), Munich (ARD, 1987), Bordeaux (Golden medal at the Festival, 1988), Washington (1990), Brussels (Queen Elisabeth, 1991) and Orleans (20th Century Piano Music Competition, Samson Francoise award, 1996). She was the first winner of the European Parliament Prix Femmes d`Europe reward for the best European interpreter of classical music, which was awarded to her in Brussels in June 1991. She is also the laureate of February Prize of the City of Novi Sad for the year 2002.
Rita Kinka made recordings for radio and television centres in several countries (Yugoslavia, Macedonia, Slovenia, Croatia, Italy, Austria, Germany, Belgium, France, Russia, Estonia, Czech Republic, Slovakia, Hungary, Romania, Bulgaria, England, Greece, Spain, Israel, Canada, USA, Australia and Taiwan). She made three CDs for the Digital Media Production (Brussels) and PGP RTS after she had recorded one LP.
Rita Kinka also works as a professor of piano at the Academy of Arts in Novi Sad.
BILJANA GORUNOVIĆ, pianist (Serbia)
Biljana Gorunović was born in 1968 in Belgrade. She studied piano from age 6 at the Mokranjac Music School where she completed her elementary and secondary studies in 1984 as the top student, receiving a prize from the Smiljka Uzelac Fund. While an elementary and secondary school student she won the Republic Competition first prize three times and the National Competition second prize three times. In 1985 she began her university studies in Moscow at the Tchaikovsky Conservatory, completing her undergraduate degree with prof. Larisa Mohelj and her graduate degree with prof. Gleb Axelrod. She acquired Master of Arts degree under prof. Jokut Mihailovic at the Faculty of Music in Belgrade in 1997.
Biljana Gorunović is a longtime member of the Orpheus Musical Youth Ensemble of Belgrade. She has participated as a soloist and as a member of various chamber ensembles in numerous concerts in Belgrade, Sarajevo, Novi Sad, Kraljevo, Kragujevac, Caćak, Valjevo, Sabac, Loznica, Pozarevac, Vrsac, Vrbas, Panćevo, Kovin, Nova Varos, Zrenjanin, Sombor, Budva, Herceg Novi, and Bar. She has performed with the Belgrade Philharmonic Orchestra under conductor Bojan Sudjić, with the JNA orchestra and conductor Angela Surev in the series “Youth for Youth”, with strings of Saint George and conductor Peter Ivanović marking the 120th anniversary of the Kolarac Concert Hall, the 65th anniversary of the opening of the Great Hall, and the 60th anniversary of the Radio Orchestra. She has performed with the Radio Television Serbia Symphony Orchestra under conductor Stanko Sepić, with clarinetist Aleksandar Tasić as well as with the Glinka State String quartet from Moscow.
In Russia and the former USSR Biljana Gorunović held a series of solo concerts (Moscow, Kostroma, Dnipropetrovsk, Perm, Omsk, Tomsk, Tyumen, Samara, Saransk). It was there she also began her collaboration with the concert singers Lyudmila Ivanov in Moscow and Lyudmila Gros, Mirjana Savić, Jelena Vlahović, Katarina Jovanović in Serbia. She has also performed in Greece, the Czech Republic, Germany, Spain, Norway, Russia, and Denmark.
She was awarded an honorary diploma at the Maria Canals International Competition in Barcelona in 1991 and was a laureate of the 2nd International Chopin Competition in Goettingen (Germany) in 1993. There her performance at the Gala winners concert was recorded on compact disc.
To mark the 50 anniversary of the death of Miloje Milojević, she premiered the cycle “Cameo,” op. 51, and then recorded it on a PGP compact disc along with “Miniatures” and “Melodies and Rhythms from the Balkans” by the same composer. The critics ranked her NIN concert dedicated to the works of Miloje Milojević as the best concert in 1999. Since 1994 she has been a member of the Association of Musical Artists of Serbia, who awarded her the prize for best concert of the year in 2006.
Biljana Gorunović is a dedicated pedagogue employed as a full professor at the Art Academy of the University of Novi Sad, where she teaches piano and piano pedagogy/methodics. She has been Department Head since October 2012.
MIXED CHOIR OF SOMBOR SINGING SOCIETY (Serbia)
Mixed choir dates from 2016 when it branched out of a famous youth choir Iuventus Cantat, founded in 1985. Milan Radišić, then a member of ensemble, became it’s conductor. The ensemble, which had just been launched, soon had considerable successes to show for it; it immediately won the Laureat prize on the 16th Choir Festival in Baja, Hungary, where it premiered a rich repertoire of Orthodox Christian music composed by contemporary national authors. In the following year the ensemble worked jointly with Petar Konjović Music school choir, and together they won the third prize at International Choir Festival in Herceg Novi, in Montenegro. In July 2018. the Sombor Mixed Choir performed at International Festival of Music “Ohridski Talasi” in Ohrid, Northern Macedonia. While in October that year it won silver medal at 2. International Choir Festival Bratislava Cantat in Bratislava, Slovakia.
Traditionally the choir takes part in all celebrations and notable festivals in Sombor and surrounding villages. With repertoires that run through many centuries and music genre, the choir performs the works of some of the best choral composers through ages, both domestic and international.
Mixed choir is an open, joyful and welcoming community. Every age group is represented, from “well-sung members” who have remained loyal to the choir since it launched, to local citizens from all walks of life, who simply enjoy singing and working together to create beautiful music.
MILAN RADIŠIĆ, conductor (Serbia)
Milan Radišić (1980) is one of the directors of choral activities at Sombor Singing Society, where he conducts the Mixed Choir and teaches vocal techniques to its members. He also works as content radio producer and a presenter at Radio Blagovesnik, in Sombor.
Milan has begun his conducting journey in 2001 as an assistant conductor of a celebrated youth choir Iuventus Cantat in Sombor. From 2004 he conducted a Male Chamber Choir at Sombor Singing Society (2004-2006), as well as a Female Chamber Choir (2005-2006).
In 2003 he launched a Mixed Chamber Choir Vox Euterpes. Since 2006 up to date, he successfully directs a Serbian Orthodox Church Choir St Tzar Konstantin and Tzarina Jelena that has been travelling both nationally and internationally and performing its liturgical repertoire in: Ukraine-Belorussia (2012), Ostrog Monastery in Montenegro (2011), Timisoara in Romania (2018) and Pécs in Hungary (2015 and 2019). With this church choir Milan won a Vojislav Ilić prize for authentic performance of religious music in Vocal ensembles category, at 15th Festival of religious music Choirs amongst frescoes (2008).
At 2009 he is rewarded a special prize in recognition for his achievements in research work of religious music at 15th Festival of religious music Choirs amongst frescoes in Belgrade, Serbia.
This considerable number of music ensembles and choirs that Milan directs and conducts, give over 20 concerts and performances annually in Sombor and its surrounding. Furthermore they regularly qualify for Provincial festival of authentic arts in Vrbas, Vojvodina.
Since 2016, Milan conducts Mixed choir of Sombor Singing Society. He transforms voices of this non-profit and self funding ensemble of amateur singers into beautiful music that speaks truly and directly to audiences. With his passion for music and devotion to legacy, today Milan keeps and carries the fire passed on by our ancestors who funded the Sombor Singing society 151 years ago. He directs a vastly rich repertoire of choral music, that spans through world, centuries and music genres.
Milan is also a chair of Serbian National Choral Association, situated in Sombor, that incorporates 140 choirs from Serbia and diaspora.
He is a member of Creative artists Association of Vojvodina and regular chair of the panel at annual Festival of Vojvodina Children’s choirs, located in Bačka Topola.
His whole life, since he can remember, Milan finds his artistic expression in music. By conducting choirs and singing ensembles he communicates to audiences.
MIHAJLO ZURKOVIĆ, pianist (Serbia)
Mihajlo Zurković 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 of Arts degree at the Academy of Arts in the same class. At present, Zurković is on doctoral studying program at the Academy of Arts in Novi Sad under Biljana Gorunović mentoring and also employed as a Associate professor for piano and Head of the piano department at the Academy of Arts in Novi
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.
In the concert season 2013/14 he took a part in project of Irish dance company “Fabulous Beast Dance Theatre” playing “Petrushka” and “The Rite of Spring” of I. Stravinsky on festivals in Germany and Ireland .
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.
TEA DIMITRIJEVIĆ – DEJAN SUBOTIĆ, piano duet (Serbia)
Tea Dimitrijević and Dejan Subotić have been performing together since 2007. They have played a large number of concerts in major venues in Belgrade and other cities in Serbia, featuring an extensive repertoire comprising works spanning from Classicism to the 21st century.
They performed at a gala concert celebrating Robert Schumann’s bicentenary at the City Hall of Belgrade, held as part of the festival Šuman i njegovi dvojnici (Schumann and his Doubles), as well as the 45th Mokranjčevi dani (Mokranjac Days) festival in Negotin. A recording of their
interpretation of work by Schumann has been broadcast by BBC3. The Duo have performed all of Erik Satie’s work for piano four-hands, while in April 2012, to mark 150 years since the birth of Claude Debussy, they gave a concert featuring all of his works for piano four-hands. They have also given several recitals featuring special topics, such as Music for Children, Women Composers, French 19th- and 20th-century Music, Chamber Music of Valery Gavrilin, as well as a large number of concerts featuring contemporary Serbian music. They have premiered several works for piano four-hands by Serbian authors that were specially composed for them (Svetlana Savić, Branka Popović, Dragana Jovanović, Tatjana Milošević) as well as the entire oeuvre of Miloš Petrović for piano duo. Dimitrijević and Subotić were the first two Serbian artists to receive doctoral degrees in the field of chamber music. The Duo have also won a Silver Medal of the
University of Arts in Belgrade.
Tea Dimitrijević was born in Belgrade. She finished both graduate and postgraduate studies at the Faculty of Music in Belgrade with professor Mirjana Šuica- Babić. She specialized in chamber music and finished graduation studies of harpsichord with Professor Miloš Petrović.
She got her PhD degree in the field of chamber music with professors Miloš Petrović and Zorica Ćetković. She took part in a lot of concerts throughout Serbia, Montenegro, Germany, Slovenia, Greece, Macedonia and Austria, both as a soloist and as a part of chamber ensembles. She performed
with Belgrade Philharmonic orchestra, Arte ensemble, St. George’s strings, New music ensemble, Camerata Serbica orchestra and Nordic Balkan String orchestra (NORBAL). She participated in the festivals BEMUS and BELEF in Belgrade, NOMUS in Novi Sad, Budva city theater, Mokranjac’s days, AFES in Macedonia and Ohrid summer. She also regularly performs at the International Review of Composers. As a permanent collaborator with Symphonic orchestra of RTS, she participated in the performances of a lot of pieces of Serbian and international composers, performing with well-known conductors, soloists and opera stars: Montserrat Caballé, Kiri Te Kanawa, José Carreras, Placido Domingo. She took part in a lot of premiere
performances of the pieces written by the Serbian composers, especially for the piano duo.
She teaches at the Faculty of Music in Belgrade as an associate professor at the Chamber Music Department. She is an author and a host of the radio show Susretanja (Encounters), as well as of the night programme Iza violinskog ključa (Behind the treble clef) on the first programme of Radio Belgrade.
Dejan Subotić completed graduate and postgraduate studies in piano (professors Andrea Inhof, Andreja Preger and Nevena Popović) and received doctoral degree in chamber music from the Faculty of music in Belgrade (professor Zorica Cetković). He also holds bachelor and master
degrees in harpsichord.
He attended chamber music classes of prof. Mats Zetterqvist in Stockholm (Royal College of Music, Edsberg School) and was an active participant of numerous master classes (Peter Lönnerberg, Konstantin Bogino, Borbola Doboszy, Peter Dircksen, Syavush Gadzhiev, Boris Previsic). Dejan Subotić is the prize winner of several competitions, most notably the Piano competition in Rome and Kawai competition in Italy. He took part in many festivals, like Mokranjac’s days, The International Composers’ Tribune, OKTOH, Convivium musicum, Ars vivendi clavicembalum, The Harp Festival and others. He is a member of Singidunum trio with flutist Stana Krstajić and violinist Ksenija Milošević. The trio has performed numerous new pieces, mostly written by Serbian composers. Dejan Subotić is also a member of piano duo with Tea Dimitrijević. This piano duo performs regularly, playing among others complete works by Claude Debussy and Erik Satie. Their live recording of piano duo pieces by Schumann has been
broadcast by Radio BBC3. Dejan Subotic performed as a soloist with orchestra in pieces by Bach, Martin and de Falla. He gave concerts in Austria, Romania, Slovakia, Croatia and Czech Republic.
Dejan Subotić was awarded The Silver Medal of University of Arts in Belgrade in 2012.
LEA POROBIĆ, pianist (Serbia)
Lea Porobic, a pianist and professor completed her piano studies at the
Academy of Arts in Novi Sad in the class of prof. Svetlana Bogino. She
studied with eminent piano professors, such as Wei Yi Yang, Nancy Li Harper, Alberto Portogis, Karen Lehter, Valentin Surif, Eugen Skorovodnikov, Dejan Sinadinovic, Alexander Sandorov, Vladimir Ogarkov and others.
She has been working as a piano teacher and accompanist at the Petar Konjović High School of Music in Sombor since 2011, and is also an official
accompanist for the international Femus Woodwind Competition in Subotica.
MARIJA OBRENOVIĆ, pianist (Serbia)
Marija Obrenovic, a pianist and professor, completed her piano studies at the Academy of Arts in Novi Sad with the prof. Rita Kinka. She participated in seminars and master classes of eminent piano professors, such as Svetlana Bogino, Vladimir Ogarkov, Arbo Valdma, Yuri Kot, Jokuthon Mihailovic, Aleksandra Romanic, Vladimir Cvijic, Lidija Bizjak and Djordje Milojkovic.
As a member of the Animato Piano Quartet, she attended seminars with
Manhattan String Quartet (USA), Amar String Quartet (Switzerland), Vide Vujic (Austria), Maria Perise (Spain) and the Imerso Piano Trio (Austria). With this ensemble, she participated in concerts and festivals at home and abroad, including the Nei suoni dei luoghi Festival (Italy), Bolshoi Festival (Serbia), Via Pontica (Bulgaria), Ars Halieti (Slovenia), the Chamber Music Festival in Sarajevo, Cult (Serbia), Danube Sonata (Serbia), et al. She has performed with the Animato ensemble in a number of humanitarian concerts in Belgrade, Novi Sad, Kragujevac, Sabac, Ruma, Pancevo and Subotica.
Starting 2017, she is a PhD student of chamber music at the Faculty of Music in Belgrade, mentored by prof. Dejan Subotic. Marija Obrenovic works as a piano professor at the Petar Konjovic High School of Music.
MIROSLAV POPOVIĆ, pianist (Serbia)
Miroslav Popović, a pianist and professor, completed his piano studies at the Academy of Arts in Novi Sad in the class of prof. Vladimir Ogarkov. He attended seminars and master classes of prominent professors and artists, such as Dusan Trbojevic, Miroslava Lili-Petrovic, Arbo Valdma, Rita Kinka, Svetlana Bogino, Eugen Indjic, Pascal Devojon, Jan Jones, Lovro Pogorelic, Wolfgang Manc, Priska Benoa, Mladen Colic, Diane Andersen, Jacques Rouvier, Lidija Bizjak, Jokuthon Mihailovic and Aleksandar Serdar. He has won numerous awards, most notably the First Prize at Isidor Bajic Memorial and Special Award Frederick Chopin at the same competition, the first prize at the Young Pianist Competition in Sabac, as well as awards in the field of chamber music.
He has performed with the Novi Sad String Orchestra Kamerata Akademika, the Bilitis String Quartet, the Panon Klass Band in Novi Sad, as well as with artists: Radoslav Vorgić-Žuržovan (soprano), Verica Pejić (soprano), Ljiljana Lišković (soprano), Bisak Jožef (viola), Nemanja Sovtic (trombone), Goran Eric (trumpet), Lidija Kneep (flute) and others.
Miroslav Popovic also collaborates with young Vojvodina composers, including Vedran Ferizovic, Svetozar Nesic, Ivan Markovic, Ljubomir Nikolic, Stanislava Gajic, Dorotea Vejnovic and others. He was one of the founders of the student festival A Fest in Novi Sad, where he was artistic director in 2009. He recorded several recordings, including a 2012 piano recital for RTV Novi Sad.
He works as a piano professor at the Petar Konjovic High School of Music in Sombor.
MILICA MARKOVIĆ, pianist (Serbia)
Milica Markovic, born on 30th December 1993, in Vranje, Serbia. Ms. Markovic started practicing piano at the age of eight, at the Music School ‘Mokranjac’ in Vranje, where she finishes elementary education and two years of high-school music education. Third and fourth year of high-school music education, Ms. Markovic finished at the Music School ‘Stankovic’ in Belgrade, in the class of Professor Cedomir Marjanovic. In the academic year 2012/2013, Ms. Markovic continues her education at the Academy of Arts in Novi Sad, Music Department, study programme Piano, in the class of Professor Jokuthon Mihailovic, and later Professor Mihajlo Zurkovic. In September 2016, she successfully finishes her Bachelor Programme with a GPA 9.87/10, and enrols in the Masters Programme of Piano at the Academy of Arts in Novi Sad, in the class of Professor Mihajlo Zurkovic. During the course of her academic studies, Ms. Markovic has performed at numerous concerts, festivals, and international competitions.
The Year of the Great – tribute to Carl Philipp Emanuel Bach, on the occasion of 300 years of birth (Multimedia Center of Academy of Arts, Novi Sad, 2014); piano recital (Music School ‘Petar Konjovic’ in Sombor, 2014); ‘Cultural attack’ AUNS (City Hall in Subotica, 2015); 3rd prize in the E category at the international competition ‘Davorin Jenko’ in Belgrade, 2015; 3rd prize in the VI category at the international competition of young pianists in Sabac, 2015 and 2nd prize in the VI category at the international competition of young pianists in Sabac, 2017; participation at the SOMUS festival as a member of the Academy of Arts chamber ensemble (National Theatre in Sombor, 2015, 2017); participation at the festival of the Academy of Arts ‘A fest’, 2016; concert by students from Piano Programme AUNS (Gallery ‘Hol’, Academy of Arts, Novi Sad, 2016); concert by students from the class of Professor Mihajlo Zurkovic in Sombor and in Subotica, 2016 and in 2018; participation at the piano festival ‘Piano Summer Vranje’ in Vranje, 2016, 2017 and in 2018; concert with the Academy of Arts chamber ensemble, in collaboration with the French Institute in Serbia, on the occasion of World Music Day, in 2015, 2017 and in 2018.
Ms. Markovic has attended Master courses with renowned professors and artists: Jokuthon Mihailovic (Serbia), Evgeny Starodubtsev (Russia), Grzegorz Kurzyńskog (Poland), Jacques Rouvier (France), Sergey Senkov (Russia), Letizia Michielon (Italy), Zlata Chochieva ( Russia), Teresa Trevisan (Italy), Flavio Zaccaria (Italy).
In the academic year 2014/2015, Ms. Markovic was awarded a scholarship by a fund which supports the progress of gifted students and young academics and artists at the University of Novi Sad. In the academic years 2015/2016 and 2016/2017, she was also awarded a scholarship ‘Dositej’, supporting the young talents of the Republic of Serbia. Ms. Markovic is the winner of the University of Novi Sad Award, for outstanding academic achievements in four consecutive academic years from 2012 to 2016. Ms. Markovic worked, during her master studies, in the capacity of the Teaching Associate, in the Department of Piano, at the Academy of Arts in Novi Sad, Serbia. She successfully finishes her Master Programme of Piano in June, 2018. In the academic year 2018/2019 she enrols in the PhD Programme of Piano at the Academy of Arts in Novi Sad, Serbia, in the class of Professor Rita Kinka. Currently she is working as a piano teacher at the Music School “Petar Konjović” in Sombor, Serbia.
„A gallant spirit, an aristocratic nobility and the occasional witty comment made Milica Marković’s intelligently executed interpretation truly imbued with what Claude Debussy liked to call “the French spirit”.
Srđan Teparić, the editor of Radio Belgrade 2 and a professor of Musicology at the Faculty of Music Arts in Belgrade .
SLOVENIAN CHAMBER MUSIC THEATER (SKGG)
Slovenian Chamber Music Theater (SKGG) is a company engaged in the production of theater
and musical performances since 1996. It specializes in chamber operas for children and adults and is the only producer of its kind in Slovenia. Members of the theater are renowned music, theater and cultural artists. SKGG performances are highly appreciated and highly attended. In recent years, there has been a programmatic emphasis on contemporary music, so that the most significant Slovenian contemporary composers (Tomaž Svete, Dušan Bavdek, Pavel Mihelčič, Petra Strahovnik), as well as world renowned authors (Nataša Bogojević, Stevan McNef) have written for them, as well as the opera librettos by Ivo Svetina and Milan Dekleva.
The co-producers of SKGG’s performances are Cankar’s House, SNG Opera and Ballet Ljubljana, Academy of Music, Musicka Matica, Imago Slovenia.
The activity of SKGG is supported by the Ministry of Culture of the Republic of Slovenia, the City of Ljubljana, the Italian Institute of Culture in Slovenia, the Slovenian Composers Society, the American Embassy in Ljubljana, the B. Martin Foundation in Prague and others.
JELENA SUSNICK, conductor (Slovenia)
Jelena SusniCk, a conductor with extensive experience, started her career in Belgrade and continued in Slovenia. In addition to performing with orchestras and choirs throughout Europe, she has been involved in teaching for many years.
She completed her elementary and master’s degrees at the Faculty of Music in Belgrade, and during her work she trained with maestro Mladen Jagust, Darinka Matic Marovic, Stanko Sepic, and later with Colin Meters, Head of Conducting Department at the Royal Academy of Music in London.
During her long conducting career she has collaborated with important orchestra ensembles, including the Berlin Symphony (Germany), the Belgrade Philharmonic, the Slovenian Philharmonic Orchestra, the RTS Symphony Orchestra, the Berlin Youth Music Orchestra, the contemporary music ensemble Slavko Osterc. She is a longtime conductor and artistic leader of the international Pan-Slovenian ensemble Youth Super Choir and an orchestra with which she performed in the most prominent concert halls from Italy to Northern Macedonia. She has toured in Sweden, Denmark, Italy, Greece, Romania, Germany, France, Austria, Poland, Czech Republic and all countries in our region.
Jelena Susnick has won several significant awards. She is a laureate of the competitions of the Commune of Cortemilia in Italy with maximum points, followed by an offer to record music by contemporary composers for RAI. She is also a three-time winner as well as honorary winner of the Serbian Music and Ballet Educators Association Award.
She has recorded four CDs for Radio and Television of Slovenia, and for Radio Television of Serbia she has made recordings of contemporary composers.
Susnick regularly conducts seminars for conductors and choirs and has been the president of the jury at competitions and festivals for choir and orchestra in Serbia since 1995.
She has also been active as a writer lately. She writes for the feminist magazine Working Woman and Politika’s Entertainer, and at the suggestion of Maja Gal Štromar, wrote a Diary of a Migrant Woman, on the basis of which she produced the play Ex / Odus Joy in production of the Slovenian Music Chamber Theater.
MAJA GAL ŠTROMAR, actress/dramatist (Slovenia)
Maja Gal Štromar is a very versatile artist, equally successful in acting, writing, dramaturgy, translation, and has proven herself as a screenwriter, director and professor of rhetoric. She lives and creates as a freelance artist.
After completing her basic Roman studies in Ljubljana, she graduated from the Jacques Lecoc International School of Theater in Paris. In addition to many theater roles she performed for the National Theater in Celje and the
Slovenian National Theater in Maribor, and guest appearances in numerous theater companies where she performed her theater projects, Maja Gal Štromar has also made thirty-three films.
Her literary production is also very rich and well-known in the region and beyond. So far, she has published four collections of poetry, five novels – Amygdala’s Heart, Human Beast, or Light
by Decree, Think of Me When You Are Beautiful, Glades and 7kg to Happiness, Elsewhere A Woman, then Alma Ajka’s Monodrama and My Voice, My Way as a bilingual Slovenian-Arabic edition of the Library of Alexandria, a fairy tale, a theater manual and a dramatic text named
Slovoland, as well as the monodrama Survivor – A Confession by Amelia Earhart. She also signs a number of radio dramas broadcast by Radio Slovenia and the Italian national RAI service. She directed the award-winning play Mad Men and then the Small Suicide Supplies Store.
This artist actively translates from Roman languages. She is the recipient of Sever’s 1991 Award for Acting Bravura.
EVA HRIBERNIK, operatic and theatre director (Slovenia)
Eva Hribernik is an opera and theater director in Slovenia and beyond. After completing her studies in dramaturgy at the Academy of Theater, Radio, Film and Television (AGRFT) in Ljubljana, she graduated from the department of opera directing at the Italiana Opera Academy in Verona.
The first major engagement came after the director’s competition in Rome in 2015, when she was selected to direct the modern Italian drama The Ashes of Gianluca Arena in Palazzo Camocina.
She has also participated as a directing assistant in the settings of John Gay’s Beggar’s Opera and Euripides’ Alcestide at the Casa degli Artisti Theater in Parma. With a special affinity for operas for children and adults of contemporary composers, Eva Hribernik directed the adventure musical Madagascar, then the opera-ballet fairy tale The Lord and the Pear by Dusan Bavdk, the opera The Snow Queen by Matthew King, and Najman’s Chamber Opera for The Man Who Mistook a Wife for a Hat. Eva Hribernik also directed Mini Opera II, which toured Ljubljana, Budapest and Brno over the past year.
Since 2016, this director has been conducting a seminar in the field of stage interpretation for opera singers within the ALEF cultural society in Modena.
KATJA KONVALINKA, sopran (Slovenija)
Katja Konvalinka is a celebrated soprano of Slovenian descent who is actively performing on the opera stages of Slovenia, Austria and Croatia. She graduated from the Academy of Music in Ljubljana, the piano section in the class of Prof. Aci Bertoncelj, and then the solo-singing section in the class of Prof. Eve Novšak-Houška. She obtained her Master’s degree at the Academy of Music and Visual Arts in Graz at the Department of Opera and Concert Singing. She also studied with soprano and professor Vlatka Orsanic.
In addition to the roles she performed for the SNG Opera in Ljubljana, including Ana Frank (Diary of Anne Frank – G. Fried), Fanny (Wedding Contract – Rosini), Pedro (Don Quixote -Massenet), Ana (Nabucco – Verdi), Princess Nineta (In love with three oranges – Prokofiev), First Lady (Magic Flute – Mozart), Katja Konvalinka also performed in several Mozart’s operas at the Theater em Pale in Graz, interpreting the roles of Cerlina (Don Giovanni), Despine (Cosi fan tutte) and Servilia (Tito’s mercy).
Produced by Slovenian Chamber Music Theater, she sang major soprano roles in Bastien and Bastien (Mozart), Telephone (Menoti), Redcap (Kyu), Nobody’s Daughter (Nieman), The Snow Queen (King) and many others.
She sang at concert performances with the Radio Television Slovenia Symphony Orchestra in Passion by John (J.S.Bach), Second Symphony (Mahler), Christmas Oratorio (Saint-Saens), Stabat
Mater (Pergolesi) and some masses by Mozart.
She performed solo recitals in Serbia, Slovenia, Austria, Italy, Croatia, India and Nepal. Katja Konvalinka teaches singing at the Vič Rudnik Music School in Ljubljana.
NATAŠA BOGOJEVIĆ, composer (Serbia-USA)
Natasa Bogojevic is a multi-award winning Serbian-American composer who has lived and worked in Chicago (USA) for over two decades. She studied composition in the class of Prof. Srdjan Hofman at the Faculty of Music in Belgrade. After completing her studies, she followed electro-acoustic music courses with Vladan Radovanovic on Radio Belgrade’s Third Program, chamber music with Oliver Djurdjevic and film music with Annie Simeon in Italy. Before leaving for America, she worked as an assistant at the Department of Composition and Orchestration at the FMU in Belgrade and was one of the founders of the group of composers Seven Magnificent, as well as the Grechen group for the study of the synthesis of music and
visual arts. Since 2003, she has taught composition at De Paul University in Chicago.
Natasa Bogojevic’s oeuvre includes works for symphony orchestra, choir, chamber and vocal ensembles, solo instruments, as well as electronic, computer and applied music for ballet, theater and film. Many of her works have been performed at major international festivals, including the European Electronic Music Festival (led by Pierre Schaeffer), New Music (Middelburg in the Netherlands), International Festival of New Music (Slovakia), Concert for Peace (Japan), Arai Music festival (Canada), National Conferences of American Music (USA) and many others. Also, her works are performed by renowned soloists, chamber ensembles and orchestras in
France, Germany, England, Switzerland, Slovakia, throughout the former Yugoslavia and in the territory of the former Soviet Union.
She is the recipient of the First Prize at the UNESCO Composers Rostrum in Paris, the Josip Slavenski Award, the annual award of the Composers Association of Serbia, the Radio Belgrade Award, the October Award of the City of Belgrade and others.
SCHIAVO-MARCHEGIANI, piano duet (Italy)
Mr. Schiavo and Mr. Marchegiani are highly appreciated by the audience and critics for their musical personality, great expressiveness and naturalness, beauty of sound, intensity and overwhelming energy of their performances. At the same time as their solo concert international activity, since 2006 they play together all over the world performing hundreds of concerts in the most prestigious venues and
festivals including Carnegie Hall in New York, Goldener Saal at Musikverein and Konzerthaus in Vienna, Mozarteum in Salzburg, Philharmonie (Grosser Saal) and Konzerthaus in Berlin, Laeiszhalle in Hamburg, Beethoven-Haus in Bonn, Rudolfinum and Smetana Hall in Prague, Bulgaria Hall in Sofia, Hermitage Theater in St. Petersburg, Sala Verdi in Milan, Suntory Hall in Tokyo, Solis Theatre in Montevideo, Sao Paulo Hall in Brazil as well as in Rome, Paris, Zurich, London, Sofia, Istanbul, Helsinki, Moskow, Toronto,
Montreal, Washington, Mexico City, Baku, Astana, Hong Kong, Bangkok, Singapore, etc. Their dazzling career has made them regular guests with the most prestigious orchestras such as Berliner Symphoniker, Budapest Symphony Orchestra, Prague Radio Symphony Orchestra, Sofia Philharmonic Orchestra, New York Symphonic Orchestra, Mexico State
Symphony Orchestra, Istanbul Symphony Orchestra, Prague Chamber Orchestra, Madrid and Prague Chamber Orchestra, Azerbaijan State Symphony Orchestra. They recorded for important National TV and Radio channels in Italy (RAI Radio3), Czech Republic (live from the Dvořák Hall), Germany, Bulgaria, Russia, Mexico, Hong Kong, etc. In 2014 Decca label published their first CD, completely dedicated to Franz Schubert which got amazing reviews from the critics.
“In the Fantasia the two pianists play with a lively and easy immediacy, whilst giving a strong sense of clarity to Schubert’s more poetic
movements… it has some lovely poignant moments and his highly evocative… The remainder of the items on the disc are all admirably played” (Robert Hugill);
“Marco Schiavo and Sergio Marchegiani do a nice job with this music… they are forthright and clear-eyed, producing a nice range of tones and textures, and handling transitions with assurance…” (Stephen Francis Vasta).
In 2018 Decca published their second CD entitled “Dances” with Johannes Brahms’ 21 Hungarian Dances and 16 Waltzes Op. 39: “… a smooth and admirable sound and stylistic balance” (Mattia Rossi);
“A performance that is not listened to, but is drunk with the ears as if it were a champagne flute made sound… reference recording for WoO 1 and Op. 39. Inalienable” (Andrea Bedetti).
In January 2020 Decca published their latest CD contains Mozart’ Concertos for two pianos and orchestra K. 242 and K. 365 and Kozeluch’ Concerto for piano 4-hands recorded in London with Royal Philharmonic Orchestra.
Sergio Marchegiani and Marco Schiavo studied with great musicians such as Ilonka Deckers Küszler, Alexander Lonquich, Bruno Canino, Franco Scala, Aldo Ciccolini and Sergei Dorenski. They teach in Alessandria and Potenza Conservatories and are in frequent demand for masterclasses and piano competition jury all over the world (Spain, Serbia, Turkey, United States, Mexico, Kazakhstan, Japan, Australia, Brazil, etc.).
SIMON TRPČESKI, pianist (N. Macedonia)
“Trpčeski’s art is to probe deep beneath the notes and elicit the essential character and substance of a score. […] Deftness and passion made for a performance that was extra-ordinarily compelling in its freshness and in its capacity to expose the music’s very heart.”
Simon Trpčeski performs with orchestras such as Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra, Russian National Orchestra, WDR Sinfonieorchester, Orchestre National de France, New York Philharmonic, China Philharmonic and Sydney Symphony Orchestra. He regularly gives solo recitals in cultural capitals like New York, Paris, Munich, Prague, Sao Paulo, Sydney, Beijing, Tokyo, and London where he was recently Artist in Residence at Wigmore Hall. He performs at prestigious festivals including Verbier, Bergen, the Baltic Sea Festival, Mecklenburg Vorpommern, Robecco, Aspen, Cabrillo, Ravinia, Blossom and BBC Proms.
During the 2020/2021 season Trpčeski’s planned schedule included bookings with orchestras such as Orchestre National de France, Philharmonia Orchestra, Russian National Orchestra, Orchestre Philharmonique de Monte Carlo, City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra, Tonhalle-Orchester Zürich, Minessota and St. Petersburg Philharmonic as well as Baltimore and Chicago Symphony Orchestras. He concluded the season playing with the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra for Vasily Petrenko’s final concert as Music Director.
His recital schedule plans included Amsterdam’s Concertgebouw, Singapore, Rio de Janeiro, Bogota and London’s International Piano Series. He also continues his duo partnership with the cellist Daniel Müller-Schott.
He is especially enthusiastic about his folk project “MAKEDONISSIMO”, devised with composer Pande Shahov, which celebrates the music and culture of his native Macedonia. After series of successful concerts including Wigmore Hall, Concertgebouw, Ludwigsburg Festspiele, Lille Festival, Katowice Radio Concert Hall and South Korean Tour, the band will continue to give concerts internationally at the Maribor Festival in Slovenia, Tonhalle Zurich, tour to Croatia, as well as performances in Moscow, Vienna, Ottawa, and Australasia in the upcoming seasons.
During the 2021 summer, his engagements included the Strasbourg, Sofia, Asturias and Romanian Radio Philharmonic Orchestras, the Montpellier Radio France Festival as well as the return to the Roque d’Antheron Festival. The 2021/22 season will also see him at the Maribor Festival Residency in Slovenia, Tonkunstler Orchestra, Oregon and Puerto Rico Symphonies, Stuttgart and Duisburg Philharmonic, Royal Scottish National, Sydney Symphony, New Year’s concert of the Janacek Philharmonic and final concerts of Enescu Philharmonic’s season. In addition to the Miami, New Mexico and Singapore recitals, Simon is continuing with his passion for chamber music with a concert at the Wigmore Hall presenting his Makedonissimo colleagues in a classical chamber concert. He is honoured about the exciting collaboration with the legendary violinist Maxim Vengerov, joining him at the concerts in London, Paris and New York’s Carnegie Hall.
Trpčeski has recorded prolifically. His last recital release, in 2019, a disc of solo Russian repertoire named “Tales from Russia” with ONYX, including rare recording of Mussorgsky’s “Night on the bald mountain” and a complete “Scheherazade”, received unanimous critical acclaim.
He embarked on a collaboration with LINN Records in 2020, the first disc being “MAKEDONISSIMO”, which gained rave reviews from the international press, such as: “Editor’s Choice by Presto Classical” – “Listening to this joyous, madcap album from the Macedonian pianist and friends feels like eavesdropping on an uproarious late-night jam-session…. it’s life-affirming stuff; BBC Music Magazine’s double 5 stars – “an immensely enjoyable, foot-tapping listen … imaginative, intricate and wonderfully warm-spirited…. joy of a disc.”, “Cult Recording” by Rondo Magazine, “The result is breathtaking” by “Concerti” as well as ‘’Gramophone’s Frequently as delicate as Mozart chamber music”.
In May 2021, Linn Records released the second album with the Shostakovich piano concerti, under Cristian Macelaru and the Janacek Philharmonic Orchestra. It immediately got the praise from the press, including the “Concerto Choice” by BBC Music Magazine, “Recording of the month” by MusicWeb International, Sunday Times and Supersonic Pizzicato accolades.
His debut recording (EMI, 2002) received the “Editor’s Choice” and “Debut Album” at the Gramophone Awards. In 2010 and 2011, his interpretations of Rachmaninov’s complete concertos were recognised with Classic FM, Gramophone “Editor’s Choice,” and Diapason d’Or accolades. His recording for Onyx Classics of Prokofiev’s Piano Concertos No. 1 and 3 again won him the Diapason d’Or in September 2017.
Trpčeski has been fully dedicated to the educational activities. He was Professor at the Faculty of Music in Skopje. His warm and friendly personality continues to inspire younger generations around the world, giving masterclasses in cities such as London, Manchester, Birmingham, Berlin, Ljubljana, Shanghai, Hong Kong, Auckland, Wellington, Oslo, Stavanger, Dublin, Warsaw, Dallas, San Francisco, Salt Lake City, Zagreb and Belgrade.
Together with his brother Jovan, as part of his hobby, he has composed several successful and popular children’s’ and pop songs. With the special support of KulturOp – Macedonian cultural and arts organisation – Trpčeski works regularly with young musicians in Macedonia to cultivate the country’s next generation of artists. Born in Macedonia, Trpčeski studied with Boris Romanov. He was previously a BBC New Generation Artist and was honoured with the Royal Philharmonic Society Young Artist Award in 2003.
JANA JOVANOVIĆ, soprano (Serbia)
Jana Jovanović graduated in 2011 the study program of Solo Singing at the Faculty of Music in Belgrade. She completed her Master’s and Postgraduate studies (2011, 2013) in Norway at the University of Stavanger Department for Music and Dance, in the class of Professor Elizabeth Norberg-Schulz.
Jana was a soloist collaborator at the National Theater in Belgrade. She played many roles in the country and abroad, such as Clorinda, Poppea, Serpina, Drusilla, the role of Constanza in the opera “Who kiddnaped Constanza the Mouse”, by the eminent Italian composer Roberta Vacca, which had world premiere in 2012 in Norway. She also has an enviable concert activity both in the country and abroad.
Concerts that stand out: Schubert’s Mass in G major (Stavanger Konserthus, Norway), Voices of Europe (Radiokulutrhaus, Vienna), Festival in Schwenzingen (Germany), Abschlusskonzert (Gmunden), cycle of concerts Chamber Music Podium (Kolarac Endowment Belgrade) and many other.
Since 2018, Jana is a member of the Association of Music Artists of Serbia. She won scholarships and awards at festivals and national competitions. She was a finalist at the prestigious Renata Tebaldi competition in San Marino (Italy).
Jana had a successful collaboration with conductors Eduardo Muller, Fabio Biondi, Ruben Jais, Felice Venanzoni, John Storårds, Walevein Witten, Ana Zoran Brajović … She has also collaborated with directors Allesio Pizzech, Caterina Panti Liberovici, Einar Bjørge, Hilde Ailš , Ivan Dragutinović Maričić …
SIMONIDA RODIĆ, flutist (Serbia)
Simonida Rodić was born on December 12, 1986 in Sombor.
In December 2015, she completed her PhD studies in Performing Arts at the Faculty of Music in Belgrade in the class of Professor Ljubiša Jovanović. She gain Master’s degree (2011), Specialization in Piccolo Flute (2013) and Postgraduate Diploma (2012) at the University of Stavanger, Department for Music and Dance in the class of Professor Vidar Austvik. In 2010 she completed the Specialization and in 2009 the Bachelor studies at the Faculty of Music in Belgrade with highest grades 10.
In December 2020, Simonida won the Third Prize with Special Mention at the International Orchestra Auditions Awards competition for the Samnium Symphony Orchestra with whom she toured in July this year. Concerts were held in prestigious halls, Musikverein Vienna, Teatro Ostia Antica in Rome and Teatro Romano in Benevento. The recital New and Old – baroque and neo-baroque music at the Festival BUNT 7.0 Simonida performed on the baroque traverso flute accompanied by Milan Popović on the harpsichord (November 2019).
In January 2018 she performed as a soloist and chamber musician at the Winter in Schwetzingen Festival in Germany, and in April same year at the Royal Palace in Stockholm, in Drottning Christina och Freden project. At the 80th anniversary of the Faculty of Music in Belgrade, in 2017, Simonida performed as the first flute of the Symphony Orchestra of professors, former and current students of the Faculty of Music under the baton of maestro Bojan Suđić. She received the award from the Bruno Brun Fund in 2017 for the greatest success achieved at the doctoral studies – study program of wind instruments at the Faculty of Music in Belgrade in the academic year 2015/2016. years. She is the winner of the special award of the Austrian Baroque Academy for 2016, the baroque traverso flute made by the most famous historical-instrument-maker Rudolf Tutz and the Concert at the prestigious Schwetzingen Festival.
From 2010 to 2013, Simonida had a position of substitute flute and piccolo in Stavanger Symphony Orchestra (Norway). Since 2006, she regularly performed as a member of the Camerata Serbica. In 2005, Simonida was the first flute of the European youth orchestra CEI-YO under the baton of maestro Igor Koreti-Kuret. In May 2013, Simonida performed the Norwegian premiere of Mike Mover’s Flute Concerto, accompanied by the UIS blåserensemble. During her four-year stay in Norway, Simonida also worked as a flute teacher in schools (Sandved Music School, Motland School of Music and Sandnes Kulturskule). She also worked as a flute teacher in Music Schools in Belgrade, Vojislav Vučković and Vladimir Đorđević.
For the academic year 2008/2009. Simonida was rewarded from the fund of Branislava and Jakov Srejović for achieving the highest level of performance at the graduation exam.
At the international competition Ohrid Pearls in Macedonia in 2007, Simonida won the first prize and the GRAND PRIX. In the same year, at the Meeting of Flutists Tahir Kulenović in Valjevo, she won the absolute first prize. For three years (2007-2009) she was a scholarship holder of the Austria Barock Akademie in Gmundend, Austria. At the final concerts of the ABA, Simonida won the first prize in 2007 and 2008. During her high school and studies, Simonida won seventeen first prizes at the Republic competitions, International competition Davorin Jenko, Flute Festival in Valjevo etc.
As the winner of the Grand Prix (Macedonia), in June 2008, Simonida held the tour Stars of Tomorrow in the cities of Austria and Germany. She performed as a soloist, with the string quartet Quartetto di Gioia from the Czech Republic and guitarist Judit Bunka from Germany. Concert in Munich was recorded by Bavaria Radio. In April 2008, Simonida was chosen as one of the five best students at the Faculty of Music in Belgrade to perform at the Belgrade Days in London. They held two concerts in London, in the famous Cathedral St. Martin in the Fields and the Guildhall School of Music & Drama.
Simonida was attending mastercclasses of eminent artists and professors such as Emmanuel Pahud, Vincent Lucas, Michel Debost, Pierre-Ives Artaud, Andres Ljungar Chapelon, Ittez Gergeli, Christian Gurtner, Chalog Benedek, Mikael Helasvuo, Dejan Gavrić, Maurice van Leishout, Ilia Korol, Verena Fischer, Linde Brunmayr Tutz, Leone Buyse and many others.
She regularly performs as a soloist, chamber and orchestral musician abroad, in all important halls in Belgrade (Kolarac, Sava Center, SANU, City hall of Belgrade, SKC, Ethnographic Museum, JDP, AKUD Lola, Art Pavilion Cvijeta Zuzorić, etc.) and other cities in Serbia. Simonida performed as a soloist with the Serbian Army Orchestra Stanislav Binički and chamber orchestra Dušan Skovran in Belgrade in 2007 and 2015. She has also performed in festivals such as BUNT, Guitar Art, Rossi Fest, Danube Fest and in many projects such as premiere performances of works by Serbian and foreign composers at festivals in Serbia and Master Classes in Austria. She has made permanent audio recordings for Radio Belgrade and Bavaria Radio. Since 2016 she also play on baroque traverso flute.