Prof. Maja Jokanović, Faculty of Music in Belgrade, selector
Maja Jokanovic was born in Belgrade into a family of musicians, where she received her initial music education. She continued her education in Moscow, at the PI. Tchaikovsky Conservatory in the class of Professor Semyon Snitkovsky, at the department of David Oystrakh, where she completed her elementary and master’s studies.
At the age of eleven, as the youngest soloist by then, she had a performance with the Belgrade Philharmonic Orchestra. In addition to concert performances, she also participates in republican competitions where she wins first and special awards. At the Jan Sibelius International Competition (1980) in Helsinki, she received a Special Diploma for participation in the semi-finals.
As a soloist she performs with the Belgrade Philharmonic Orchestra, the RTS Orchestra, the Zagreb Philharmonic Orchestra, the Sarajevo Philharmonic Orchestra, the Moravian Philharmonic Orchestra, the Dubrovnik Festival Orchestra… The Chamber Orchestra of Padua and Veneto, of which she was a member and soloist from 1983-86. During that period she founded a duo with the harpsichordist Lina Romano. She performs at festivals – Bemus, Nomus, Dubrovnik Summer Games, Sarajevo Winter, Ohrid Summer, Marijanske Lazni, Aquila Baroque…
Since 1989 she has been a visiting professor of violin at the International Academy in Novara, and since 1990 teaches violin at FMU in Belgrade. From 2006 to 2019 she has been a visiting professor at the Academy of Arts in Banja Luka. As a jury member she participates in international competitions (Konjovic in Belgrade, Nis – String Competition, selector and jury member at the International Music Youth Competition 2011 and 2016 in Belgrade, member of the jury at the competition “il Piccolo Violino Magico” in Italy 2016, competitions of music schools of Republika Srpska in Banja Luka…
In 2012,University of Arts in Belgrade, awards Maja Jokanović with the Big Plaque Of the University of the Arts, for outstanding contributions and contribution to the development of the Faculty of Music and the University of the Arts.
Prof. Pavel Vernikov, selector
Born in Odessa, Pavel Vernikov graduated from the famous “Stolyarsky Music School” where he studied together with L. and B. Mordkovich. Having been a student of D. Oistrach and S. Snitkowsky at the Moscow State Tchaikovskiy Conservatory, he gained an international reputation as a virtuoso violinist. Among his many awards he won the prestigious ARD Violin Competition in Munich and the Grand Prix International Violin Competition “Vittorio Gui” in Florence. He has since appeared around the world at such renowned venues as the Concertgebouw in Amsterdam, Carnegie Hall as well as the Kennedy Center in New York, Wigmore Hall in London, La Salle Gaveau in Paris, Auditorio National in Madrid, Santory Hall in Tokyo, La Scala in Milan and Santa Cecilia in Rome.
His musical interests and artistic ideas are endless, ranging from the classical repetoire to the modern composers of today. Experimenting with art and drama, he has collaborated and opened a new perspective of music to the world, presenting both music and modern art to the concert stage. Among his many chamber music partners are Sviatoslav Richter, James Galway, Alain Meunier, Patrick Gallois, Misha Maisky, Maria Tipo, Natalia Gutman, Oleg Kagan, Yuri Bashmet, Elisso Virsaladze, Christian Zimmermann, Anthony Pay, Andres Mustonen, Gary Hoffman, Frans Helmerson, Julian Rachlin, Janine Jansen along with many others.
Pavel Vernikov has further inaugurated the Russian Academy of Higher Learning in Portogruaro and the Festival “Estate Musicale di Portogruaro” (1980-2006), inviting outstanding artists from all over the world to work together in the heart of European culture. He was appointed Artistic Director of the Gubbio Music Festival (Italy), the Dubrovnik Chamber Music Festival (Jugoslavia) as well as the Eilat Chamber Music Festival (Israel).
Pavel Vernikov continues to teach and give master classes around the world, including Spain (Escuela Superior de Musica Reina Sofia Madrid), Israel (Rubin Academy and Keshet Eilon Summer Academy), Germany (Kronberg Academy), Austria (Salzburg Summer Academy, Wiener Meisterkurse), Japan (Gedai University and Miyazaki Mastercourse), Sweden (Aurora Mastercourse) along with many others around the world. He has also been invited to be a member of the jury at numerous international violin competitions, including Hannover Competition, the J. Szigeti, F. Kreisler Competition, F. Gui, ARD- Competition Munich, Sendai, Budapest, Sarasate and Wieniawski competition. Since 2013 Pavel Vernikov is an artistic director of the Sion Festival.
Following a professorship position at the Conservatoire National Superieur de Musique de Lyon, Pavel Vernikov now teaches both at the famous Konservatorium Wien University (Austria) and at the Haute Ecole de Musique de Lausanne (Switzerland). Among some of his many laureate students include artists such as M. Quarta (1. Prize Paganini International Violin Competition, Genua), N. Benedetti, A. Sitkovetsky, F. Miura (1. Prize Hannover International Violin Competition), L. Borrani (Leader of the Chamber Orchestra of Europe), F. Clamagirand (1. Prize Fritz Kreisler International Violin Competition, Vienna and 1. Prize International Monte Carlo Violin Competition) and M. Kobayashi (2. Prize Wieniawski Competition), E. Frolova (1. Prize Valesessia Musica Competition; Gran-Prix Osaka International Competition) Pavel Vernikov has also recorded numerous times for RCA, Ondine, and Dynamic and currently plays the beautiful Guadagnini violin courtesy of Varga family.
The French violinist, Alexis Galpérine, is a graduate of the Paris Conservatory, The Juilliard School, and the Sorbonne (where he received a degree in philosophy), his primary teachers were Ivan Galamian and Henryk Szeryng. He capped his studies in the late 1970’s with the grand prize in the Belgrade International Competition and top prizes in the Carl Flesch International Competition (London) and the Paganini International Competition (Genoa).
Alexis Galpérine has performed in recital and as soloist with orchestras throughout Europe, as well as in the USA, Israel, Lebanon, and Japan. In the USA he was a founding member of the Library of Congress Summer Chamber Festival and of The American Chamber Players, with whom he played hundreds of concerts throughout the USA and Canada. His discography runs to some 50 recordings of solo violin and chamber music repertoire, and for some years now he has worked closely – as violinist, actor, singer, and composer – with the French film director and playwright Coline Serreau. He has played the premieres of more than 70 contemporary works, many of which were written expressly for him, and he is a frequent guest performer on French radio and television.
One of France’s most respected teachers of the violin, Alexis Galpérine is president of the Association Française des Violonistes, professor of violin and pedagogy at the Paris Conservatory, and a faculty member of the American Conservatory of Fontainebleau. Students from all over the world come to study with him and attend his master-classes.
Alexis Galpérine writes frequently on music, contributing articles and chapters to many publications, and his book, La Musique Française pour Violon, has become an important reference work in the field.
Magdalena Szczepanowska was born in Warsaw in a family of musicians. Her father was her first violin teacher. She continued her studies under Janina Jarzębska, Tadeusz Wroński and then Professor Wroński’s former students, Stanisław Kawalla and Magdalena Rezler, and graduated with honours from the Academy of Music in Warsaw in 1983. She also worked under Oleg Krysa and André Gertler during master courses in interpretation in Weimar. She is a prize-winner of many violin and chamber music competitions in Poland and abroad, e.g., in Lublin (The Young Violinists Competition), Cracow (The Contemporary Music Competition), Gorizia (The Lipizer Competition), and Brescia and (Città di Brescia).
She performs as a chamber musician in Poland and abroad. She was a co-founder of a string quartet which in the period of 1986–2004 gave concert with the soprano singer Stefania Woytowicz. She cooperated with the National Philharmonic Chamber Ensemble under Karol Teutsch, the Warsaw Chamber Opera (recitals, chamber concerts), The Warsaw Music Society and the Polish Composers’ Association. As representative of the Ministry of Culture she has represented Polish violin and chamber music at many concerts and festivals abroad.
For a number of years she has been cooperating with cellist Piotr Hausenplas in a string duo calledOTTOCORDE. She performs with Edward Wolanin and Grzegorz Gorczyca (pianists), Lech Napierała, and her former violin student Bartosz Cajler. Together with Bogumiła Gizbert-Studnicka (harpsichord) and Natalia Reichert (viola) she has performed in Ensemble St. Stanislas since 2009.
Since 1983 she has been connected with the Romuald Traugutt Philharmonic, a group of artists founded by Tadeusz Kaczyński presenting programmes of patriotic content which used to be forbidden. For her special merits she was awarded the Traugutt Philharmonic Golden Medal in 1993.
Magdalena Szczepanowska is professor of the violin class at the Department of Instrumental Studies of the Fryderyk Chopin University of Music in Warsaw where she was offered the position of assistant when she was still a student. She also teaches the violin and chamber music at the State Music School Complex in Warsaw, Miodowa Street. Her former students (e.g. Bartosz Cajler, Aleksandra Kuls, Aleksandra Bucholc, Quartetto Qualità, Trio Concọrdia) have won top prizes at many competitions in Poland and abroad.
From 1996 on professor Magdalena Szczepanowska has also taught at summer and winter master courses: in Nowy Sącz, Bałoszyce, Kudowa Zdrój, Łańcut and Kołobrzeg. She is invited to give lectures, workshops and consultations for music school teachers from different Polish cities.
She also runs editorial activity, she is an author of the edition of Georg Philipp Telemann’s Fantasies for Solo Violin and a publication entitled Scales, Passages and Double Stops for Violin; currently she has been working on the edition of violin and piano pieces by Emil Młynarski, together with Lech Napierała.
Magdalena Szczepanowska has sat on the juries of many violin and chamber competitions, many of which she has co-organised herself. She holds the functions of Consultant at the Artistic Education Centre and Expert for Professional Advancement.
Roman Simovic’s brilliant virtuosity and seemingly-inborn musicality, fuelled by a limitless imagination, has taken him throughout all continents performing on many of world’s leading stages including the Carnegie Hall, Bolshoi Hall of the Tchaikovsky Conservatory, Mariinsky Hall in St. Petersburg, Grand Opera House in Tel-Aviv, Victoria Hall in Geneva, Rudolfinum Hall in Prague, Barbican Hall in London, Art Centre in Seoul, Grieg Hall in Bergen, Rachmaninov Hall in Moscow, to name a few.
Roman Simovic has been awarded prizes at numerous international competitions among which are:”Premio Rodolfo Lipizer” (Italy, first prize winner and winner of 12 Audience prizes), Sion-Valais (Switzerland), Yampolsky Violin Competition (Russia) and the Henryk Wieniawski Violin Competition (Poland), placing him among the foremost violinists of his generation.
As soloist, Roman has appeared with the world leading orchestras: London Symphony Orchestra, Mariinsky Theatre Symphony Orchestra, Teatro Regio Torino, Symphony Nova Scotia (Canada), Franz Liszt Chamber Orchestra (Hungary), Camerata Bern (Switzerland), Camerata Salzburg (Austria), CRR Chamber Orchestra (Turkey), Poznan Philharmonia, Prague Philharmonia, North Brabant (Holland)…with conductors like: Valery Gergiev, Antonio Pappano, Daniel Harding, Gianandrea Noseda, Kristian Jarvi, Jiri Belohlavek, Pablo Heras Casado, Nikolai Znaider, Thomas Søndergård…
In 2022/2023 season Roman will appear as a soloist with the Quebec Symphony Orchestra (Canada) , RTVE Symphony Orchestra (Spain), Zagreb Radio Orchestra and Ivan Repusic, Asturias Symphony Orchestra playing and directing, Braunschweig Staatsorchester and conductor Srba Dinić, Ulster Orchestra and conductor Daniele Rustioni, Zagreb Philharmonic orchestra, London Symphony Orchestra and conductor Sir Simon Rattle playing Miklos Rosza Violin Concerto on tour in Germany, among others.
A sought-after artist, Roman Simovic has been invited and continues to perform at various distinguished festivals such as the Verbier Festival, White Nights Festival St. Petersburg, Vadim Repin’s Trans-Siberian Art Festival, Easter Festival Valery Gergiev Moscow, Dubrovnik Summer Festival in Croatia, “Kotor Art” Montenegro, the BEMUS and NOMUS Festivals in Serbia, “Sion Valais” Switzerland, Norway’s Bergen Festival, “Moscow Winter” Festival in Russia, Portogruaro Festival in Italy, “Granada Music Festival” in Spain, collaborating with such renowned artists as Leonidas Kavakos, Yuja Wang, Gautie Capuson, Misha Maisky, Schlomo Mintz, Francois Leleux, Itamar Golan, Simon Trpceski, Janine Jansen, Julian Rachlin, Vadim Repin, Evgeny Kissin, Antoine Tamestit, Antonio Meneses, Nikolai Lugansky…
Roman holds a visiting professor of violin position at the Royal Academy of Music in London and has an extensive experience as an educator. Roman has presented masterclasses in the US, UK, South Korea, Japan, Australia, Italy, Sweden, Switzerland, Serbia, Montenegro, Israel, as well as at the Verbier Festival where he is frequently performing as a soloist with orchestra, as chamber musician and recitalist.
Roman Simovic has released comprehensive list of recordings, most notable are four CDs directing LSO string orchestra for the LSO live label as well as a CD of complete Paganini caprices for violin solo.In June 2022, Roman made a recording with Sir Simon Rattle and London Symphony Orchestra with Miklos Rosza Violin Concero for the LSO live label.
Roman is serving as a leader of the London Symphony Orchestra since 2010.
Roman Simovic plays a 1709 Antonio Stradivariviolin which was generously given to him on loan from Jonathan Moulds.
Serbia’s Artist of the Century, Most Humane Person, and Brand Personality of the Year, violinist Stefan Milenkovich enjoys a prolific career as an internationally sought-after soloist and recitalist, with an extraordinary productive longevity, professionalism and creativity.
Established as one of the foremost violinists of his generation, Milenkovich appeared on multiple occasions in some of the world’s most celebrated venues such as Carnegie Hall, New York City (USA), Kennedy Center, Washington (USA), Cadogan Hall, London (UK), Suntory Hall, Tokyo (Japan), as well as Italy’s theatres La Fenice, Venice, San Carlo, Naples, and Petruzzelli, Bari. His numerous appearances with orchestra include Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra, Berlin Symphony Orchestra, Orpheus Chamber Orchestra, Aspen Chamber Symphony, Helsinki Philharmonic, NDR Radiophilharmonie Hannover Symphony Orchestra, Orchestra of Radio-France, Bolshoi Theatre Orchestra, National Orchestra of Belgium, Mexico State Symphony, Orquestra Sinfonica de Estado de Sao Paolo, and the Melbourne and Queensland Symphonies, and has performed under the baton of such conductors as Sir Neville Marriner, Lorin Maazel, Vladimir Fedoseyev, and Daniel Oren.
Milenkovich’s 2019-2020 season includes release of Beethoven and Bruch Violin Concertos, recorded with Slovenian Radio-Television Symphony Orchestra and conductor Vladimir Kulenovic, as well as performances with New Jersey Festival Orchestra (USA), Rockford Symphony (USA), Orchestra Haydn di Bolzano (Italy), Orchestra dei Pomeriggi Musicali (Italy), L’Orchestra della Fondazione Teatro Lirico Giuseppe Verdi di Trieste (Italy), Orchestra Filarmonica del Teatro Comunale di Bologna (Italy), Orchestra Filarmonica Marchigiana (Italy), Orchestra Camera di Perugia (Italy), along with regular performances in recital with pianist Rohan De Silva and Vladimir Milosevic. Recent performances include collaboration with Utah Symphony Orchestra (USA), Prague Symphony Orchestra (Czech Republic), Grand Rapids Symphony Orchestra (USA), Oklahoma City Symphony Orchestra (USA), Orchestra Sinfonica di Milano Giuseppe Verdi (Italy), and Slovenian Philharmonic Orchestra (Slovenia). For 2020-21, Milenkovich also accepted the role of Artistic Director of “Nei Suoni dei Luoghi” music festival in Italy.
Milenkovich started his career at a very young age. He performed for U.S. President Ronald Reagan at a Christmas concert in Washington, DC, at age 10. The following year, he played for Mikhail Gorbachev in Belgrade, Serbia. At age 14, he played for Pope John Paul II and at age 16, Milenkovich gave his 1000th concert in Monterrey, Mexico. By age 17, he was the winner of The Young Concert Artists International Competition (USA), as well as a prizewinner in the International Violin Competition of Indianapolis (USA), the Queen Elisabeth Competition (Belgium), Hannover Violin Competition (Germany), Tibor Varga Competition (Switzerland), Rodolfo Lipizer Competition (Italy), Paganini Competition (Italy), Ludwig Spohr Competition (Germany), and the Yehudi Menuhin Competition (England).
Deeply committed to international humanitarian causes, in 2002 Milenkovich received the Lifting Up the World With Oneness Heart award for his humanitarian activities, handed to him personally by the guru Sri Chinmoy. He also participated in a number of gala concerts under the auspices of UNESCO in Paris with such artists as Placido Domingo, Lorin Maazel, Alexis Weissenberg, and Sir Yehudi Menuhin, and was active as the First Child Ambassador in early 90’.
As a musician of broad stylistic interests, Milenkovich performed with five-time Grammy Nominee rock band Gorillaz in one of the world’s most renowned venues – Apollo Theater in Harlem, New York City. The critically acclaimed performance was featured live on MTV. Recent collaborations include performances with Grammy Award Nominee lutist Edin Karamazov, as well as a musical partnership with guitarist Vlatko Stefanovski and his trio, where Milenkovich explored the realm of improvisation and acoustic-electric violin.
Milenkovich’s discography includes four commercial releases of the Italian label Dynamic, featuring J. S. Bach Complete Sonatas and Partitas for Solo Violin, Complete Music for Solo Violin – Nicolo Paganini 24 Capricci, N. Paganini Recital, and N. Paganini In cuor piu non mi sento. He also released numerous recordings for the Yugoslavian label, PGP. Milenkovich’s recent CD release includes a First Recording disc with the Manchester Music Festival of Vittorio Giannini’s Piano Trio and Piano Quintet.
Firmly dedicated to pedagogical work for over two decades, Milenkovich taught in collaboration with Itzhak Perlman at the Juilliard School in New York City, NY, and Perlman Music Program, as well as held a position as an Associate Professor of Violin at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Milenkovich is still the youngest graduate of the Music Academy in Belgrade, Serbia, finishing his Masters’ studies at 19 years of age, and has completed the Professional Studies program at the Juilliard School in New York City, NY under tutelage of Mrs. Dorothy DeLay. Currently, Stefan Milenkovich is Artistic Director of the new concert hall in Novi Sad, Serbia, as well as Associate Professor of Violin at the University of Novi Sad.
Milenkovich plays a 1783 Giovanni Battista Guadagnini violin.
Hailed for his outstanding artistry, musicianship and virtuosity, violinist Dong-Suk Kang has performed on five continents to extraordinary acclaim. Dominic Gill, a London music critic, describes Dong-Suk Kang in his book «The Book of the Violin», as «already one of the world’s great violinists. His flawless technique and perfect bow arm certainly produce one of the most beautiful violin tones to be heard anywhere today». Ormandy, Serkin, Menuhin, Francescatti, and other eminent musicians also have praised him as one of the most outstanding violinists of his generation and a musician of the highest order.
Born in Korea, Dong-Suk Kang went to New York in 1967 to study at the Juilliard School and later at the Curtis Institute with Ivan Galamian. He first came to the attention of the American public in 1971 when he created a sensation by winning both the San Francisco Symphony Foundation Competition and the Merriweather Post Competition in Washington D.C. Following a debut at the Kennedy Center and an appearance with Seiji Ozawa, he went on to win top prizes in a number of international competitions including the Montreal, the Carl Flesch in London and the Queen Elisabeth in Brussels. Since then, he has appeared with many great orchestras of the world including those of Philadelphia, Cleveland, Los Angeles, Saint Louis, San Francisco, Baltimore, Washington and Montreal in America, and Royal Philharmonic, London Philharmonia, BBC Orchestras, Halle, Birmingham, Scottish National.
Munich, Stuttgart, Gewandhaus, French and Belgian National Orchestras, Gothenburg, Saint Petersburg, Moscow, Polish National and Rotterdam in Europe. Tours of Asia have brought performances with the orchestras of NHK, Yomiuri, Tokyo Metropolitan, Hong Kong, Singapore, Malaysia, Beijing, Shanghai, KBS and Seoul Philharmonic with whom, he has toured the U.S.A. and Europe. He also toured extensively in Australia playing with all six orchestras of the Australian Broadcasting Corporation.
The conductors he has worked with include Dutoit, Ozawa, Mazur, Jarvi, Menuhin, Salonen, Slatkin, Chung, Barshai, Jansons, Norrington, Foster, Svetlanov, Berglund, Lazarev and Herbig. He has performed at major music centers and festivals throughout the world and his concerts, such as London Proms, were frequently televised and broadcast on the radio in many countries. His strong interest in chamber music has resulted in his participation at various chamber music festivals including those in Spoleto, Santa Fe, Kuhmo, Korsholm, Seattle, Vancouver, Newport and Australian Festival of Chamber Music. As a guest artist with the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center he has performed in New York and toured throughout the country.
Dong-Suk Kang’s wide-ranging repertoire includes all the standard works as well as many unusual and neglected works. He has recently given the premier of the violin concerto «Mistral» by Alan Hoddinott in Great Britain which was commissioned by BBC as well as the Asian premier of the the Third Concerto by Isang Yun at the opening concert of «World Music Days» Festival after having performed Isang Yun’s First Concerto earlier.
In the field of recording, in addition to the well-known works, such as Vivaldi Four Seasons (with The Academy of St. Martin in the Fields), he has recorded Nielsen and Elgar concertos, complete chamber music of Honegger and Alkan, and Furtwängler Sonata. His recordings have won critical acclaim and awards among which are the Grand Prix du disque from both the Académie Charles Cros and the Nouvelle Académie du disque. His Walton Concerto CD was chosen as the CD of the month by the Gramophone magazine and nominated for the Gramophone Award 2000. Dong-Suk Kang is a professor at Yonsei University in Seoul and artistic director of «MusicAlp Festival» in France and the Seoul Spring Festival in Korea.