This week I’ve enjoyed exceptional performances in Belgrade. Last night the concert was part of the 49th International Jeunesses Musicales Competition. It enables young musicians to “test and confirm their artistic values”.
Belgrade Philharmonic Studentski Square
I tried to get tickets for the Belgrade Philharmonic in Studentski Trg (Students Square) – a different venue than ballet and opera at the National Theatre. I missed the Philharmonic’s special March performances. Officially, symphony season begins in April and annual passes sell quickly. Single tickets are almost impossible to find.
As the name suggests, Studentski Trg is lined with educational and cultural institutions like the University of Belgrade and Kolarac Public University. Kolarac University Concert Hall is the venue for the Musicales Competition.
Kolarac Public University Music Center
The group sponsoring the piano competition – Ilija M. Kolarac Foundation – isn’t associated with the Philharmonic. The Philharmonic performs in the foundation’s Concert Hall but tickets and information are in another building. Maybe I’m getting rummy learning my way around new European cities?
Jeunesses Musicales Competition
Founded in 1932 by successful Serbian merchant Ilija Milosavljević Kolarac, Kolarac People’s University is a “unique cultural institution”. Its aim is “spreading knowledge and cultivating the attributes of its own culture”.
Since 1971, the Jeunesses Competition has promoted the discovery of new international music talent. The “multidisciplinary competition has a five-year cycle”.
Brahms and Dvorak
The performance last night was the Opening Ceremony. Everything was in Serbian, so I didn’t understand the introductions and tribute to distinguished judges.
The music was beautiful! The program lasted a few hours and included two pieces:
- J. Brahms Piano Concerto No. 2, Op. 83, B flat major – Eugen Indjic pianist and Jeunesses Musicales Judge
- A. Dvořák Symphony No., 9, E minor, “The New World” – Radio-Television Symphony Orchestra conducted by Bojan Sudjic
Dvorak’s dramatic New World Symphony is a favorite!
Pianist Eugen Indjic and Conductor Bojan Sudjic
Piano soloist Eugen Indjic was masterful during the Brahms piece! The Serbian Radio-Television Symphony Orchestra’s (RTS) performance of Dvorak’s New World Symphony was outstanding! It’s one of the best philharmonics I’ve heard! Before leaving Belgrade, hope I can hear them perform again.
It was an impressive and memorable evening.