Stefan Milenkovich, violin, Pro Music

Friday, Sunday, January 20, 22, 5pm
St Paul's Church, Cardo 6
$200, $400, $600, tickets

Pro Musica is overjoyed to welcome back “magical” violinist Stefan Milenkovich, with renowned pianist Marta Aznavoorian. They will play in St. Paul’s Church on Friday, January 20 and Sunday, January 22, at 5pm.

Stefan became an internationally sought-after soloist and recitalist in childhood. At 10, he played for then-President Ronald Reagan, following up with recitals for Mikhail Gorbachev and, at 14, for Pope John Paul II. By 16, he had given his 1000th concert, and by 17 had won prizes in numerous international competitions. He has appeared multiple times at such venues as Carnegie Hall, Tokyo’s Suntory Hall, and Venice’s La Fenice, and as a guest with the Berlin Symphony, the Helsinki Philharmonic and the Bolshoi Theater Orchestra. A Kennedy Center recital was “so disarmingly magical that it is not easy to describe its glories,” including “dazzling virtuosity [and] searching musicianship.” (The Washington Post)

An artist with broad stylistic interests, Stefan has taught at the Juilliard School in collaboration with Itzhak Perlman, performed at Harlem’s Apollo Theater live on MTV, and been named Serbia’s Artist of the Century and Most Humane Person. He plays a 1783 Giovanni Battista Guadagnini violin.

Friday’s program starts with Ravel’s Sonatina in G major, the last of his “American" pieces, product of a stint as Director of New York's National Conservatory and including his New World Symphony. Beethoven’s Sonata No. 7 for violin and piano follows written when he had become almost completely deaf. Paradoxically the tragic loss enhanced his artistry by making him experience his music only in his imagination, away from sonic reality.

The second half features Carnevale di Venezia by violin virtuoso Nicolo Paganini, requiring dazzling technical feats like left- and right-handed pizzicato, plucking the strings; and wide pitch intervals played with the fingers stretched wide apart. Arvo Pärt’s Spiegel im Spiegel, follows, engaging us with bell-like sounds. Navajo composer Connor Chee’s Coyotes, evoking traditional Navajo chants and songs, and Ravel’s Tzigane (Gypsy), a fiery rhapsody full of brilliant techniques, round out the program.

Sunday’s program begins with Mozart’s Sonata for violin and piano in G Major, one of his “Palatine” sonatas, dedicated to Maria Elisabeth, Electress of the Palatinate and his first to give the violin equal weight with the piano. Grieg’s Sonata for violin and piano in C minor follows. Himself an acclaimed pianist, interestingly he was related to pianist Glenn Gould, whose mother was a Grieg. The program concludes with Ravel’s Sonata No. 1, "Posthume", for violin and piano. An early work in one complex movement, it was not published until 1975, long after his death. It offers varied colors and a sensitive, light touch.

Tickets for the concerts at St. Paul’s are $200, $400 and $600 pesos donation each, and are on sale through our website, and at the concert 45 minutes before performance time.

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