Belgrade – September 2018
The RTS Symphony Orchestra conducted by Maestro Bojan Suđić performed pieces by the following composers: Ülo Krigul (Estonia), Jacqueline Fontyn (Belgium), Nicola Campogrande (Italy), Mikko Nisula (Finland), Isidora Žebeljan (Serbia) and Milan Mihajlović (Serbia).
The RTS Symphony Orchestra is one of the most representative orchestral ensembles in Serbia.
Founded in 1937, as part of Radio Belgrade, from the very beginning, the Symphony Orchestra had profiled artistic directions, oriented towards affirmation and nurturing of national music heritage, as well as capital works of world literature. This program policy which was established by the first conducter, Mihailo Vukdargović, has been retained for more than seven decades of long performing practice, which was marked by chief conductors Mladen Jagušt, Vančo Čavdarski and Bojan Suđić, who has been from 2005 till today its artistic director.
Download the programme here.
RTS SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA - BELGRADE, 18TH SEPTEMBER 2018
Jacqueline Fontyn was born in Antwerp, where, at the age of five, her parents entrusted her to the wonderful Russian piano teacher Ignace Bolotine. She had lessons daily, and Bolotine encouraged her to develop her taste for improvisation. At the age of fifteen, she decided to become a composer. She received her grounding in the techniques of composition from Marcel Quinet in Brussels. She continued her musical education in Paris with Max Deutsch, a fervent disciple of Schönberg.
In 1956 she attended Hans Swarowsky’s conducting class at the Akademie für Musik und Darstellende Kunst in Vienna.
From 1963 to 1970 she was Professor of Music Theory at the Royal Conservatory of Antwerp. From 1970 to 1990 she taught Composition at the Royal Conservatory of Brussels.
She is a regular guest of universities and conservatoires in Europe (Germany, France, Hungary, The Netherlands, Poland and Switzerland), the United States, Israel, Egypt, Asia (China, Korea, Singapore, Taiwan) and New Zealand.
She has received many awards, most notably the Spanish Oscar Espla Prize and the Prix Arthur Honegger from the “Fondation de France”. She was asked to write the set piece, a Violin Concerto, for the finals of the 1976 Reine Elisabeth International Music Competition, and has twice undertaken commissions from the Koussevitsky Music Foundation in the Library of Congress, Washington.
Since 2006 all her manuscripts are hosted in the music division of the library of Congress in Washington.
Jacqueline Fontyn is a member of the Belgian Royal Academy and in 1993 the King of Belgium granted her the title of baroness in recognition of her artistic merit.
Ülo Krigul was born 7 November 1978 in Tallinn. His style includes influences
from jazz, post-minimalism and sonoristics among them. The imagery of Krigul’s
music is rich in playful contrasts. At the present time his major compositional
interest is “to treat chords and the relationship between them as geometric
figures or graphic projections”. He graduated from Tallinn Music High School
(Alo Põldmäe’s composition class and the extracurricular tuba class), and from
the Estonian Academy of Music under the guidance of Raimo Kangro and
René Eespere. He then furthered his studies at the Universität für Musik und
darstellende Kunst Wien with Detlev Müller-Siemens. In 2006, he obtained a
Master Degree in composition with Tõnu Kõrvits at the Estonian Academy of
Music and Theatre.
From 1993, Krigul has been a keyboard player and arranger in many rock and
jazz ensembles. At the present time he plays keyboards in the ensembles
Compromise Blue and Contus Firmus.
His works have been performed at several music festivals in Estonia (Estonian
Music Days, international new music festival NYYD, international pianists’ festival
Klaver, etc.) as well as in Germany, Austria, Czech Republic, Latvia, Ukraine etc.
Ülo Krigul is also active as music organizer and as film-music composer. He
belonged to the staff of the international jazz festival Jazzkaar and he was
the artistic director of the Autumn Festival of the Estonian Academy of Music
founded by him and Timo Steiner. Since 2005, he is one of the artistic directors
of the Estonian Music Days Festival.
Among his most important awards, Krigul can list the first prize at the International
Composers’ Rostrum in Paris in the category of composers under 30 years in
2007 and the Europäische Komponistenpreis 2005 at the Young Euro Classic
festival in Berlin for his orchestral work JenZeits. His work Swan Bone City for
soprano and orchestra was awarded the Composer Prize of the Estonian Music
Days Festival 2012 and Prince Pierre of Monaco Music Composition Prize in 2014.
In 2006, he was awarded the Heino Eller Music Prize and the Annual Prize of the
Endowment for Music of the Cultural Endowment of Estonia for artistic direction
of the Estonian Music Days Festival and Estonian music propaganda. In 2007,
Krigul was awarded the Annual Prize of the Cultural Endowment of Estonia in
the artistic team of feature film Autumn Ball. In 2016, Ülo Krigul’s work Vesi ise
for mixed choir and phonogram gained the 2nd place at the International
Rostrum of Composers in Wroclaw. In 2016, Ülo Krigul received the Estonian
Music Council Music Prize.
Isidora Žebeljan born in Belgrade in 1967, is Serbia’s most outstanding and
internationally acclaimed composer. She first attracted international attention
with her opera Zora D, which has been performed across Europe since its
2003 premiere in Amsterdam, directed by David Pountney. Her work has been
commissioned by internationally prominent institutions and festivals, including
the Lincoln Center White Light Festival, Berlin Philharmonic Foundation,
Bregenz Festival, Venice Biennale, Accademia Musicale Chigiana Siena, City
of London Festival, University of Kent, Musiktheater im Revier Gelsenkirchen,
Genesis Foundation London, Eduard van Beinum Foundation, International
Horn Society et al.
Žebeljan’s works are performed by some of the world’s most celebrated artists,
including the Academy of St. Martin in the Fields, Vienna Symphony Orchestra,
Gothenburg Symphony Orchestra, Berlin Philharmonic Octet, Brodsky Quartet,
I Solisti Veneti, Torino’s RAI National Symphony Orchestra, Real Filharmonía
de Galicia, Janáček Philharmonic Orchestra, Haydn Orchestra, No Border
Orchestra, Dutch Chamber Choir, London Brass, conductors Paul Daniel,
Claudio Scimone, David Porcelijn, soloists Stefan Dohr, Alessandro Carbonare,
Daniel Rowland, Oliver Triendl and many more. Her compositions are regularly
performed in Europe, Israel, USA, Canada, Australia and Asia.
She is a Professor of Composition at the Belgrade Faculty of Music. She regularly
appears as a conductor and pianist of her works, and is an advocate for other
composers from her native country Serbia.
Beside other excellent reviews and opinions, Sir John Eliot Gardiner has
expressed admiration for “…the skill, craft and imaginative range…” of her
music, and “…its kaleidoscopic range of timbres and, indeed, its many moods.”
She is a member of the Serbian Academy of Sciences and Arts and of the World
Academy of Arts and Sciences. The recordings of her music were published on
CDs by Deutsche Grammophon, CPO and Chandos Records.
Born in Turin, Italy, in 1969, he is regarded as “one of the most interesting
Italian composers of the young generation” (Amazon.com). Since 2017, his
music is published exclusively by Breitkopf & Härtel.
After graduating from the Conservatories of Milan and Paris, he began to
develop an original personal style, combining past and present traditions on a
fascinating new path. Performing his scores, such musicians as Gautier Capuçon,
Lilya Zilberstein, Mario Brunello, Roberto Abbado, the Saint Paul Chamber
Orchestra, the Orchestre National d’Île-de-France, the Fine Arts Quartet or the
Quartetto del Teatro alla Scala have appreciated the freshness and the vitality
of his music as well as his ability to touch the heart of the listeners.
A musical theatre enthusiast, he wrote the operas De bello gallico, #Folon,
Opera italiana, Macchinario, Lego, Alianti, bringing together the lyrical
tradition, the most interesting experiences coming from old avantgardes and
some atmospheres related to jazz and rock. He also developed a rich orchestral
and chamber catalogue. Among his most appreciated scores are the Concerto
for audience and orchestra, R (A portrait for piano and orchestra), 150 Decibel,
for cello and piano, Urban gardens for piano and chamber orchestra, the Inkjet preludes for guitar, the Danze della signorina Olivia, for violin and piano, the
Dances of Laughter and Forgetting for accordion and piano.
His music is recorded on more than 30 CDs (from DECCA to independent
labels) and it is performed frequently in the most prominent halls of many
countries. The Royal Albert Hall and the Wigmore Hall in London, the Teatro
alla Scala, the Werner Hall in Cincinnati, the Philharmonie and the Unesco
Auditorium in Paris, the Auditorium Santa Cecilia-Parco della Musica in Rome,
the Rudolfinum in Prague, the Auditorio Stelio Molo in Lugano are recent
As artistic director of the MITO SettembreMusica festival, Campogrande is also
a host on Italian RAI Radio3 and he produces the TV program “Contrappunti”
on the Classica HD Channel. He writes on the cultural pages of the newspaper
Il Corriere della sera. He has been a member of the International Music
Commission of the European Choral Association – Europa Cantat, where he is
now Advisor. His book “Occhio alle orecchie. Come ascoltare musica classica
e vivere felici (2015)” was reprinted for its sixth edition.
Milan Mihajlović was born in Belgrade, July 3, 1945. He enrolled at the First
Belgrade Grammar School in 1960, and at the Music School “Slavenski” in 1961,
studying piano and music theory. He graduated in Composition and Conducting
at the Music Academy, and acquired his master’s degree in composition. He
has attended summer courses in Cologne and Salzburg. From 1975 he taught
at the Faculty of Music, Department of Music Theory, where he advanced
through all positions from assistant to full professor (1994). In 1998 he joined
the Composition Department at the same Faculty.
He was Head of Music Theory Department (1984-88), and Dean of the Faculty
of Music (2002-2009).
He was President of the Composers Association’ of Serbia (1989—2002). He was
also one of the founders of the new Music Ensemble (1992), as well as the founder
(1992) and director of the International Review of Composers (1992-2002).
He is the recipient of numerous awards.
Mihajlović’s works are often performed abroad, in concert halls such as Tonhalle
in Zürich, Carnegie Hall in New York City, Hall of the Berlin Philharmonic,
Steinway Hall in London, Sydney Conservatory Hall, Auditorium of the Dijon
Opera; some of his works have been published by major publishers like Peters
from Leipzig and Brandstätter from Cologne.
He was composer-in-residence at the Chamber Music Festival in Kempten,
Germany (2014) and Chamber Music Festival in Dijon, France (2016).
For the CPO publishing house (CD), Brandenburg State Orchestra and conductor
Howard Griffits recorded a CD and organised a concert with his compositions
(Frankfurt/Oder – August 2018).
Mikko Nisula was born in 1974 and studied musicology at Helsinki University
and composition at Rimsky-Korsakov Conservatory in Saint-Petersburg with
Boris Tishchenko. Later, he completed his studies in a master-class with the
Belgian composer Philippe Boesmans. Since 2007, he has been working on
the critical edition of Fredrik Pacius’ (1809-1891) “Complete Works of Musical
Drama”. As a composer, Nisula can be characterized as a neoromantic, who has
also absorbed into his music various other stylistic influences, according to the
mood and subject of each composition.
Among his central works, are the opera Tähtisilmä (Starry-eyed girl, 2010-17)
and Sinfonia concertante (2007-9). Worth mentioning are also 3 chamber
concertos (2001-2008), 5 song cycles for different combinations, 4 sonatas for
accordion (2003-2017), as well as the compositions on Persian subjects Mithras
(2011) and Ishtar (2012).
Nisula’s works have been in programmes of several Finnish orchestras, including
Helsinki Philharmonic and Lahti Symphony Orchestra. His music has also
been recently played in different Russian music festivals, in Moscow, Nizhny
Novgorod and Perm.
Maestro Bojan Suđić, the most distinguished Serbian conductor today, has been,
for more than a decade, the music director of the Music Production Department
of Radio Television of Serbia (RTS) and the chief conductor of its two renowned
ensembles – the RTS Symphony Orchestra and the RTS Choir. He is both a
professor conducting at the Faculty of Music, Belgrade University of Arts and the
chief conductor of the Symphony Orchestra of this academic institution.
His artistic and professional career has been built upon a complex and rich
repertoire consisting of symphonic, choral, opera and ballet music. He has also
become celebrated for directing and conducting large scale on-stage concerts,
numbering more than five hundred musician performers – Symphony No. 8 by
Gustav Mahler, Requiems by Hector Berlioz and Giuseppe Verdi, Carmina Burana by
Carl Orff, etc., as well as for performing concerts in front of large audiences, some
exceeding ten thousand people, with the intention of introducing and presenting
classical music to broader audiences.
Maestro Suđić is especially dedicated to the promotion of contemporary music.
He has conducted premiere performances of numerous pieces by local and
international composers, many of which were dedicated to him. He is particularly
devoted to promoting the best young artists by giving them important space
within the concert season of the Music Production ensembles.
Upon winning the first prize at the Yugoslav Competition of Music Artists in Zagreb
in 1989 (later renamed to Lovro fon Matačić International Competition of Young
Conductors) maestro Bojan Suđić expanded his professional career to Europe and
Latin America, collaborating with more than fifty orchestras and numerous choirs.
In addition to being a guest conductor of the Helsinki Philharmonic Orchestra and
the Novosibirsk Philharmonic Orchestra, symphony orchestras from Odense, Turku,
Klagenfurt, the Helsinki Opera and many other renowned ensembles, M° Suđić has
for the past ten years also established and maintained regular collaboration of
such nature with the Montenegrin Symphony Orchestra and the OFUNAM from
He was the resident conductor of the Royal Swedish Opera, Stockholm, for five
years, during which he conducted more than 150 opera and ballet performances.
Throughout his career, he has also held the position of chief conductor and
general music director of the Opera of the National Theatre in Belgrade, as well
aspermanent guest conductor of the Belgrade Philharmonic Orchestra. Starting
from the season 2018/19, maestro Bojan Suđić will become the principal guest
conductor of the UNIMI Orchestra, Milan. Maestro Suđić has collaborated with
a number of the most prominent international artists such as Maxim Vengerov,
Vadim Repin, Nigel Kennedy, Ivo Pogorelić, Denis Matsuev, Nikolai Lugansky,
Michel Béroff, Shlomo Mintz, Emmanuel Pahud, Placido Domingo, Željko Lučić,
Nemanja Radulović and many others.
Serbian music critics defined him as “the leading name among conductors in
Serbian music” (Sonja Marinković, Belgrade), while Finnish critic Mats Liljeros
(Huvudstadsbladet, Helsinki) described Maestro Suđić with the following words:
“…a natural talent with an exceptional style and one of the most beautiful
techniques I have ever seen.”