Conductor: Tilen Draksler
Mak Grgić, guitar
Jure Cerkovnik, guitar
Nejc Kuhar, guitar
Mario Castelnuovo-Tedesco (1895–1968), Guitar Concerto No. 1
Nejc Kuhar (1987), Guitar Concerto No. 1
Leon Firšt (1994), A new piece
Ensemble Dissonance brings together various established Ljubljana-based musicians—members of the String Quartet Dissonance, the Slovenian Philharmonic Orchestra, RTV Slovenia Symphony Orchestra, the staff of Academy of Music and freelancers. The aim of the ensemble is to perform chamber music with the highest skill, as well as to bring chamber music to a wider audience, raising its reputation and developing it further by various means: commissioning new work (especially by Slovenian composers), collaborating with world-renowned musicians, young creators and musicians, and promoting the rich musical history of Ljubljana. The founder and director of the Institute Dissonance is Klemen Hvala.
Tilen Draksler completed his master’s in orchestral conducting at Katarina Gurska Academy in Madrid under the mentorship of George Pehlivanian. He graduated in piano in the class of Tatjana Ognjanovič at the Academy of Music in Ljubljana, and finished his postgraduate studies at the Budapest Music Academy Franz Liszt with Laszlo Baranyay. He has pursued further education with established conductors, such as Lior Shambadal, Cristóbal Soler, César Viana, Borja Quintas, Arturo Tamayo, Miquel Rodrigo, Tim Redmond, Morten Wensberg, Jon Malaxetxebarr, Mark Heron, Holger Speck. He is the founder and the creative leader of Amadeo Festival and Amadeo Orchestra. He has conducted the Berlin Sinfonietta, Slovenian Philharmonic Orchestra, RTV Slovenia Symphony Orchestra, NC Royal Orchestra Manchester, Malaga Philharmonic orchestra, Katarina Gurska Academy Orchestra, Sibelius academy orchestra, Camerata Puštal and Camerata Medica. He has been given the Mayor of Celje award for his cultural contributions. Currently, he assists Maestro George Pehlivanian at many projects.
One of Slovenia’s most successful guitarists, Mak Grgić is renowned for artistic versatility and sparkling showmanship inspiration which turn each of his performances into musical evolution. Born in Ljubljana, Grgić has developed an international career dedicated to composed and improvised music with a performing opus ranging from the Renaissance and Baroque to classical Spanish repertoire and new contemporary music, all the while delving with gusto into the fields of mixed genre and pop music too. Starting his education with Professor Ante Čagalj at Elly Bašić Music Academy in Zagreb, he then continued his path at the Viennese University for Music and Performing Arts, graduating in the class of Professor Alvaro Pierri. He pursued advanced studies at the Thornton School of Music at the University of South California under the mentorship of William Kanengiser and Scott Tennant, ultimately becoming an assistant lecturer at USC. He collaborates with numerous distinguished musicians and groups. He founded the flamenco-oriented Duo Deloro with Adam Del Monte and FretX Duo with Daniel Lippel focusing on new music. Some of his most acclaimed engagements have been his tours in China, Japan and the Balkans, the debut in Russia in 2009 with the St Petersburg Symphony Orchestra, concerts and residencies in prestigious halls and institutions in the USA, Spain and Portugal. Aside from his intense performing schedule, Grgić is also an active organizer and artistic director, heading EuroStrings (a collaborative of seventeen European guitar festivals), the Zagreb Guitar Festival, the student concert series Music @Rush Hour in LA and the educational youth program Elemental Guitar in Santa Monica. He is also proud to be involved with the Bosana Foundation, an organization that raises money for Bosnian youth.
Nejc Kuhar finished his master’s degree in guitar at Vienna University of Music and Performing Arts with Alvaro Pierri and his master’s degree in composition with Dr Reiner Bishof and Christian Minkowitsch at Konservatorium Wien, Privatuniversität, both with distinction. He is currently enrolled in Music Research doctorate studies at Surrey university with Steve Goss. As a guitarist as well as a composer, he has won numerous international prizes. He was also a recipient of Slovenian Culture Ministry and Gallus Foundation scholarships. His music has been performed by himself and other musicians in various venues, including Musikverein and Konzerthaus in Vienna, Washington National Gallery of Art, Rachmaninov Hall of the Moscow Tchaikovsky Conservatory, Slovene Philharmonic Hall etc. His commissions include those by the Washington National Gallery of Art, Frankfurt Universität für Musik und darstellende Kunst, LiGITa, Hong Kong and Sarajevo Guitar Festivals, Signum Saxophone Quartet, guitarist Mak Grgić, organist Stephen Ackert, Four Aces Guitar Quartet and others. Kuhar’s works have also been published by the renowned publishing houses, such as Les Production d’Oz/Doberman-yppan (Canada), Trekel (Germany) and Berben (Italy), some of which are recorded on his debut CD from ZKP Label, entitled “String modulations”, featuring guitar virtuoso Mak Grgić. Nejc regularly performs solo concerts, with violinist Moeko Sugiura in Eminent Duo, teaching master classes, giving lectures, as well as being member of juries on various international guitar festivals (LiGiTa in Liechtenstein, Forum Wien, Taiwan Guitar Festival, Sarajevo, Seckau, Postojna Guitar Festival in Slovenia). His concerts have a special charm and uniqueness due to his interpretations of his own compositions. In 2019 he was appointed Associate Professor for guitar and contemporary music at University of Music and Performing Arts, Vienna and in 2018 Guitar Professor at Joseph Haydn Conservatory in Eisenstadt. Besides his activities as a guitarist, composer and teacher, he is also an active lecturer, giving lectures about composing for guitar on various European and US universities, such as the Juilliard School, Curtis Institute of Music, Manhattan School of Music, Vienna and Frankfurt Universities, etc.
Jure Cerkovnik is a young Slovenian classical guitarist with extensive international activity. He has given concerts in many European countries and Asia, and has participated in various music festivals as a concert performer or pedagogue. Among them are guitar festivals in Vienna, Zagreb, Zurich, Lucerne, Aarhus, Sarajevo, Acerra and the International Guitar Festival in Postojna. In 2018 and 2019, he toured Japan and Taiwan; in February 2017, he made his debut with the solo recital at Konzerthaus Wien-Vienna’s central music venue. The Austrian capital was crucial to his artistic formation, as he graduated in 2013 from the University of Music and Performing Arts in the class of Alvaro Pierri. After his master’s, he continued his musical development in the class of Anders Miolin in Zurich at the University of the Arts, where he currently teaches. He has performed as a soloist with the Karlovy Vary Symphony Orchestra, the Symphony Orchestra of Vrhnika and the Sarajevo Philharmonic Orchestra. He premiered several works by Slovenian and foreign composers, some of which were dedicated to him. In December 2017, he released his first CD Palettes (Baros Records) with works by Ponce, Ourkouzounov, Rebay and Bogdanović. With Slovenian baritone Jaka Mihelač, he is preparing his second CD, which will include several of Jure’s arrangements of Slovenian works for voice and guitar.
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