Dobrila Berković-Magdalenić, Yury president

Dobrila Berković-Magdalenić was born in Zagreb, Croatia, where she graduated with professor Milan Nagy at Zagreb Music Academy. Having devoted her life to teaching, she’s been heading Cello Departments of all the music schools in Croatia for many years, as well as Croatian String Teacher’s Association (national branch of ESTA)

During 47 years of her teaching career, her students have excelled and won prizes at over one hundred national and international competitions, among them Junior Tchaikovsky Competition 1995 – 1st prize; Adam’s Competition, New Zealand – 1st prize, Premio Stradivari Caruana, Milano in 1999.,– 1st prize, Antonio Janigro Competition 1996 – 2nd prize, ARD Munich 2000 – 2nd prize, Rostropovich Competition 1997 – 3rd prize, etc., and performed all over the world.

A number of professor Berković-Magdalenić’s students went on to study with globally recognized cellists and teachers such as E. Schoenfeld, (USC Los Angeles), A. Peled, (Peabody, Baltimore), P. Down, (Eastman), N. Ružević (UNT Denton, Texas) , D. Geringas, (Hochschule Berlin) A. Meneses, (Basel), J. P. Meinz, (Berlin), M. Flaksman, (Manheim), V. Dešpalj, (Zagreb) etc., and have been Principal Cellists in various orchestras. Professor Berković-Magdalenić has founded and is co-organizer of International String Competition Rudolf Matz, and International Cello Competition Antonio Janigro, both very important to cultural life in Croatia.

In 1987, as president of the Croatian branch of ESTA, she established UPBEAT (International Summer Music School), which includes masterclasses, classes for children, and Chamber Music Festival. Every year over 500 young musicians participate in a variety of classes held by world famous teachers and performers, thus making UPBEAT the biggest event of this kind in Croatia. Dobrila Berković-Magdalenić has also founded Japanese branch of UPBEAT Festival.

In 2007 she became Councilor at National Ministry of Education and received prestigious awards such as the Award of Ministry of Education, and the Award of Ministry of Culture. Talents for Europe proclaimed her best European cello teacher in 2014.

Having published her first book for beginner cellists in 2011, professor Berković-Magdalenić keeps herself busy preparing materials for several more books.

Vildana Repše

Vildana Repše, Vildana Repše is the academic musician and violinist,professor of the violin,who was born in Sarajevo of a well-known family Smailović. She studied the violin with professor Dejan Bravničar at Ljubljana Music Academy,where she graduated.

With exceptional interest and success she has been devoted to teaching at Music Atelier Tartini in Ljubljana , the first private music school in Slovenia,which she and her husband Vlado Repše founded together in 1990.She is the author of several textbooks and manuals,she is the lecturer at the seminars and international congresses,she also researches the methodology of the violin playing,as well as being the mentor to young teachers.

Vildana Repše routed her artistic field of activities playing with orchestras:Ljubljana Radio-television Simphonic Orchestra, Slovene Philharmonic Orchestra,Chamber Orchestra Tartini,String Ensemble Musica ad hominem,since 2010 has been the concert master of String Orchestra Camerata medica-mostly as the result of being a real fan of orchestral music.

She has got two daughters,Maja and Sanja,who both are alert musical artists and pedagogues.

Anđelko Krpan

Anđelko Krpan (Zagreb, 1967.) graduated in Violin at the Academy of Music in Zagreb in the class of Kristijan Petrović (1989), and went on to earn his Masters at the HochschulefürMusik und Darstellende Kunst in Vienna in the class of Dora Schwarzberg (1995). He has been a member of the Vienna Chamber Philharmonic (1989-93), then member of the Zagreb Soloists (1993-97), orchestra leader of the Zagreb Soloists (1997-2002), concertmaster of Croatian National Theatre Orchestra of Zagreb (2002-2006), and has been teaching Violin at the Academy of Music in Zagreb since 1995. He is one of the founders and the first violinist of the Sebastian String Quartet.

Anđelko Krpan won first prize at the Alpe-Adria International Violinist Contest in Italy (1988), the Croatian Music Institute prize (1989), sixth prize at the Vàclav Huml International Violinist Contest in Zagreb (1993), and the Ivo Vuljević Music Youth prize as the best young Croatian musician in 1993. In 1999, he was officially decorated with the Croatian Morning Star Order with the Image of Marko Marulić. He received the Croatian Society of Music Artists Milka Trnina Award in 2008 for his exceptional artistic achievements. He received the Porin Prize for the CD Croatian Sonatas recorded in collaboration with the pianist, Nada Majnarić.

Nikola Ružević

Nikola Ružević was born in Zagreb in 1969. He received his first cello lessons in his hometown with professor Dobrila Berković-Magdalenić. During his schooling he won many prizes at competitions for pupils and students of music. He gave his first recital at the age of fifteen. When he was sixteen, he was given a scholarship by the USA where he went to study under professor Michael Flaksman and professor Eleonore Schoenfeld. He graduated from the University of Southern California in Los Angeles in 1992. While in the USA, he won the Rose Pollack Award, Fresno Musical Club Award and Colorado Symphony National Competition. He attended master classes with Janigro, Taraspulski, Varga, Dešpalj, Sondeckiene, and the Bartók Quartet.
As a soloist, Nikola Ružević has played with the Zagreb Philharmonic Orchestra, Zagreb Soloists, English Youth Orchestra, Baden-Baden Philharmonic appearing in Croatia, other European countries and the USA.
Nikola Ruzevic has held teaching positions at the University of Southern California, University of Zagreb Academy of Music, Apple Hill Chamber Music Festival, and principal cellist positions in the following orchestras: Zagreb Philharmonic Orchestra, Fresno Philharmonic, Fresno Opera, and Los Angeles Guild Opera. The last 15 years he act as a professor at University of North Texas.

Milan Čunko

Violist Milan Čunko (born in Varaždin on December 29, 1957) graduated from the Music Academy in Zagreb in the class of prof. Milan Tarbuk and viola in the class of prof. Daniel Thune. He is engaged in music pedagogy, first at the music schools of Vatroslav Lisinski in Bjelovar, then Pavao Markovac in Zagreb and finally at the Academy of Music in Zagreb (since 1997 lecturer, since 1998 assistant professor, since 2004 associate professor, since 2010 in the position of regular professor, and since 2016 in the permanent position of full professor for viola). So far, 26 students have graduated in his class. As a teacher of viola and chamber music, he taught at STRINGS ONLY master classes! in Zadar, 1997, 1998 and 1999 and at the Farra d’Isonzo International Chamber Music Seminar in Italy in 2001-2008 and in Grožnjan from 2011 to the present.
As an orchestral musician, he was a member and then solo violist of the Zagreb Philharmonic from 1991 to 1997, then viola leader of the Croatian Chamber Orchestra until 1994, and a member of the Zagreb Soloists ensemble from 1996 to 2000. He is one of the founders of the Varaždin Chamber Orchestra, where he also leads the viola section and is a member of the Artistic Council from 1994 to 2020, and from 2007-2011. head of the orchestra. In chamber music, he collaborates with pianists Veljko Glodić, Miroslav Ghera, Đorđe Stanetti, Ljubomir Gašparović and Maja Bakrač, the Zagreb Quartet, the Sebastian String Quartet, the Zagreb Wind Quintet and others. As a soloist, he performed with the Croatian Chamber Orchestra, Zagebac Philharmonic, HRT Symphony Orchestra, Zagreb Soloists, Varaždin Chamber Orchestra, Croatian Baroque Ensemble, Zadar Chamber Orchestra, Sibenik Chamber Orchestra and Slovenian Orchestra from Ljubljana. He founded Trio Egmont with clarinetist Milko Pravdić and pianist Veljko Glodić.
He worked in the ensemble 3+ with violinist Jože Haluza and cellist Krešimir Lazar. He also played in duets with violinists Karlo S. Fio and Anđelko Krpan. As a soloist and in collaboration with the Varaždin Chamber Orchestra, the HRT Symphony Orchestra, the Egmont Trio and pianists Miroslava Ghera, Đorđe Stanetti and Maja Bakrač, he made a number of recordings for Croatian Radio and Television. He performed as a soloist with eminent artists: G. Caussé, B. Paradžik, M. Korunić, A. Andrušenko, A. Milošev, A. Krpan, M. Genero, T. Schneider, S. Mateić, S. Krstić. As a soloist, he performed with conductors such as K. Ono, P. Dešpalj, M. Tarbuk, U. Lajovic, I. Repušić, M. Letonja, Z. Juranić, etc. He encouraged the creation and was the first to perform a dozen works by Croatian composers (F. Parać, M. Tarbuk, A. Klobučar, L. Župaović, Z. Juranić, T. Uhlik and A. Igrec).

David Vuković, official accompanist

David Vuković (Čakovec, 1996) started learning piano in the class of prof. Daniel Mario Novak in Art Shool Miroslav Magdalenić Čakovec and continued his education in the class of prof. Lea Šantek in Music School in Varaždin. He graduated in 2021 from Zagreb Academy of Music in the class of prof. Đorđe Stanetti with the highest honor (summa cum laude) and spent the academic year 2018/19 at the Music and Arts Private University of Vienna in the class of prof. Doris Adam as a scholar of the Erasmus+ program.
He is a winner of numerous awards, most distinctive being first prizes on the HDGPP national competitions in the disciplines of piano solo and piano duo, Croatian composers society award for the best performance of the compulsory work by a Croatian composer at the 9th EPTA competition for young pianists in Osijek and two first prizes at the Memorijal Jurica Murai in Varaždin. He has also received the Rector’s Award for the performance of Beethoven’s 4th Piano Concerto with the Zagreb Philharmonic Orchestra, and he performed with the Zagreb Soloists and the Varaždin Chamber Orchestra.
During his studies, David intensively started to engage with chamber music, mostly as a member of the Trio Eusebius (along with violinist Eva Šulić Brajčić and cellist Tonka Javorović), with whom he achieved significant success by winning the Papandopulo, Ferdo Livadić and Darko Lukić competitions, as well as notable performances at festival such as Dubrovnik Summer Festival, Osor Musical Evenings, Samobor Music Festival, Croatian Music Festival in Vienna, Evenings on Grič in Zagreb, Musical Evenings at St Donatus in Zadar, the Korkyra Baroque Festival, the Narodni dom Maribor chamber cycle, the Ostinato International Chamber Music Festival Omiš, the “BEETHOVENplus” Festival in Zagreb, the Chamber Music Festival in Čakovec, the Josip Klima Days in Varaždin, the Sfumato cycle of HRT Choir and others. Furthermore, Trio Eusebius won the Dean’s Award for achievements in the academic year 2018/2019, and they made a studio recording for the HRT archive.
David began working as an accompanist after his studies, first as an external associate at the Zagreb Academy of Music, and since 2022 he has been working as an accompaniment teacher at the Varaždin School of Music.

Domagoj Gušćić, official accompanist

Domagoj Gušćić (Zagreb, 1982) received his graduate and postgraduate degrees from Academy of Music, University of Zagreb, where he had studied with Prof. *uro Tikvica, also having attended masterclasses with distinguished pianists such as Eugene Indjic, Noel Flores, Boris Romanov, Irina Osipova, Zinaida Ignateva, Ivan Urvalov, Irina Kataeva and others. Domagoj performs both as a soloist and a chamber musician, having performed extensively throughout Croatia, Slovenia, Austria, Norway, Switzerland, Germany, Italy, Hungary, Russia and the USA. He was awarded several significant awards at international piano competitions in Russia, Italy and Macedonia.

Domagoj gave solo performances with Zagreb Philharmonic Orchestra, Vara#din Chamber Orchestra, Academy of Music, University of Zagreb Symphony Orchestra, Zagreb Youth Chamber Orchestra and of Pavao Markovac Music School chamber orchestra. He’s been collaborating with Croatian Radio Television Symphony Orchestra as an orchestral pianist since 2014, with which he also recorded an episode for the television show Maestro which aired in October 2014. His other collaborations include Zagreb Philharmonic Orchestra since 2016 and Wien International Soloists Ensemble since 2015.

Domagoj has performed extensively at festivals such as Nei Suoni dei luoghi in Italy, Hugo Staehle Festival for Young Pianists in Kassel, Germany both as a performer and a member of faculty, and Vareü Classic Festival in Bosnia and Herzegovina. He was a guest lecturer at the Transformation of Music Education: Tradition and the Present international conference in Odessa, Ukraine in May 2012. His other notable performances include recitals at concert seasons such as Youth in Lisinski, Young Musicians at Matica Hrvatska and Virtuoso in Zagreb.

Domagoj is currently employed at the Academy of Music, University of Zagreb as a collaborative pianist.