Stefan Milenkovich performed for U.S. President Ronald Reagan in Washington, DC, at the age of 10, the following year, he played for Mikhail Gorbachev in Belgrade, Serbia, and at 14 he played for Pope John Paul II. If this were not enough, by 16, he had given his 1000th concert! The Washington Post described him as “magical” and possessing “dazzling virtuosity” from one of his many concerts at the Kennedy Center. Accompanied by renowned pianist Marta Aznavoorian, he will perform two different and not be missed concerts on Friday and Saturday, 15 & 16 February, 2019, at 4:00pm at St. Paul’s Church on Calle Cardo.
If such a spectacular career were not enough, Milenkovich has was named Serbia’s Artist of the Century, the Most Humane Person, and Brand Personality of the Year! It is not surprising, then, that he is an internationally sought-after soloist and recitalist who frequently appears in the world’s greatest concert halls, such as the Kennedy Center, Carnegie Hall and as a guest with the Berlin Symphony and the Helsinki Philharmonic.
On Friday, Milenkovich will play works by Debussy, Gershwin and Tchaikovsky, and more. Debussy’s Sonata for Violin and Piano is a powerful testament to the composer's life with the music exhibiting a lifetime's experience of international music, poetry and art. He himself performed it in his last concert - and said it was "so terribly melancholy that I can't say whether one should laugh or cry. Perhaps both?" Gershwin’s Three Preludes, not perhaps his most famous works, but worthy of much wider appreciation, reveal the mathematical underpinnings of much of his work, influenced by musical theoretician, Joseph Schillinger. Tchaikovsky’s Valse Scherzo in C major has a unique form not seen anywhere else in Russian waltzes, and was dedicated to a favorite student at the Moscow Conservatory.
On Saturday, we will enjoy Beethoven, Brahms and Gershwin, among others. Beethoven's Sonata No. 1 in D Major was dedicated to Salieri, Beethoven's sometime teacher, and Mozart's great rival. Beethoven composed ten violin and piano sonatas with increasing prominence of the violin, and unusual harmonies. While it’s hard for modern audiences to recognize, these compositions were quite avant-garde for their time. Brahms’ Sonata in A Major for piano and violin was premiered by violinist Joseph Hellemesberger with Brahms at the piano. The composer described it as "so full of melodies that one has to be careful not to step on any"! Gershwin’s Rhapsody in Blue won first prize at the Paris Conservatory and its fusion of genres, joyous syncopations and foot tapping rhythms have made it an all time favourite, but not often heard played by this instrument combination.
Tickets for the concerts at St. Paul’s are $150, $300 and $400 pesos donation each, and are on sale at the Bookshop in the Biblioteca Pública; Solutions, Recreo 11 and through our website with no booking fee, and at the concert 45 minutes before performance time.