Belgrade Philharmonic String Quartet
The musicians of the Belgrade Philharmonic Orchestra Jelena Dragnić, Vladan Lončar, Boris Brezovac and Aleksandar Latković, founded the String Quartet within this orchestra in 2011.
Latest achievements of the Quartet include performances on concert stages such as Manarat al Saadiyat as part of the Abu Dhabi Classics Festival, season opening of “Chamber music in Desert” at Liwa Oasis in United Arab Emirates, concert at Centre Culturel de Serbie in Paris, concerts in China at Tianjin Concert Hall, and at the Cultural center in Izmir, Turkey.
In July 2017 the Quartet will perform at the Ljubljana Festival. During the 2016/17 season the Quartet has made concert appearances at the Festival Mokranjčevi Dani in Negotin, at the opening of the SOMUS Festival in Sombor, Serbia, at the Festival Espressivo in Cetinje and the Modern Gallery in Podgorica, Montenegro, SVEM Festival in Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina, as well as at the National theatre in Banja Luka, Republic of Srpska. Тheir concert at Studio 6 Belgrade was broadcasted live by the Serbian Broadcasting Corporation Channel 3.
During the 2015/16 season the Quartet members were mentors for their young colleaguеs at the Winter String Quartet Workshop in Podgorica, and at the Montenegro Summer Chamber Music Camp at Ivanova korita, Lovćen.
In June 2015, in cooperation with clarinetist Ognjen Popović, the Belgrade Philharmonic String Quartet has published their first compact disc containing compositions by Ludwig van Beethoven and Johannes Brahms.
In the season 2013/14, the Quartet and their guests appeared in a cycle of five chamber music concerts named “Quartet+1”, in the Belgrade Philharmonic Concert Hall. In addition to compositions for the string quartet, this cycle also included quintets with two violas, with clarinet, piano and voice.
In the season 2012/13, the Quartet gave a memorable performance of a “Concerto for String quartet and Orchestra” by Erwin Schulhoff at the Kolarac Great Hall, with the Belgrade Philharmonic Orchestra and their Chief Conductor of that time Muhai Tang.
Other performances in Serbia and the region have taken the Belgrade Philharmonic String Quartet to the opening of the Classic Fest Pančevo, the European Day celebration in Belgrade, the Conference “Creative Europe” at Kulturni Centar Grad, concerts on board the Amadeus Royal ship on the way from Vienna to the Black Sea, concerts in Gračanica, Kragujevac, Inđija, Mostar, and Trebinje, as well as the appearances in Gornji Milanovac, Subotica, Vršac and the village of Stanišor in Kosovo and Metohija, as part of humanitarian and social responsibility projects of the Belgrade Philharmonic.
In the process of selecting new orchestra members, the most important principle is that of absolute impartiality. This is ensured by holding the auditions behind a non-transparent screen and by not revealing the candidates’ identities to the selection panel until the selection has been made. In the beginning, the musicians are randomly assigned numbers under which they perform and the identity of the new orchestra member is not announced until the audition is over.
The selection panel consists of the Chief Conductor, concertmasters, section principals and members of the groups for which the candidate is auditioning. All candidates competing for a vacant position perform the same programme, in two stages, where the first stage is qualifying and includes a mandatory programme, a piece of candidate’s choice and orchestral studies.
The final decision on hiring a new orchestra member is made after six months of probation work. Upon expiry of this period, the panel evaluates how the musician fits in the orchestra, their work methods and communication with the colleagues.
Even if the applicants have satisfied all the high standards of the Belgrade Philharmonic Orchestra and join the more experienced members, a new appraisal awaits them every Friday – a perpetual career-long audition on stage in front of packed concert halls.