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.
The Quartet’s recent achievements include performances on concert stages such as Manarat al Saadiyat as part of the Abu Dhabi Classics Festival, at the opening of the “Chamber Music in Desert” concert season at Liwa Oasis in the United Arab Emirates, two guest appearances in China at Tianjin Concert Hall, a concert at the Centre Culturel de Serbie in Paris and at the Cultural Centre in Izmir, Turkey.
In July 2017 the Quartet performed at the Ljubljana Festival, while other recent highlights include concert appearances at the Mokranjčevi Dani Festival in Negotin, the Espressivo Festival in Cetinje, SVEM Festival in Sarajevo, Bosnia & Herzegovina, at the Modern Gallery in Podgorica, Montenegro, at the opening of the SOMUS Festival in Sombor, Serbia, at the Filipovi dani Festival in Niš, as well as at the Republic of Srpska National Theatre, celebrating the Day of Banja Luka. Furthermore, their 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 to the young trainees of the Winter String Quartet Workshop in Podgorica, and at the Montenegro Summer Chamber Music Camp at Ivanova korita on Mount Lovćen.
In June 2015, in cooperation with clarinettist Ognjen Popović, the Belgrade Philharmonic String Quartet published their first CD with pieces by Beethoven and Brahms.
In the season 2013/14, the Quartet and their guests performed five chamber music concerts at the Belgrade Philharmonic Hall, as part of its own series titled “Quartet + 1”. In addition to music for string quartet, the series also included quintets with two violas, with clarinet, piano and voice.
In the season 2012/13, the Quartet gave a memorable performance of the Concerto for String Quartet and Orchestra by Erwin Schulhoff at the Kolarac Grand Concert Hall, accompanied by the Belgrade Philharmonic Orchestra and its then Chief Conductor Muhai Tang.
Other performances of the Belgrade Philharmonic String Quartet have included the opening of the Classic Fest Pančevo, the European Day celebration in Belgrade organised by the EU Delegation to Serbia, the performance within the Creative Europe Conference at the Kulturni Centar Grad, as well as concerts throughout Serbia as part of the Belgrade Philharmonic’s humanitarian and corporate social responsibility projects.
The Quartet pursued further training with violinist Wolfgang Redik (Vienna Piano Trio) and violist William Coleman (Kuss Quartet).
The Belgrade Philharmonic String Quartet has cooperated with artists such as Jörg Winkler, Darko Brlek, Ognjen Popović, Veljko Klenkovski, Branko Kabadaić, Jelena Draškoci, Claudi Arimany, Svetlana Jovanović, Attila Mokus.
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.