Оgnjen Popović, principal

Ognjen Popović was born in Pančevo in 1977. He graduated from the Jovan Bandur Elementary and Secondary Music School in Pančevo. He continued his clarinet studies at the High Academy of Music in Stuttgart in the class of Professor Ulf Rodenhäuser. He holds a Bachelor’s and Master’s Degree from the Munich Academy of Music.


Popović has performed worldwide as a soloist and member of chamber ensembles. As a soloist he has performed with the Munich Philharmonic, the Chamber Orchestra of Europe, the Philharmonic of the Nations, the Belgrade Philharmonic, the Valencia Radio Orchestra, the Strings of St. George, the RTS Symphony Orchestra, as well as the Munich and Stuttgart Academic Orchestras. As an orchestra musician, he has collaborated with the orchestras of the Stuttgart Opera, the German Chamber Academy of Neuss, the Passau Symphony Orchestra, the Bruno Walter Orchestra of Luxembourg, and others. He won First Prize at the Felix Mendelssohn Competition in Berlin in 1998 and Second Jury Award and First Audience Award at the International Music Youth Competition in Belgrade in 1997. He won manz first prizes at national and federal competitions and he represented Yugoslavia at the Eurovision Young Musicians in Spain in 1992.


Since 2002, Popović has been a member of the Belgrade Philharmonic, as first clarinet. That same year he founded a chamber ensemble called the Balkan Chamber Academy, made up of well-known names in classical music. With his band Ognjen and Friends he has performed many concerts at home and abroad and has recorded four CDs of original music. Last year he recorded his latest album In My Heart With the Ognjen Popović Band. He recorded two CDs with the famous German chamber ensemble Villa Musica and performed with them all over Europe. The German Koebl Verlag publishing house from Munich has been publishing his compositions since 2015.


Popović is artistic director of the Pančevo-based Classic Fest chamber music festival. He has held masterclasses for clarinet in Germany, Spain, Croatia, Montenegro, Macedonia, and many cities in Serbia. Since 2007 he has been visiting assistant professor at the Villa Musica chamber music academy in Germany and since 2010 has been teaching clarinet at the Faculty of Music (FMU) in Belgrade, where he received his PhD in 2012.


Ognjen Popović is a Yamaha Artist.


Orchestra member since 2002


I take special pride in having appeared as a soloist with the Münchner Philharmoniker and the Philharmonia of the Nations, yet the one performance that I will always remember is the New Year celebration in Boljevac, where I played with my band Ognjen and Friends. The special artistic touch to our performance was given by seven elderly ladies in the audience, who were in a very adequate mood for such an occasion, slightly tipsy, and who danced the ‘kolo’ to every jazz or funky number we played! Those elderly ladies were also the only audience we had!


I can describe myself as a completely obsessed fanatic for music. When I am not playing, I am thinking about music. When I take breaks from it, I read history books, watch films, play basketball, mow grass, trim the hedge, eat aspic, breathe fresh air from the oil refinery in Pančevo… Cheers!