The capital city of B&H hosted this year the third edition of the Sarajevo Chamber Festival. Led by the world-renowned and prestigous Manhattan String Quartet, Sarajevo Chamber Festival, which took place from 28 August to 4 September.
In addition to the eight concerts that took place during the Sarajevo Chamber Festival, a series of workshops were held for students.
‘Sarajevo Times’ had the opportunity to speak with talented artists who performed this year’s festival, violist Lech Antonio Uszynski, pianist Dino Mulić, Chris Finckel of the Manhattan String Quartet, and the Dean of the Music Academy of B&H Ivan Ćavlović.
Uszynski, who is considered to be one of the best violinists in the world, performed on the first night of the festival. This was his first time both in Sarajevo and performing at the Sarajevo Chamber Festival, and he shared his impressions with us.
”This is my first time in Sarajevo and the Sarajevo Chamber Music Festival. I have met here such heartwarming people that made my stay in Sarajevo a wonderful experience. I am very happy to have performed with the four marvelous musicians from the Manhattan String Quartet. Also, I would like to point out how great all the young talented students were. It was a sheer pleasure to work with them. The organization did a wonderful job. Thank you! I really hope there will be a possibility to visit Sarajevo again as soon as possible”, said Uszynski.
Chris Finckel of the prestigious Manhattan String Quartet was instrumental in helping to establish what has become one of the most significant regional classic music festivals. He came to Sarajevo five years ago and met with several professors from the Music Academy in Sarajevo and asked them if it would be possible for a quartet to perform. Collaboration with Dino Mulić led to a series of concerts in Sarajevo, Banja Luka and Mostar.
He said that they saw an opportunity in Sarajevo, since ”you cannot find an important European capital that does not have a summer music festival”. Thus, the idea of the Sarajevo Chamber Festival was conceived.
”We have a wonderful relationship with the Music Academy and with Ivan Ćavlović, and one of our many missions is to hopefully assist the Academy of Music to have greater visibility in the country”, said Finckel.
Despite the fact that this is a classical music festival that started only three years ago, it has quickly risen to become a global event for classical music.
”The festival is one example of an artistic event. The festival and its quality has reached high results after the third year, and this is what is most important. This would not be possible without the Music Academy and the Manhattan String Quartet. These two institutions make sure that only the best quality come here, and the Manhattan String Quartet is one of the best quartets in the world. Musicians come here from the US, B&H, Germany, and many other countries”, said Director of the Music Academy in Sarajevo Ivan Ćavlović.
”This is the third year of the festival, and we are somewhat shocked. Every night is filled. We can thank the Sarajevo Chamber Music Festival team that worked on organizing the preparations. We thank Ivan Ćavlović for helping meet all the requirements, and we are more than satisfied with the students and the public”, said Dino Mulić.
Chris Finckel remarked that he has noticed a rise in the number of people that attend the concerts as part of this festival. ”There are more people that visit every year. This year, we met people who happened to be at the festival the previous year, but came specifically this year for the festival. That is very encouraging. This will become a destination”.
The focus of this festival is on chamber music, which is a specific type of instrumental music that is played by a small ensemble. Violinst Uszynski succintly describes what he finds unique about chamber music.
”In my view, chamber music is one of the most beautiful forms of music due to the synergy that comes about through collaboration and personal fullfillment”.
”Chamber music is a specific type of music. There is solo music and chamber music. With chamber music, you have four soloists, but sounding together. They perform as soloists, but they need a mutual sound. This is the most difficult”, said Ćavlović.
In only its third year, the Sarajevo Chamber Music Festival has succeeded in bringing together local, regional and world renowned artists in one place to present to the public quality performances and to bring to the fore a wider understanding of the essence of chamber music by the top performers in the world.