17:00 Birth house of Mokranjac
Grand Opening of the Festival

– Laying flowers at the monument of  Stevan St. Mokranjac
– Welcome speech: Vladimir Veličković, President of Negotin Municipality
– Oration: Dejan Savic, MA, conductor
– Joint performance of choir competition participants  and Negotin choirs – Stevan St. Mokranjac - The Sixth Garland  


Oration: Dejan Savic, MA, conductor

DEJAN SAVIC (1957), the outstanding Serbian conductor, is born in Belgrade in the family of musicians. He graduated conducting with distinction at the Academy of Music in Belgrade and received his Masters Degree at the Academy of Arts in Novi Sad. On a specialization cours, Mr. Savic was working with Mo Berislav Klobucar.
Artistic Director of the oldest Jewish Choral Society “The Baruh Brothers”, founded in 1879, he also conducted a number of prominent Yugoslav mixed, male and female choral groups, winning the international prizes at the different contests (Gorizia and Pescara, Italy) and touring with them USSR, Spain, Austria, Cyprus, Israel, Switzerland, Netherlands, Ireland, Greece, making also recordings both for Radio and TV.
During the period 1989-93 D. Savic was the Artistic Director and Chief Conductor of the Nis Symphony Orchestra, where he made a large number of outstanding concert evenings, tours (Skopje, Beograd) and recordings with world known artists such as Ludmil Angelov, Mihai Ungureanu, Aleksandar Sandorov, piano, Ksenija Jankovic, cello, Radmila Bakocevic, soprano, Jovan Kolundzija, Sreten Krstic and Stefan Milenkovic, violin etc. Since 1993 he is the Principal Conductor of the Belgrade Opera and Ballet Company, where some of the most famous artists performed with him, i.e. Elena Obrastzova, Makvala Kasrashvili, Agnes Baltsa, Dimitra Theodossiou, Bruna Baglioni, Catleen McCalla, Marie – Ange Todorovich, Leandra Overmann, Olivera Miljakovic, Ingeboerg Kosmo, Micaela Carosi, Mauro Agostini, Fabio Armiliato, Pierro Giuliacci, Carlo Guelfi, Valeria Esposito, Henrik Engelsviken, Elena Gorbach, Zeljko Lučić, Zoran Todorović, Boris Trajanov, Milena Kitić a.o. His guest – appearances in Serbian opera houses include The Opera and Ballet of the Serbian National Theater in Novi Sad as well as the renewal of the operatic scene in Nis in 1996, after almost 30 years. From 2001 – 2004 mr Savic is appearing as the General Manager of the Beograd Opera and Ballet Company. In 2005 he has been appointed the Superintendant of the National Theater Beograd, being the first musician on the head of this prestigious national institute of culture in its 137 years long history, then in 2007 he took the position of the Opera General Manager, after which he returned to the Superintendant position in 2012.
Conducting all major Yugoslav symphony orchestras Mr Savic also toured Greece (State Symphony Orchestras of Athens and Thessaloniki, the ERT Symphony Orchestra and Mixed Choir), Bulgaria (the Bulgarian National Symphony Orchestra, also concert within the Athens-Belgrade-Sofia concert serie and the Burgas Philharmonic Orchestra), Romania (Philharmonic orchestras and Choirs of Craiova and Iasi), Russia (the Tomsk State Symphony Orchestra), USA (the Bloomingdale Symphony Orchestra of New York), appearing with him the soloists such as Anatolij Krstev, cello, Mineo Hayashi, cello, Kjell Baekkelund, piano, Eliso Virsaladze, piano, Anna Verholantseva, harp, a.o.
D. Savic was appointed Guest Conductor to the ERT Symphony Orchestra in Athens for four seasons. Conducting the State Symphony Orchestra of Athens in 1991. he is so far the only Serbian conductor appearing in its largest and most important concert hall “Megaron moussikis”. The next appointment with this leading Greek orchestral ensemble was another success in the same hall (soloist Martha Arapi, soprano) in November 2007.
Since 1993-95 Mr. Savic was a present Artistic director of the famous “Pro Musica” chamber ensemble, the oldest one in Yugoslavia, with whom he also made a vaste number of recordings, tours and concert appearings. In 1994, the concert season of this ensemble brought to Beograd for the soloists artists such as Alirio Diaz, guitar, Stojka Milanova, violin, Vladimir Krainev, piano, and Christina Anghelescu, violin. In 1998 he became the Artistic Director of the “Pro classica” Chamber Orchestra.
In National D.G.O.S. Opera in Dublin, Ireland, in 1995 D. Savic conducted 5 performances of “Il Trovatore” by Verdi, staged by Inge Levant and including among the soloists Tatyana Zakharchouk, soprano, Mark Rucker, baritone and Scott Flaherty, tenor,  unanimously estimated by the critics as the best performances in the last years.
The 1996 summer tour in Italy with the Rousse Philharmonia, Bulgaria, included two successful appearances on Festivals in Sta Margherita Ligure and Reggio Emilia, with the soloists Jasna  Maksimovic and Luigi Alberto Bianchi, violin.
In National Opera of Greece, Athens, Mr. Savic conducted seasons opening and 4 performances of “Barbiere di Sevilla” by Rossini, during May 1997, as well as 4 performances of “Die Fledermaus” by Strauss, February 1999. Those performances, highest ranked by the audience and music experts, were considered the best in the season.
The Norwegian debut of Mr Savic in June 1998 was presented with the remarcable closing concert of the season 1997-98 with the Symphony Orchestra of The Royal Opera, Oslo. This programme included a premiere of Grieg-Evju’s Second piano concerto B minor with the soloist Geir Henning Braaten, piano and Ragnhild Heiland Sorensen, soprano, performing Grieg’s vocal music.
In July ’98, The Beograd National Theater Symphony Orchestra under the batton of its Principal conductor Mr Savic had its first appearance on Patras International Festival, Greece, having an exceptional performance with soprano Vassiliki Papantoniou as the soloist.
Another two Greek prestigeous festival “Prespes” and “Olympia” hosted Mr Savic together with Radio Television of Serbia Choir and Orchestra and Beograd Philharmonia in summer ’99, where, among other, they performed with Mikis Theodorakis his music.
After a democratic changes in Yugoslavia, the first ensembles to be hosted abroad where the RTS SO and Choir, performing Rossini’s Piccola Messa Sollenela with the soloists from Greece and former Yugoslav republics, under the batton of mr Savic in Thessaloniki, October 2000. This event named Culture & Balkans was supported by the Stability Pact and the Greek Ministry of the Foreign Affairs.
During the autumn/winter 2000, mr Savic was hosted by the Opera National du Rhin, Strasbourg, France, where he conducted this season’s opening – ten performances of Humperdinck’s Hansel und Gretel (Delphine Galou) in the Opera Houses of Muhouse, Colmar, Strasbourg and Besancon.
In 2001 mr Savic performed on prestigeous Athens International Summer Festival, conducting the Beograd National Theater Symphony Orchestra with soprano Elleni Kelessidi as the soloist, than in Bucharest, Romania, with the National Radio Chamber Orchestra, opening the season and recording with Dana Borsan, piano soloist, finaly with Thessaloniki State Symphony Orchestra in new Megaron Musikis hall. In the same period, the Beograd National Theater Opera Company appeared in the Chamber Opera of Thessaloniki, Greece, with seven performances of Rossini’s Il Barbiere di Sevilla including the soloists such as Vladimir Chernow, baritone, Bruce Fowler, tenor, and other, as well as in Rialto Theater, Limassol, Cyprus, with full Company executing Pucinni’s Madama Butterfly, both under batton of mr. Savic. The next successful appearance on the same spot in Cyprus took place in March 2007 presenting the cooperation between Beograd National Opera and Cyprus Opera Society on Mascagni’s Cavalleria Rusticana / Leoncavallo’s Pagliacci conducted by the same artist.
In May 2002, on the Balkan popular “May Opera Evenings” in Skopje, Macedonia, mr Savic was invited to conduct the opening of the jubilee’s 30th edition – Verdi’s Rigoletto, with the ensemble of the Macedonian National Theater Opera. The result was the announcement of this performance to be the best on the Festival. Maestro returned to Macedonian Opera and Ballet in July 2015, closing the season with an excellent performance of Verdi’s La Traviata (PopTomova, Sotirov, Baiocchi).
The cooperation with the Thessaloniki Opera resulted with two new productions of a highest rank – Beethoven’s Fidelio (Stage Director Spyros Evangelatos – Cheryl Studer, Mark Baker, Franz Joseph Kapellmannn, The Beograd National Opera Orchestra) and Puccini’s Tosca (Nelly Miricioiu, Paola Romano, Carlo Baricelli, The Romanian National Opera Orchestra), both in autumn 2002. At the same period on the head of the Chaikowski’s Eugen Onegin production of Opera National du Rhin, Strasbourg (Stage director Marco Arturo Marelli – Galina Badikovskaya, Andrei Dunaev, Vladimir Petrov, Fedor Kuznetsov, Nelly Boshkowa), mr Savic had a tremendous success in all of ten perfomances in eastern France.
In June 2003 Mr Savic conducted two performances of the production of Rossini’s Il Barbiere di Sivilla on the opening of the prestigious “Opera-on-the-Square” Festival in Sofia, Bulgaria, including leading soloists, choir and orchestra of the Sofia National Opera – again with the tremendous success and acclamation from the audience and critics. In December, he made his italian debut conducting two international perfomances of Verdi’s La Traviata in teatro Ventidio Basso, Ascoli Piceno, again with the immence success and acclamation from all sides.
January 2004 the Beograd National Opera was invited to celebrate the 40th anniversary of the rebuilding the National Theater in Kefalonia, Greece, with two performances of Verdi’s Rigoletto under the batton of mr Savic and with the most prominent opera soloists.
The following engagement in the same company in Ascoli Piceno in December 2005 brought him the huge success with Puccini’s Madama Butterfy (Mitsuko Mori, Cesare Catani, Paolo Coni) which was performed in Osimo, Recanati and Ascoli Piceno. February 2006 mr Savic conducted Bellini’s Norma in National Opera Novi Sad (Katarina Jovanovic) with immense success, as well as in Sava Center Beograd.
His Italian engagement continued in 2006 with Concerto di Natale, music by Chaikowski and Di Giandomenico’s world premiere of Trittico di Natale (Ivana Speranza, Evelyn Smith) together with FORM – Orchestra Filarmonica Marchigiana and Coro Polifonico “David Brunori” in Tetaro di Tradizione in Jesi, Italy. It was the same spot where in December 2007 mr Savic concluded the lyric season with the Opera Galla, later repeated in City Theater of Fermo, dedicated to Beniamino Gigli (Dvoretskaya, Casciarri, Meoni, Shi) together with Symphony Orchestra “Gioachino Rossini” from Pesaro.  In the same country but in the Theater “Francesco Stabile” in Potenza, mr Savic conducted two performances of Verdi’s Rigoletto in February 2007, this time with Orchestra Filarmonica Salernitana “Giuseppe Verdi” and Coro di Bitonto (Mima Brigante, Giorgio Casciarri, Giuseppe Altomare) adored by the full audience and critics. The same season in June, mr Savic made his Wien debut in prestigeous VolksOper, conducting three performances of Verdi’s La Traviata (Briban, Ramos, Chernoh, Montazeri, Larson, Marof), having undisputed success with this fully sold out production. Again with exquisite Romanian soprano mme Roxana Briban, mr Savic made his debut in Bucharest National Opera in February 2008, having an undesputed success performing Puccini’s Madama Butterfly. Further on the same year in March, during the tour of the National Theater Opera in Italy, mr Savic conducted two Opera Gallas in theaters of Rovigo and Faenza, performing with the best Serbian soloists and guests (Balistreri, Fracasso) and Orchestra of the National Theater. On prestigeous Gars am Kamp Opern-Air Festival 2008 this artist conducted the opening with the Verdi’s Aida spectacle (Fadayoumi, Kisleli, Nechayev, staging Drgac) highly marked in the vaste musical offer in the summer period in Austria. On the same spot mr Savic returned two seasons later with Verdi’s Traviata (Brumar, Beruggi, Nechayev, staging Drgac), again with the tremmendous success and full audience. The new success marked two performances of Bizet’s Carmen in 2011 (Papoulkas, Marin, Kislali, Weinhappel, staging prof. Drgac) followed by Rigoletto (Kazani, Ortega, Altomare, staging prof. Drgac) in 2012 and again with performances of Rossini’s Barbiere di Sevilla in 2013. His first performances in one Germany Opera house were also a great success, appearing in December in StadtTheater Koblenz with the Rhein Philharmonie, Opera Choir and an international soloists cast (Kruger, Polakovs, Ruggieri) on the “Best of…” Opera Gala.
In spring of 2009 mr Savic was the jury member of the XIV edition of the world famous Boris Christoff International Competition for Young Opera Singers in Sofia, as well as the president of the jury for the inaugural edition of the Blue Danube Opera Conducting Competition in Burgas, Bulgaria. Organized by the same artistic agency in this State Opera Company, mr Savic held the Young opera conductor’s Masterclasses in 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014 and 2015 in Russe State Opera, hosting the candidates from round the world, enabling them to perform the operas of Mozart, Bizet, Verdi, Rossini, Bellini and Puccini in public with success. During the August of 2009 mr Savic was engaged conducting performances of Rossini’s Barbiere di Sevilla on the Festival d’Arte Apuliae in region of Foggia, Italy, with the soloists from Italy and Turkey and the Chamber Orchestra of Apulia. Withe the same ensemble maestroa performed in January 2012 for the New Year’s concerts (soloists De Palma, Mi Seon Oh) in Foggia and Lucera. The same month and with the same great success he was preparing and leading the opening of Puccini’s Madama Butterfly on the Summer Music Festival in Burgas, Bulgaria, with the National Opera of Burgas and the soloists from Bulgaria and Macedonia.
March 2010 mr Savic led the outstanding performance of Puccini’s Madama Butterfly in Teatro Dante, Firenza, Italy (Ishigami, Berrugi, Calamai) and immediately after, two preformances at The Opera Stars Festival in State Opera and Ballet Company of Siberia, Krasnoyarsk, Russia. The success included both titles, Puccini’s Tosca (Zelenskaya, Vishnyak, Effimov) and Rigoletto (Svyatkin, Zakirov, Baranova) in front of the packed audience and delighted company. The identical situation followed next 2011 year, with the same Festival and Puccini’s titles La Boheme (Urusov, Levchuk, Baranova) and Madama Butterfly (Levchuk, Urusov, Efremov). His Portugal debut marked two excellent concerts in June 2010 with Orquestra do Algarve in Portimao and Loule, with Jan Krisztof Broja, pianist, as a soloist. The month of November of the same year, great impresion mr Savic left led to a successful MasterClass in Symphonic Repertory in Faro and continued with two concerts with the same Orchestra, with Otto Perreira as the violin soloist. Debut in National Opera of Timisoara, November 2011 with Traviata (Marcu, Balasescu, Estefan) again was the vaste success of maestro Savic.
During month of July 2012, maestro held the Symphonic Orchestra Masterclass in Saint Petersburg, Russia, hosting the candidates from round the world, collaborating with the prestigeous State Hermitage Orchestra. The same year in October maestro returned to Bucharest, Romania, for season’s opening of National radio Chamber orchestra with Pavel Kohout (Czech Rpublic) as the organ soloist. Later in November, mr Savic made a very successfull recording session of Puccini’s soprano arias, with mme Pia Brodnik as the soloist, with the prestigeous London Symphony Orchestra in Abbey Road Studios.
In April 2013 maestro Savic successfully appeared in prestigeous Sofia National Opera and Ballet, Bulgaria, performing Mascagni’s Cavelleria Rusticana and Puccini’s Gianni Schicchi (staging Kartaloff, Andreev, Georgiev). May the same year was the period when one recent idea became thruth – the National Theater in Nis again has the Music deprtment, established after more than 40 years, now opened with Strauss Flederemaus, performed by the Orchestra, Chorus and soloists of Academy of Arts in Nis under the batton of Mo Savic, in front of the delirious audience (staging I. Vukovic). In June, mr Savic closed the season with famous Sofia Philharmonic Orchestra in prestigeous “Bulgaria” hall, recorded by Bulgarian National Television (Kolundzija, Stamatovic soloists). To the same Hall with the same Orchestra Maestro returned in April 2015 conducting in the Concert season “Classical pearls and world premiers” (Koleva, Taner soloists). Again in August 2013, he conducted a main event on Summer festival of Opera and Operetta in Roselul Park  with Romanian State Opera from Timisoara (Brumar, Ling, Mara). In November mr Savic conducted The Maria Callas Tribute Opera Galla in “Elena Teodorini” Lyric Theater with young European soloists in Craiova, Romania, during the 40th edition of the Music Festival bearing the same name. This was followed by the Jury membership of the 1st International Vocal Competition and appearance for the final stage with the Orchestra in the same Theater.
The year of 2014 begun with an outstanding debut with Cyprus State Symphony Orchestra and January concerts in Pafos and Nicosia, with music of Copland, Lutoslawski, Vorisek and Sophia Serghi. Already in March, maestro Savic had a great success conducting performances of Rossini’s Barber of Seville and Puccini’s Madama Butterfly in Ural Opera nd Ballet Theater in Ekaterinburg, Russia, one of the four Federal Music Theaters in Russia (Bolshoi, Mariinsky, Novosibirsk and Ekaterinburg). The return to this prestigeous theater in June 2015 with the excellent performance of Verdi’s Traviata (Savicic-Sekulic, Plazinic, Mironov) was the part of the collaboration protocol with National Theater Beograd, Serbia. The return to Craiova, Romania and “Elena Teodorini” Lyric Theater, was marked with Verdi’s Otelo (Budoiu, Vari, Mijailovic) as the opening of Shakespeare Festival on May the 1st 2014. Just a week later, maestro appeared as the guest conductor in National Romanian Opera in Timisoara, successfully performing Verdi’s Rigoletto (Petrean, Balasescu, Vezentan).  In August, mr Savic was invited to Potenza, Italy, to open a new Summer Festival with Donizetti’s “Elisir d’Amore”, with young cast, Orchestra Sinfonica Lucana and Coro “Euro Mediterraneo” with a brilliant performance. Back in Timisoara, Romania, Maestro opened a new season with Traviata (Marcu, Horea, Pataca) in September 2014.
The great Asian debut of Maestro Savic was presented by three magficent performances of Puccini’s Tosca (Dal Pierro, Gramegna, Fabbian) in Busan Kultural Center, Republic of Korea, in organization of SolOpera, December 2014. Again in Romania, the same month followed an exquisite performance with the National Theater Beograd Opera soloists and Orchestra on “Craiova Musicale” 41st edition of the Festival. In May 2015 mr Savic sussessfully debuted with Orchestra Sinfonica Siciliana in Teatro Polyteama Palermo, Italy (Alessio Pianelli, soloist). In the same state, now in prestigeous Teatro Ariston in Sanremo, in August Maestro conducted Rossini’s Barbiere di Sevilla (Bakanova, Mirabelli, Nani), marked in the media as the huge triumph. Later in September, mr Savic made his outstanding debut in Albania, conducting the National Opera and Ballet Symphony Orchestra in Tirana (Voshtina, Franzetti, Ferxha soloists).
Among the others, some of the names with which mr Savic cooperated are Mikis Theodorakis, Costas Paschalis, Ludovic Spiess, Maya Plisetskaya, Vladimir Vasilev, Jiri Menzel, Bonaldo Giaiotti, Maria Slatinaru – Nistor, Corneliu Murgu, Alexandrina Milcheva, Peter Dvorsky, Ljubov Kazarnovskaya and other.
D. Savic made recordings for Radio and TV in many countries as well as several CD’s for the PGP production of  RTV Belgrade, Romanian National Radiodifusion, Bulgarian National RTV, Greek National RTV a.o. For his artistic achievments he has received a number of  recognitions and awards.
Mr Savic is fluently speaking English, French, Italian, German and Russian language.


18:00 Cultural Centre’s Gallery
Paintings exhibition Momčilo Moma Antonović Small retrospective: Belgrade on meteors and Houses of unknown owners

A man, and a gentleman, standing in front of you is a remarkable painter Momcilo Moma Antonović whose works testify that, even in lean and fasting times, the art can be (and is) the salt to the country, the joy to the people, the target of those who come and confirmation that the Creator does not waste the talents. Recently, almost yesterday, in relation to the long-lasting, fruitful work of Mr. Momcilo Moma Antonović, the author has entered a new area, long hidden, guarded and left in early childhood to “simmer” for a better time. The series called Houses of Unknown Owners is a reminiscence and a new step forward of the old wolf, and a completely new, high range of Serbian artistic creativity. First of all, its appearance – it gives the impression of a mature work, without significant oscillations, prepared for a long time and exposed to the world as a polished gemstone.
At the same time, this sequence represents a magnificent tribute to European expressionism, almost to the point that we should call individual works prayers for the great painters: Klimt, Schiele, Soutine, Picasso, Ruo, Mark Frans, Kooning, Munch, and Kandinsky… It seems that Antonović, with the listed (and others), leads the dialogues from which the works were created – the thank you notes to the great predecessors.
The coherence of this sequence is made of the traits observed in the previous phases. First of all – the subject, both bounded and incredibly wide, so that only the great master can hold it and tame it, and to continue to wrestle with it, without any stumbling. Mr. Antonovic is a great colourist, but in this series, the palette is even juicier, enlightened, almost wild, and full of children’s joy, guided by the purity of the heart and by the hand of the great scholar. The presence of both epic and lyrical passages is also notable, sometimes expressed as harmony in a single part, but all the time in constant dualistic intertwining and disputes of dichotomy. Commitment and assiduity in each way, the exemplary line in each painting would rather associate to the monk but on the man, our contemporary.  But do not forget, the holy art of painting, as Momcilo Antonovic understands and treats it, gives the returning result, this one in front of us. Solitude, absolute commitment, skipping the daily and plunge to the universal, looking deep into comprehensive and European, but respecting the local particularities – rise Antonović to the very few Serbian artists that time will not litter, and whose trails will glow for a long time.The beauty, the goodness, the purity, concentration and energy of the sequence Houses of Unknown Owners, are, at the moment, easiest to define as “a gift of God from the hand of Moma Antonović”.

Dusan Milovanovic

Was born in Kruševac in 1938, where he finished elementary school. After graduating from the Grammar school in Kraljevo, he enrolled at the Academy of Fine Arts in Belgrade. He graduated in the class of Professor Nedeljko Gvozdenović, where he completed his postgraduate studies. In 1964, he was admitted to the Association of Fine Artists of Serbia. In 1973, he was elected as an assistant professor at the Academy of Fine Arts in Belgrade. He taught painting and drawing in all titles. He was the head of the painting department and the vice-chancellor for teaching, and in 1988 he was elected as a full professor. He was the Dean of the Faculty of Fine Arts in three terms.
He continued his professional training in study tours in France, Italy, Greece, the United States, Germany, England, Scotland, the Netherlands, Belgium, Spain, Hungary … The European Center for Peace and Development of the United Nations has appointed him director of the international research program Art and young talents of the world and for the Dean of the International Postgraduate Study Fine arts today and tomorrow in Sremski Karlovci. As a visiting professor he lectured at faculties in Budapest and Edinburgh. He has had over one hundred solo exhibitions and participated in numerous collective exhibitions in the country and abroad. He has won dozens of awards and recognitions. His works are all over the world in galleries and in private collections. He lives and works in Belgrade.


19:00 Cultural Centre
Choirs competition

The chamber mixed choir Lola
Conductor: Josip Katavić
The chamber mixed choir Lola was founded in February 2015 and works within the Cultural Artistic Society with the same name in Sarajevo. Members of the choir are true lovers of choral music and singing, of various professions whose common goal is to nurture and promote choral singing, as well as to bring choral music closer to the young people. On its repertoire, this ensemble has compositions of classical world choral literature, compositions based on folk motifs of the region, works of contemporary authors, negro spiritual compositions, as well as the arrangements of world and domestic pop-rock hits and soundtracks. So far, the choir has had several significant performances and concerts. At the XIV May Choir Festival in Bijeljina (2015) it won the gold medal and was declared the best in the category of chamber choirs, while this year it won three awards in the category „mixed choirs” at the International Choral Championships Lege Artis in Tuzla (1st prize, Best performance of Bosnian author and audience award).
Josip Katavić
was born and educated in Sarajevo. He sang in many Sarajevo amateur choirs. Since 1986, he has been a member of the choir of RTV Sarajevo, and since 1989 he has been a member of the choir of the Sarajevo Opera, which he also conducted from 1992-1998. He also performed with Academic Cultural centre’s female choir, choir Trebevic and female and mixed ensemble Pro Musica. From 1996 to 2014, he headed the Interreligious Choir Pontanima, with which he held over 400 concerts across Bosnia and Herzegovina, Europe, America and China, recorded 7 discs and won many local and international awards and prizes.

City mixed choir Abrašević
Conductor: Dragan Vasiljević
City mixed choir Abrašević from Valjevo this year celebrates 112 years of existence and work within the Cultural Artistic Society with the same name. There are children, youth and adult choirs within the society, which have often participated in joint projects giving a lasting contribution to the cultural contents of their city. The choir also achieved significant results in numerous competitions: at the Festival of Youth Choirs in Novi Pazar they won the first place for 12 times; At the Yugoslav Youth Choir Festival Celje they won the second award; In the Days of Mokranjac Festival, they performed twice and received high awards both times; At the international competition in Debrecen, Hungary, won the third place in the world’s strongest competition, and at the Yugoslav choral festivities in Nis the choir was awarded several times for the best interpretation of a part of „old masters”, for the best performance of the work of domestic authors, for the best interpretation of the given composition and similar. Their guest performances in Italy, France, the Netherlands, Poland and Slovakia provided only good critics and applause.
Dragan Vasiljević, professor and conductor, was born in Belgrade, where he graduated from the Music Academy. He has been practicing choral conducting in Valjevo since 1972, working with the city choir Abrašević and the Church choir Hadži Ruvim. His work with choirs brough him many awards for the most successful conductor (Festival of Youth Choirs in Novi Pazar and Novi Sad, Nis Choir Festival, Choirs among Frescoes, Choir Competition in Trnava, Slovakia …).

The Singing Society Venerable Rafailo Banatski
Conductor: Senka Milisavljević
The Singing Society Venerable Rafailo Banatski was founded in March 1991 in Zrenjanin at the temple of the Entry of the Most Holy Theotokos, and soon it continued working at the temple of the Dormition of the Most Holy Theotokos. From the very beginning, the definition of the Society was singing during the religious services, cultivation of Orthodox-spiritual music and the spread of religious and musical education. The program orientation of the choir is based on the representative works of Serbian, as well as Russian, Greek and other Orthodox composers and songs. Choir sang at the worship services throughout Banat, as well as in many Serbian monasteries. In addition to significant concert performances in the country, it also performed in Montenegro (Kotor and Budva), Romania (Timisoara), Poland (Krakow and Heynovka), Bulgaria (Sofia and Gabrovo), Spain (Barcelona), Hungary (Budapest and St. Andrew), and Greece (Preveza). At the international competition in this city in 2003, the choir won the Second Prize and the Silver Medal, and at the festival of Orthodox music in Haynovka (Poland, 2011) 2nd place. It won the award of the city of Zrenjanin for the year 2001. Since 2005, there is a children choir, and since 2011 and a female choir within the Society.
Senka Milisavljević, teacher at the music school Josif Marinković in Zrenjanin, graduated in 2004, and in 2008 she acquired Master of Arts title at the Music Academy in Novi Sad at the department of choral conducting in the class of Professor Tatjana Ostojic. She has been the conductor of the Mixed Choir Venerable Rafailo Banatski since 2013. Prior to that, since 2005, she led the Children’s Choir with which she recorded two CDs (St. John the Golden Gospel Liturgy and children’s songs suitable for church holidays, and new compositions dedicated to this choir). She has won prestigious awards at the Ohrid Choir Festival, the May Music Festivities in Bijeljina, the Festival of Music Associations of Vojvodina in Ruma and the International Choral Festivities in Nis with the Women’s Choir of this Society. Since 2015, she has been the conductor of the City Children’s Choir of the Cultural Centre of Zrenjanin, and in 2016, they won the First Prize at the first choir festival in Valjevo and a special prize for the best performed spiritual composition at the Fedeho Festival in Belgrade. This year she was pronounced to be the best conductor at the same festival.

The Mixed Choir of the Ministry of Defenceand the Army of Serbia  
Conductor: Katarina Božić

The Mixed Choir of the Ministry of Defence and the Army of Serbia was formed on January 1, 2016 by the Artistic Ensemble of the Ministry of Defence, Stanislav Binicki. On the occasion of the Easter holidays the same year the choir organized an independent concert, performed in the Crypts of the Temple of St. Sava at the closing of the festival of spiritual music Choirs among the frescoes. In the short period of existence, the choir has participated in the most of significant military ceremonies. Along with independent performances, it had significant performances with the Art Ensemble Stanislav Binički during the Vidovdan celebrations in Krusevac,  on the Days of Duke Misic in Mionica and on a concert on the occasion of 117 anniversary of the famous military ensemble Binički in Belgrade. The choir sang at this year’s traditional Easter concert in Kolarac, as well as on the closing of the spring session of the National Assembly of the Republic of Serbia, and is part of the ensemble performed in Moscow on the Day of defenders of the fatherland, which was attended by the highest Russian state and military leadership. The ensemble consists of members of the Ministry of Defence and the Army of Serbia, members of their families and civilians – choral music lovers.
Katarina Božić, conductor, vocalist of the band Renaissance and founder and artistic director of ensemble White Angel, after schooling in her hometown Krusevac, completed basic academic, master and specialist studies in conducting at the Faculty of Music in Belgrade in the class of Professor Bojan Sudjić. So far, she has worked with various ensembles: Symphony Orchestra RTS, Chamber Orchestra Symphony, String Octet of Faculty of Music students, Madrigal Choir of the Faculty of Music, Choir St. Basil of Ostrog, Children’s Choir of the Cathedral Church in Belgrade, Choir St. Knez Lazar, etc. Choirs she conducted won several first and special prizes at home and abroad (choirs competition in Belarus, Festival of spiritual music Bortnjanski in Poland, the Choir Festival May Music Festival in Bijeljina, Choirs among frescoes, the International Choral Festival …) Recognitions she won for the conducting are: Award for the most promising young conductor (International choral Festival, Nis 2014), Vojislav Ilic Award and special Praise for research and the best interpretation of contemporary Serbian composers (the Choirs among Frescoes, 2016, 2014 and 2015).

The Fortissimo vocal ensemble
Conductor: Milena Dobreva
The Fortissimo vocal ensemble was founded in 2014 and has won the audience with its first performances. Members of the ensemble are Burgas students who perform original arrangements of various styles and music genres – classical music with elements of beat boxing, folklore, Bulgarian and international national pop and rock music. So far, they have won the First Prize at the National competition of vocal groups Harmonia (Stara Zagora) and Grand Prix at the National Festival Art Ship in Pomorie. Participation in the TV show Choral Games brought them the first prize, and then the performance at the Festival On Stage in Prague. In May this year, the ensemble won the First Prize at the prestigious international competition of Georgi Dimitrov in the category of chamber choirs and a special award for the most attractive performance.
Milena Dobreva – professor of pop and jazz singing, vocal ensembles and piano in music schools Dimko Debeljanov and Prof. Pančo Vladigerov in Burgas, gained wide education at the Music Academy in Plovdiv, then at the National Music Academy Pančo Vladigerov (pop and jazz singing) and the Holy Kliment Ohridski (music, media technology and audio engineering) in Sofia. She is the founder of the children’s vocal group Sea sand (Morski peschinki), with which she won a number of awards at national and international competitions and festivals. She is engaged in recording and producing many albums of soloists and ensembles of various music genres. She is the composer and arranger of popular children’s songs, winner of national music competitions for children and holder of the recognition Teacher of the Year of the Republic of Bulgaria for 2008.


Prof. Sonja Marinković, PhD, musicologist
Miloje Niikolić, PhD, conductor
Tamara Adamov Petijević, MA, conductor

Sonja-MarinkovicSonja Marinković, PhD, musicologist, full time professor at the Department of Musicology at the Faculty of Music, Belgrade, Serbia, teaches history of music and research methodology. She is a member of Editorial Board of the International Magazin for Music New Sound; Editor-in-chief of magazin Mokranjac; director of XIV and XV Review of composers in Belgrade (2005–2006). She is engaged in research work concerning the Serbian history of music of the 20th century, especially dealing with the problem of relation between folklore and composers’ creativity (her doctoral theses was National Music Features in Serbian Music in the First Half of the 20th Century), as well as the problem of social art. She is author of high school text-books in the subjects: music culture, history of music and history of Serbian music.

Tamara-Adamov-PetijevicTamara Adamov Petijević, МА, has been conducting for more than two decades, and today she conducts three choirs and two orchestras, which count around 300 performers, mostly young people. These are the church choir St. Stefan Decanski , mixed and female choir and orchestra of Isidor Bajić music school in Novi Sad, and the professional vocal and instrumental oratory Orfelin ensemble which she founded in 2009. As a violinist he has long been an active member of symphonic and chamber orchestras, and then a professor of this instrument. She has finished her studies of conducting at courses throughout Europe, working with world renowned conductors, and now she is a PhD student at the Faculty of Music in Belgrade. With her choirs (rewarded at numerous domestic and international competitions), she is a member of the great European choir association Europa Cantat, where she has been actively participating since 1999. She is a member of the Regional Artistic Committee of that Association and numerous international juries at choral competitions, as well as the member of the jury for European Award for Choral Composition. She is also actively engaged in exploration of spiritual and choral music in cooperation with the Music Institute SANU. She has recorded for numerous domestic and foreign media, has published 10 compact discs of choral music and several noteworthy scores issues (Osmoglasnik by Kornelije Stanković, Osmoglasnik by Branko Čenejac, compilation Serbian Christmas). From 2011 to 2013, she was conductor of the male choir of the theology students in Sremski Karlovci, as the first woman – professor and conductor in the history of that institution since the eighteenth century. In May 2017 she initiated and participated in the establishment of the Serbian Choir Association in Sombor.

Miloje-NikolicMiloje Nikolic, PhD, graduated in 1974 and got his MA at the Department of Music Theory at the Faculty of Music Art in Belgrade in 1983 – with thesis concerning the analysis of choral literature. He defended his doctoral dissertation in the field of Theory of Art and Media (Application of the Gestalt Analytical Method in the Study of the form of Mokranjac’s Garlands) in 2016 at the University of Art in Belgrade.
Since 1977 he has been employed as a Professor at the Department of Music Theory at the Faculty of Music Art in Belgrade. Since 1998, he has been working at the Faculty of Philology and Arts in Kragujevac – he was, in fact, the first dean of that faculty. During the last fifteen years he has been working at the Music Academies of Eastern Sarajevo (Bosnia and Herzegovina) and Cetinje (Montenegro). As a music theoretician, Miloje Nikolic is the author of a considerable number of scientific works in the field of vocal music analysis. Miloje Nikolic began his artistic career as the conductor of various choirs from Belgrade (Branko Cvetkovic, Ivo Lola Ribar, Zikica Jovanovic-Spanac). In 1990, he founded the Academic Chamber Choir Liceum in Kragujevac, which he continued to lead as artistic director and conductor ever since. With this choir, so far, he has realized 24 conceptually designed and successfully completed programs, some of which also featured multimedia.
The ensembles he led won a number of prizes at prestigious domestic and international competitions. He is the founder, and author of the basic concept, as well as the artistic director of the International Festival of Chamber Choirs in Kragujevac. He is one of the initiators for the establishment of the international association Balkan Choral Forum and founder and president of Balkan Choral Forum – Serbia. Since 2014, he has been a full member of Bulgarian Academy of Science and Arts (BANI).