Guide to SKOPJE

Miroslav Tadic – А Sign of the Growing Popularity of this Music


Miroslav Tadic is a virtuoso guitarist and a professor at the prestigious Cal Arts University in US, but he is even better known as the other half in the now famous guitar duet with renowned Macedonian guitarist Vlatko Stefanovski. Through the years, this duo, whose repertoire consists of Macedonian folk songs and reels, expanded into trio, by welcoming Bulgarian flute player Teodosii Spasov among its ranks. Earlier this year, the Trio went on tour with an orchestra where it played in some of the most prestigious concert halls in Monte Carlo, Leipzig and London. This project first had its premiere at the Skopje Jazz Festival in 1997, and the Trio has brought the latest incarnation of this project at the 32nd issue of the Skopje Jazz Festival where it performed with an orchestra conducted by Kristjan Järvi.

miroslav-tadic 1

Where did the idea for performing with these orchestras come from?

– It is a project that has begun a lot earlier. We had a concert in Vienna and it was very successful. It was performed with „Tonkustler Orchestra“which is the third most important orchestra there. At the time, its conductor was Kristjan Järvi from Estonia, one of the most successful conductors of his generation. I met him when I played in Norway with the Bergen’s symphonic orchestra and since he was living in Vienna where i was going to play with Stefanovski andSpasov, I invited him to our gig. He was delighted by what he heard. He mentioned he has an orchestra and that he would love to work with us. After that, there was a year of silence and unexpectedly there was an invitation for a concert with an orchestra. The idea was to play Balkan music that we usually play as a trio supported by the orchestra. The reception was unbelievable and the audience was totally enraptured.

Stefanovski, Spasov and Tadic

In January, the Trio went on a three city tour where it performed with the cities’ prestigious symphonic orchestras.

– The idea of the project with the orchestras was, on one hand, to give a wider exposure for Balkan music. The conductor considers us to be one of the most significant representatives of this music. As for the orchestras, their aim is to expand its audiences while bringing something unusual – something that has to do with orchestral and traditional music. We played at prestigious halls such as  „Renier III„ in Monte Carlo, „Gewandhaus„ and „Weimar„ in Leipzig, and „Barbican“ in London. All of them lasted for over 2 hours and the amazing thing is that people still wanted to hear three more encores.

Vlatko Theo Miro 3 - dubrovnik

What is the importance of these concerts when it comes to a better understanding of Balkan music?

– This is also a sign of the ever growing popularity of this music. In the last 20 years, since people became aware of me, i’ve been constantly asked in interviews about Balkan music and how it is accepted in the world. That is difficult to answer, but this shows that it is finally being accepted and that people are getting interested on another level, apart from Goran Bregovic’s music or other ethnomusicological combinations. The finer details of that music, that is so sophisticated and technically very demanding, has rarely been presented and I think this is one of the ways where those details could come to the fore.

Taken into consideration that each member of the Trio has separate careers on their own, how difficult was it to organize the concert of the Trio and Orchestra in Skopje?

– It is very difficult to have all these people in one place. We are all busy with our careers, but the greatest problem we have is the conductor. He is the one that holds the whole thing together. The conductor in this case is over-booked. Even now he has booked the seasons for 2015/2016. When we asked him about October, he asked “this year”? Luckily he found a spot. Beside the concert in Skopje I eye another project which will be ideal for this occasion where the Belgrade, Zagreb and Ljubljana Philharmonic orchestras would be involved.

Kristjan Järvi

Nenad Georgievski