Incredible Stefan Milenkovich Impresses Opatija

Total Croatia News

All images: Dave Gasson

TCN’s Dave Gasson gives us a look into how Opatija’s musical weekend went, and what is still to come across Croatia.

Have you ever wondered what the greatest violinist in the world sounds like? It’s very easy to describe; just find all the superlatives that you can and then add the name Stefan Milenkovich.

The man is an absolute musical genius and last Saturday evening I was privileged to watch and listen to him perform along with the Zagreb Soloists in Opatija. After a short video presentation, the curtain lifted and the Zagreb Soloists played a wonderful introduction as Stefan took to the center of the stage.

The Triptych Life Challenges benefit concerts were part of of the 25th anniversary celebrations of the Croatian-American Society. The events were held in Zagreb, Varaždin and here in Opatija at the Gervais Cultural Center. The project, The Challenges of Life, is in aid of young people without parental care and will provide the implementation of Outward Bound programs.

In addition to the large classical music loving crowd, the organisers, co-organisers, Croatian Music Youth, Art Hill and Meritum Communications, the Opatija concert was also attended by the mayor of Opatija, Ivo Dujmic. They were left spellbound and speechless by this masterful violin playing as well as the majestic pizzicato performance.

Stefan Milenkovich and the Zagreb Soloists performed Felix Mendelssohn, String Symphony No.10 in B minor, and MWV N 10 and Violin Concerto E Minor OP.64. Nicolo Paganini, La Campanella and Pablo de Sarasate Carmen Fantasy, Op. 25 as well as the unmistakable John Williams theme from the timeless Schindler’s List. Each performance received a standing ovation from the appreciative audience.

Stefan stood center stage for the majority of the recital, but towards the end of the performance he joined the soloists and was seated. They formed an incredible and impressive string ensemble and together they continued to give a virtuoso performance.

As the maestros departed the stage, the audience rose to their feet one last time for a rousing standing ovation with shouts of “Bravo, Bravo”. Stefan Milenkovich and the Zagreb Soloists returned and took their well deserved accolade and bowed gracefully.

There are still a few great concerts lined up this year and next week Zagreb is the place to be with Bryan Adams at the Zagreb Arena, followed by Beth Hart at the Boogaloo club.

Bryan Adams – 09.11.17 – Zagreb Arena
Beth Hart – 10.11.17 – The Boogaloo club
Gibonni – 21.10.17 – Zagreb Arena
Morgan James – 16.12.17 – The Boogaloo club
Rod Stewart – 02.02.18 – Zagreb Arena
Roger waters – 06.05.18 – Zagreb Arena

Festival dates confirmed for Pula:

The first GoatHell Metal Fest: 21.06.17 – 24.06.17 – The first metal festival to be held in Pula with a confirmed line up (so far) of Sinister, Chaos Engine Research, Mortal Divinity, Old Night, Tranquillizer, and Dropthehammer, with many more to be added. Website and ticket information will be available soon.

The 16th SeaSplash Festival: 19.07.18 – 22.07.18 – One of the longest running festivals in Croatia brings together reggae/dub/punk/ska/dancehall/dubstep/D&B/hiphop/breakbeat/jungle and delves deep into bass culture.

The 7th Dimensions Festival: 30.08.18 – 02.09.18 – Soulful electronic music spanning across House, Techno, Disco, Jazz, Funk, Soul, D&B and much more as well as an amazing opening night concert held at Pula’s magificent arena.

The 11th Outlook Festival: 05.09.18 – 09.09.18 – The largest Soundsystem Culture festival in Europe, Outlook brings together the biggest names from the most vibrant and cutting edge dance scenes around. This festival is preceded by an exceptional opening night concert held at Pula arena.


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