Interview with pianist Dejan Subotic

In addition to world-class artists, large scale of the audience and fantastic atmosphere, International festival of chamber music Convivium Musicum is proud of initiating and supporting volunteer work and very good cooperation with the Faculty of Philology and Arts in Kragujevac. Students from the Department of the Music in Media are Festival’s volunteers, and as part of this work they have the opportunity to interview artists and to apply in practice what they have learned. Under the mentorship of Dr. Marija Ciric, professor and master Katarina Lazarevic, assistant lecturer at subject Media forms of Music, students prepared and carried out interviews with the performers of this year’s Festival.

We bring to you, in full, the interview that Petar Mladenovic, a second year student at the Department of Music in Media, did with pianist Dejan Subotic, member of the ensemble LID who performed on the first evening of the Third International Festival of Chamber Music Convivium Musicum.

CONTACT WITH MUSIC AND YOUR INSTRUMENT

The Third international festival of chamber music Convivium Musicum, which brought together top performers from Serbia and abroad, was held in Kragujevac Dejan Suboticfrom 14th to 17th March. At the first night of the festival, LID ensemble performed, consisting of professors of the Faculty of Music in Belgrade, including soprano Ljudmila Gros Popović, hornist Igor Lazic and pianist Dejan Subotić.

Dejan Subotić studied piano with Andrea Preger, Andrea Inhofe and Nevena Popovic, in whose class he got a master’s degree at the Faculty of Music in Belgrade. After that, he got his master’s degree in harpsichord in class of Zorica Cetkovic and completed doctoral studies in the field of chamber music.
After the concert at the festival Convivium Musicum, we talked with pianist Dejan Subotic.

At what point in your life did you realize that you will engage in music and why did you enroll piano studies?

I was always in doubt and that is why I went in private way to the Tenth Belgrade High School, as well as in secondary music school Kosta Manojlovic. Until the last moment I was not sure what would be my way of life, but in the end it was the music.

In addition to piano, you have Master’s degree in harpsichord, and then you completed doctoral studies in the field of chamber music. Which moment of your life is a milestone for further work in the field of music?

I could not say it was a moment, but I might single out cooperation with professor Zlata Males in high school, as well as playing in a chamber ensemble with Lidija Bizjak. I think it was a period of time that brought me to the conclusion that I will continue to deal with chamber music, which proved as my final avocation.

How difficult was it to get a scholarship from the European Commission to study at the Royal College of Music School and what it meant for you?

I do not know exactly how much it was hard, because I have no data on how many applicants there were, but I was happy to be able to spend some time at the school in Edsberg. It is a specialized school that gives much emphasis on chamber music, so that cooperation with Professor Mats Seterkvist is really one of the brighter periods of my life. I must say that, previously I did have the good fortune during the studies, be to working with Andrea Minh, the late professor Preger and of course with Nevena Popovic.

You won the prizes at Piano Competition in Rome and competition Kawai in Italy. In which competitions and festivals have you performed beside those ones?

Those are mainly the competitions in our country. These are in fact the only two international competitions, along with another competition in Sweden. Otherwise, I am not inclined to participation in competitions.

Whose work you prefer to perform?

I have periods where I turn exclusively to Bach, Schumann, Beethoven. I like to change things in different moments of my life, so I work with three different chamber ensembles for years. It is a pleasure to go through different compositions, through diverse works of different epochs, occasionally turning to an early music.

In what way should classical music be popularized and whether it is sufficiently represented in the media?

It is very little represented at radio and television stations, and I think there must be more specific strategies and cultural politics in terms of popularizing music, especially among young people. One move would certainly be the expansion of the network of elementary music schools in Serbia, as well as the inclusion of as many children in the performing practice. Also, it is necessary to enable to children who finish later elementary music school that, and if they do not want to continue their secondary music schooling, a program in order to stay in touch with music and their instrument. I think that than we would have a much larger “army” of music lovers.

Can you single out some artists with which you performed and with which you were particularly pleased to collaborate?

It is my great pleasure to collaborate with all the artists with whom I have worked so far. They are all exceptional people, of which it is possible to learn a lot. Currently I play in ensemble with the Ksenija Milošević and Stan Krstajic, then with Professor Ljudmila Gros Popovic and Igor Lazic (Trio LID) and the piano duo with Tea Dimitrijevic. Each ensemble brings a special satisfaction. I was fortunate to work with Lidija Bizjak, our cellist Maja Bogdanovic, Milan Karanović and many other musicians. Thanks to all of them. They actually were the ones who formed me as an artist.

Your message to those who are engaged in music in Serbia and to those who plan to?

If you are planning to pursue music, do it with love and with your whole heart.

Petar Mladenovic
Second year student at the Department of Music in the media, FILUM, Kragujevac