The Slovenia Times

A Comfortable Approach to a Classical Discipline



Anja Bukovec is a classically trained violinist. She is a focused musician who has the intelligence and open mind to look beyond the rules of her discipline to find her originality. Despite coming from a non musical family and having no obvious exposure to music, from an early age Anja displayed a love for this art. Her parents recognised this and offered her the opportunity to attend music school. She was 5 years old. At the age of 6 her teachers asked if she would like to play the violin. Within 2 years the violin had taken priority over all other studies. When the family relocated to Prague, Anja entered the Conservatorium there. By the age of 13, it was straight musical studies. At 15 she was invited to Germany to study with Igor Ozim at the Academy of Music in Cologne. This relationship continued for about 4-5 years until her teacher went into retirement. Around the age of 19 Anja began to question the strict classical rules that had been her only musical education. She sought relief from the perfectionist attitude and the belief that 1st place was the only place. She began to play in a variety of pop and rock bands in a search for freedom. This work enabled her to experience and understand the communication of these musicians and the feeling of their music. As a young woman finding her place in the world, she also needed to find her place in music. After 2 years she had found her answer. Classical music is her big love but she needs to do it her way. In the classical world, the emphasis is on perfection. "The music is the most important thing. The desire to be perfect can lead you away from the music." It was at this point in her life that she met her next teacher, Gratchia Arutunjan. It was Arutunjan who taught her that,yes there are a few techniques to learn but the most important thing is that the individual player finds their own 'comfortable' style. From there the effective techniques can be learnt. She had many unhelpful habits to unlearn and physical pain to get through. It was a new beginning. At the age of 23 Anja returned to Slovenia, more from a "gut feeling" to do so than any easily digestible explanation. For the last 5 years she has been establishing herself as a serious solo classical violinist, despite criticism from the purists who disregard her because of her connection to the pop, rock and folk worlds. As Anja says "There are people who think that some music is worth less." Her most recent project was a 7 concert tour around Slovenia to promote her first solo album 'Gemini'. This cd was something she has wanted to do for a long time and 'now' became the right time. She recorded with her German pianist friend Sergej Filioglo. The compositions on the album are from Gershwin, Piazzola and Stravinsky. "I feel at home with each of these composers." For Anja, the different songs represent the different sides of herself. This also influenced her choosing the title 'Gemini'. (and it happens to be her zodiac sign). Due to time issues because of his post graduate exam and the fact that it is "mission impossible to get a Moldavian guy living in Germany into Slovenia" Sergej was unable to accompany Anja on the tour. Instead she was lucky enough to enlist the talents of Denys Masliuk, an excellent piano player who is currently teaching at the music school in Koper. "Denys is a very professional musician." The organisation for the tour fell into the competent hands of Andrej Vozlic of Hommage agency. All 7 concerts were either full or very close to it. Anjas only expectations were that she would have "the strength, energy and clear mind to play well". The repertoire was a half/half mix of songs from the cd and new songs she chose specially for the concert tour. Considering that people come to classical concerts for a passive listening experience, the choice of songs is an important one. Anjas choices were not 'typical' ones and she found the audience response a "big complement". She offered music that gave her personal pleasure and really felt a "good vibe" from the audience. The amount of cds sold at the concerts and the fact that her album was in the top 10 of the pop charts for 3 weeks would indicate that the audiences are also satisfied with the good vibe coming from Slovenia's professional solo classical violinist Anja Bukovec.


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