Milica Jelača Jovanović, Classical Pianist
Born into a family of professional musicians in Belgrade, Serbia, Milica Jelača Jovanović began giving recitals at the age of 8. Hailed “a pianist of great energy and charisma,” she has appeared as soloist with the Whatcom Symphony Orchestra, Sioux City Symphony Orchestra, RTV Belgrade Symphonic Orchestra, “Stanislav Binički” Symphonic Orchestra, “Josip Slavenski” Baroque Orchestra, and WWU Symphony Orchestra among others. Described as a “a brilliant performer,” Ms. Jelača Jovanović has performed in solo recitals and chamber music concerts throughout the United States and Canada, as well as in Prague (the Czech Republic), Paris (France), Constanţa (Romania), Skopje (Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia), Katowice and Krakow (Poland), Lübeck and Eckernförde (Germany), Bolzano (Italy), Dubna, Moscow, Novoagansk, Raduzhni, St. Petersburg, Surgut (Russia), Belgrade, Kikinda, Negotin, Niš, Novi Sad, Priština, and Valjevo (Serbia). Her solo performances include the Wednesday Noon Hours Concert Series at the University of British Columbia, the Dame Myra Hess Memorial Concert Series in Chicago, Les AMIS Concert Series in Toronto, Canada, the International Piano Series at the University of Central Florida, the Jugokoncert Concert Series and Centar za Muziku Concert Series in Belgrade, Serbia, and the prestigious Festivals “Novosadsko Muzičko Leto“ in Novi Sad, “BEMUS” in Belgrade, and “Mokranjčevi dani” in Negotin, Serbia.
Besides winning numerous Serbian and Yugoslavian national piano competitions, Ms. Jelača Jovanović won prizes at several international competitions, including the inaugural 2005 Iowa International Piano Competition and the First Prize at the 23rd Bartók-Kabalevsky-Prokofiev International Piano Competition in Virginia in 2003. She has been interviewed and has recorded for various radio and television programs in the United States, Serbia, Romania and Russia, and was profiled along with other musicians of note in a book by Gordana Krajačić entitled “Muzička Pinakoteka”. In 2006 she organized the “Schumann Madness Festival“ in Bellingham, Washington to mark the 150th anniversary of Robert Schumann's death, where she performed in several solo and chamber recitals, and as soloist with the orchestra. Her recording of works by Prokofiev, Karača, Radovanović, Briggs, Radić, Sommer and Bartók and entitled Bright Moods has been released in 2012 under the MSR Classic label. Ms. Jelača Jovanović has been also working on a recording of Schumann works, which will be released under the Centaur label.
Following her studies in Belgrade, Ms. Jelača Jovanović earned her Master of Music Degree and Artist Diploma at the Tchaikovsky State Conservatory in Moscow under the direction of Mikhail Voskresensky and Elena Kuznietzova, and her Doctorate in Piano Performance at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, under the direction of Logan Skelton. In Ann Arbor, she has also studied with the fortepianist Penelope Crawford and the harpsichordist Edward Parmentier. Ms. Jelača Jovanović has also worked with Yong Hi Moon, Karl Ulrich Schnabel, Earl Wild and Homero Francesch. She is currently a Professor of Piano and the Coordinator of the Keyboard Area at Western Washington University in Bellingham, Washington.
Photo Courtesy: @Linda Wright Photography,lindawrightphotography.com