Milica Jelača Jovanović, Classical Pianist

Milica Jelaca Jovanovic, Classical PianistBorn 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 Seattle Philharmonic Orchestra, Whatcom Symphony Orchestra, Sioux City Symphony Orchestra, Western Washington University Symphony Orchestra, Radio Television Serbia Symphony Orchestra, “Stanislav Binički” Symphony Orchestra, and “Josip Slavenski” Baroque Orchestra, working with conductors Adam Stern, Stephen Rogers Radcliffe, Ryan Dudenbostel, Roger Briggs, Grant Donnellan, Vesna Souc, Pavle Medakovic and Yurii Aliev, in concertos by Bach, Mozart, Chopin, Schumann and Prokofiev (I,II and III). Recently she opened the 2018/19 Seattle Philharmonic Orchestra season in Benaroya Hall, Seattle, as a soloist in Chopin E minor concerto.

Described as a “a brilliant performer,” Ms. Jelača Jovanović has performed in solo recitals and chamber music concerts throughout the United States, as well as in Toronto and Vancouver (Canada), Sarajevo (Bosnia and Herzegovina), Prague (the Czech Republic), Paris (France), Constanţa (Romania), Skopje (Republic of North Macedonia), Katowice and Krakow (Poland), Lübeck and Eckernförde (Germany), Bolzano (Italy), Dubna, Moscow, Novoagansk, Raduzhni, St. Petersburg, Surgut (Russia), Beograd, Vrnjačka Banja, Kikinda, Negotin, Niš, Novi Sad, Priština, and Valjevo (Serbia). Her solo performances include the Dame Myra Hess Memorial Concert Series in Chicago, Les AMIS Concert Series in Toronto, the International Piano Series at the University of Central Florida in Orlando, the Wednesday Concert Series at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver, Canada, the Jugokoncert Concert Series and Centar za Muziku Concert Series in Beograd, Serbia, and the prestigious Festivals "Vrnjci" 2022 in Vrnjačka Banja, “Novosadsko Muzičko Leto“ 2006 in Novi Sad, “BEMUS” in Beograd, and “Mokranjčevi dani” in Negotin, Serbia.

Besides winning numerous Serbian and Yugoslavian national piano competitions at a young age, 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 (Northwest Focus Live King FM 98.1, NPR WFMT Chicago, LOOP 25 TV channel, NPR WJFF Radio Catskill), Serbia (Radio Belgrade Programs I, II, and III, Studio B, TV Belgrade, Art TV, Politika TV), Romania (Neptun Art TV) and Russia (Raduzhni Television), and was profiled along with other musicians of note in books by Gordana Krajačić entitled “Muzička Pinakoteka” (2003) and Muzički Svetionik (2021). 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 and has received excellent reviews. 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.

Dr. Jelača Jovanović has given numerous masterclasses and workshops for music teachers and students in the United States, Canada, Russia and Serbia, including at the Washington State Music Teachers Association annual conventions, and she has adjudicated at many piano competitions, including the American Music Teachers National Association Performance Competitions, both Washington State and Northwest Divisionals, the Frances Walton Ladies Musical Club of Seattle Competition, the Vancouver Women's Musical Society Piano Scholarship competition in Vancouver, Canada, the United States Open Piano Competition in Oakland, California, the Global Outstanding Chinese Artists Association International Piano Competition, and the Chopin Northwest Festival in Seattle, Washington, among others.

Photo Courtesy: @Linda Wright Photography,