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Milica Jelača Jovanović - Reviews

Entertainment News NW, Bellingham, Washington, February 20, 2012: “ From Belgrade, with love: Jelača Jovanović lights it up
Milica Jelaca Jovanovic, Classical Pianist “To say that pianist Milica Jelača Jovanović is well-traveled is to make an understatement of truly British proportions. She was born in Serbia, received her Master’s degree in Moscow, her Doctorate in Ann Arbor, Michigan, and now teaches at Western Washington University. She performed a Prokofiev piano concerto with the Whatcom Symphony Orchestra this afternoon and earned a thunderous ovation that probably registered at the University of Washington seismic lab. (...)

Sergei Prokofiev’s Concerto No. 2 for Piano and Orchestra is so dauntingly difficult that it is rarely performed when compared to his No. 3. Jelača Jovanović obviously relished the challenge. Her performance was crisp and passionate and it occasionally seemed that she simply levitated off the bench during some of the more furious passages. There were subdued, but still audible exclamations of amazement from the audience following both the second and third movements. The exclamations were anything but subdued at the conclusion and the audience refused to conclude the love affair until she had performed an encore. Anyone who didn’t get goose bumps from her astounding performance should check their vital signs.”   Christopher Key

 
Politika newspaper, Belgrade, Serbia, May 26, 2011: “ The best Schumann in the world
“An extraordinary piano recital was given by the Belgrade born Milica Jelača Jovanović at the Serbian Academy of Science and Arts Gallery. Coming from a family of musicians, she received her M.M. from the renowned Tchaikovsky Conservatory, and then she brought fame to the beauty of Slavic piano refinement across Europe and in the United States, where she earned her D.M.A. Her program was emotionally as well as intellectually well conceived. It started with the piece of our composer, Vladan Radovanović – Three Preludes, weaving into it some Schumann and Prokofiev like colors; it was followed by three compositions dedicated to her. The first one was by Lesley Sommer, a fellow colleague of hers at the Western Washington University in Bellingham, who evoked, through an epically dramatic and a chord-like sound, the nocturnal restlessness and sounds; then we listened to a Nocturne by the Sarajevo born composer Igor Karača, written this year, and speaking in an almost Chopin like manner with a chanting melody in the right hand and the rubatos in tempo; and, finally, an Impromptu by Roger Briggs (2007), where the pianist managed to produce an almost clavichord like sonority in the high register, contrasted by the unusual, foamy arpeggios, ephemeral and utterly subtle, in the dramatic middle part.

However, Milica Jelača Jovanović achieved the peak expressiveness in the Davidsbündlertänze, Op. 6, by Robert Schumann; no wonder, since we still remember her interpretation of his piano concerto with all the tiny pores she knew how to penetrate into, even as a little girl. She plays Schumann, I think, the best in the world, with the underlined expression, with the strength in chords – but without any harshness, poetic – but without sentimentality, with the precisely dosed pedal, in the typical dualistic mood of him, excellently reading the internal turmoil and the soul of the music score. She has brilliantly conceived every note, nuancing every phrase, following up with her own fantasy the imagination of the Schumann’s notes. Within the “League of David”, Schumann saw himself and his fellow fighters as striving to conceive a new music of good quality; if he were alive today he might enthusiastically receive Milica Jelača Jovanović into his “League”!”   Gordana Krajačić

 
Milica Jelaca Jovanovic, Classical Pianist Actualitatea Muzicală, Monthly Publication of the Romanian Society of Composers and Musicologists, Bucharest, Romania, May 2012: “ The extraordinary recital of Milica Jelača Jovanović
The repertoire presented by the pianist in the Constanţa recital matched perfectly her sensibility and attention to detail, not unlike that of a jeweler working on filigree.(...) In Béla Bartók's Out of Doors Suite (...) Milica Jelača Jovanović showed her special performing versatility, being able to switch easily between the grave mood of the melody in the first part, marked as Pesante in the score, during which the piano sounds like a percussion instrument, through the ethereal sonorities of the Barcarolla and the Musiques Nocturne, where the night sounds, singing crickets and frogs, are heard, to the lively and frenetic Presto pace of the last part.(...)

The Sarcasms Op. 17 by Sergei Prokofiev, the exceptional Russian composer and a famous pianist himself, constituted the center of gravity of the recital.(...) The pianist revealed the rhythmic, harmonic and agogic details of the five miniatures, demonstrating a good knowledge of Prokofiev's music style.(...) Through her outstanding artistic performance and charisma, Milica Jelača Jovanović, on her first appearance on stage in Romania, enchanted the truly appreciative audience from Constanţa.”  Mariana Popescu

Northern Light, newspaper, Blaine, Washington, February 26, 2009
“…many Blaine residents, and others from around the country were treated to a once-in-a-lifetime piano concert at the Blaine Performing Arts Center. This amazing classical performance was presented by Western Washington University piano professor Milica Jelača Jovanović…”  Carol Hogan

Bellingham Herald, newspaper, Bellingham, Washington, March 15, 2006
The featured soloist, Milica Jelača Jovanović, played Schumann's Piano Concerto in A Minor superbly. She is truly a gifted musician.”  S. J.

Koncertni Blic, newspaper, Belgrade, Serbia, June 2002
“Magnificent feeling of every tone (…) deeply experienced performance of Schubert’s Sonata in A minor Op. 42. (…) She played Scarlatti’s Sonatas with unimagined virtuosity, while creating different harpsichord registers.(...) Bartók’s Out of Doors Suite testified to the richness of the young pianist’s ideas, creating a spectrum of sonorities, from the robust toccata-like, through the delicate-pastoral, to the tense and pregnant.”   Gordana Krajačić
 
Nedeljni dnevnik, magazine, Novi Sad, Serbia, April 7, 2000
“Her most creative performance was in Schumann. She displayed the nostalgic yearning of the composer through pearly scattered passages, twinkling trills, and indented chords over the whole keyboard.”  Gordana Krajačić
 
Blic, newspaper, Belgrade, Serbia, March, 11, 2000
“In her performance of Beethoven’s Sonata Les adieux, Milica convincingly conveyed the pain and drama of Farewell, the bare solitude of Absence, and the sparkling undisturbed joy of Return.”  Gordana Krajačić
 
Blic, newspaper, Belgrade, Serbia, November 8, 1999
“Ms. Jovanović gave a dynamic interpretation, with a feeling for both the filigree and the epics, present in the scores of the preludes composed by V. Radovanović, D. Radić, and S. Rachmaninoff.”  Gordana Krajačić
 
Radio TV Revija, magazine, Belgrade, Serbia, December 19, 1996
“Of course, the young pianist didn’t play [Marc] Chagall at her Moscow recital, but, it seemed exactly like that... and as if she were going to rise in the air and take all of us high to the ceiling and further.”   Suzana Mančić
 
Dnevnik, newspaper, Novi Sad, Serbia, October 4, 1996
“The real happening was the encounter with Schumann’s A minor concerto and pianist Milica Jovanović who seems to feel from the inside all the refined unrests of this splendid work. She interpreted it in right way, always within the frames of good taste and authentic style, combining the lyric sensation with large dramatic chords. With an almost X-ray identical sensibility, Ms. Jovanović penetrated in those secret depths of the score, on which Schumann himself spent 18 years of thinking.”  Gordana Krajačić
 
Radio TV Revija, magazine, Belgrade, Serbia, October 3, 1996
“Ms. Jovanović, an ultimately lyric pianist, played Schumann’s Concerto, according to her feelings, with warmth and simplicity, succeeding to color even the less interesting and drier parts of the score with her lyric nature.”  Slobodan Turlakov
 
Radio TV Revija, magazine, Belgrade, Serbia, September 12, 1996
“Ms. Milica Jovanović played Beethoven’s Sonata Op. 26 with nice, deep internal drama. (...) Schumann’s ABEGG variations Op.1 she interpreted with amazing and exciting youthful feeling, and then through Prokofiev’s Sarcasms she revealed another one—a bitter and dry sensitivity.”  Slobodan Turlakov
 
Radio TV Revija, magazine, Belgrade, Serbia, December 28, 1995
“Bach’s fugue made us feel her pianistic power. (…) In Rachmaninoff, we heard a pianist of splendid and touching sensibility.”  Slobodan Turlakov
 
Jedinstvo, newspaper, Priština, Serbia, December 25, 1995: “Magnificent and Inspired”
“The recital confirmed the deep understanding and experience of the works, the splendid concentration, memory and spiritual energy possessed by the young artist which she unselfishly shares, resulting in the most complete artistic experience.“  Vesna Mulić-Mladenović
 
Časopis Vojske Jugoslavije, magazine, Belgrade, Serbia, March 24, 1994
“The special quality of her interpretation lies in an excellent communication with the orchestra (which is a relatively rare occurrence among her peers), and in the possession of a refined musicality and sparkling virtuosity, which is never an aim in itself but is woven into the entire work with skill and discernment.”  Gordana Krajačić