Stefan Milenkovich, a violinist of world renown who had secured his place on concert stages already when very young as a child prodigy, and Marko Hatlak, a versatile Slovenian concert accordionist, have joined forces and their passion for tango to form the vibrant duo Stefan Milenkovich & Marko Hatlak Passion. Last year they already played
Stefan Milenkovich, a violinist of world renown who had secured his place on concert stages already when very young as a child prodigy, and Marko Hatlak, a versatile Slovenian concert accordionist, have joined forces and their passion for tango to form the vibrant duo Stefan Milenkovich & Marko Hatlak Passion. Last year they already played a series of concerts within the programme of the European Capital of Culture, and by now they have upgraded their performance in further collaborations with the pianist Marko Črnčec and the double-bassist Luka Herman Gaiser. At the end of 2013, this exceptional line-up recorded album material, which will be presented at a limited number of concerts across Slovenia. Their first performance in Ljubljana, scheduled to take place in Kino Šiška, will mainly comprise hot-blooded tango music of various authors as well as some witty surprising pieces from other worlds of music. The tango experience will be made more pristine with guest appearances by Ana Bezjak on vocals and a dancing couple. Before and after the concert, a milonga will be taking place in Kino Šiška for all dance enthusiasts to join in!
Stefan Milenkovich: violin
Marko Hatlak: accordion
Marko Črnčec: piano
Luka Herman Gaiser: double bass
Ana Bezjak: vocals
Accordionist Marko Hatlak has been appearing on stages in Slovenia and abroad since 2000. He has been performing as a soloist with symphony orchestras – Moscow Philharmonic, Jena Philharmonic, RTV Slovenia Philharmonic; with conductors En Shao, Marko Letonja, David De Villiers, Karmina Šilec and others; in chamber ensembles with numerous world renowned musicians – Stefan Milenkovich, Vlatko Stefanovski, Stefan Hussong, Una Palliser, Neil Innes and Tommy Emmanuel, Matej Bekavac, Mojca Zlobko and Karmen Pečar; as well as tango and ethno ensembles – Marko Hatlak & Funtango, Stefan Milenkovich, Marko Hatlak and Ars tango, and Terrafolk. He recorded numerous albums of tango, contemporary, baroque, classical and ethno music. He makes music for film and theatre as well as children performances.
Awarded as Serbia’s Artist of the Century (2002), Most Humane Person (2003), and Brand Personality of the Year (2010), Stefan Milenkovich is a unique artist with an extraordinary productive longevity, professionalism and creativity. His musical philosophy as well as lifestyle is a true definition of eclectic, exploring general human, musical heritage and experience, in order to connect directly with the audiences and provide fun, engaging and energetic performances.
Milenkovich’s 2013-14 season includes performances with Orchestra del’ Arena di Verona (Italy), Evansville Philharmonic (USA), Orchestra Filarmonica Marchigiana (Italy), as well as performances with Orchestra Maderna (Italy). This season also includes various performances at some of the Italian most renowned Opera Houses – Teatro di San Carlo in Naples, Teatro Filarmonico in Verona, Teatro Petruzzelli in Bari, and Teatro Carlo Felice in Genova. Other performances include collaboration with internationally acclaimed baritone Nathan Gunn.
As a musician of broad stylistic interests, Milenkovich performed with five-time Grammy Nominee rock band Gorillaz in one of the world’s most renowned venues – Apollo Theater in Harlem, New York City. The critically acclaimed performance was featured live on MTV. Recent collaborations include performances with Grammy Award Nominee lutist Edin Karamazov, as well as an intense musical partnership with guitarist Vlatko Stefanovski and his trio, where Milenkovich explored the realm of improvisation and acoustic-electric violin. Other collaborations include Tango Story project with accordionist Marko Hatlak and Slovenian ensemble Ars Tango, where he performed both as a violinist and a dancer.
Milenkovich’s numerous appearances with orchestra include Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra, Berlin Symphony Orchestra, Orpheus Chamber Orchestra, Aspen Chamber Symphony, Helsinki Philharmonic, NDR Radiophilharmonie Hannover Symphony Orchestra, Orchestra of Radio-France, Bolshoi Theatre Orchestra, National Orchestra of Belgium, Mexico State Symphony, Orquestra Sinfonica de Estado de Sao Paolo, and the Melbourne and Queensland Symphonies, and has performed under the baton of such conductors as Sir Neville Marriner, Lorin Maazel, Vladimir Fedoseyev, Daniel Oren and En Shao.
An avid chamber musician, he performs frequently with the Jupiter Chamber Music Series in New York City, Manchester Music Festival in Vermont, High Peaks Chamber Music Festival in Catskill Mountains (New York), and Zagreb Chamber Music Festival in Croatia. In 2012 Milenkovich accepted position of the Artistic Director of DoCha Chamber Music Festival in Champaign, Illinois.
Milenkovich started his career at a very young age. He performed for U.S. President Ronald Reagan at a Christmas concert in Washington, DC, at age 10. The following year, he played for Mikhail Gorbachev in Belgrade, Serbia. At age 14, he played for Pope John Paul II and at age 16, Milenkovich gave his 1000th concert in Monterrey, Mexico. By age 17, he was a prizewinner in the International Violin Competition of Indianapolis (USA), the Queen Elisabeth Competition (Belgium), Hannover Violin Competition (Germany), Tibor Varga Competition (Switzerland), Rodolfo Lipizer Competition (Italy), Paganini Competition (Italy), Ludwig Spohr Competition (Germany), and the Yehudi Menuhin Competition (England).
Deeply committed to international humanitarian causes, in 2002 Milenkovich received the Lifting Up the World With Oneness Heart award for his humanitarian activities, handed to him personally by the guru Sri Chinmoy. He also participated in a number of gala concerts under the auspices of UNESCO in Paris with such artists as Placido Domingo, Lorin Maazel, Alexis Weissenberg, and Sir Yehudi Menuhin, and was active as the First Child Ambassador during the Balkan wars in early 90’.
Milenkovich’s discography includes four commercial releases of the Italian label Dynamic, featuring J. S. Bach Complete Sonatas and Partitas for Solo Violin, Complete Music for Solo Violin – Nicolo Paganini 24 Capricci, N. Paganini Recital, and N. Paganini In cuor piu non mi sento. He also released numerous recordings for the Yugoslavian label, PGP. Milenkovich’s recent CD release includes a First Recording disc with the Manchester Music Festival of Vittorio Giannini’s Piano Trio and Piano Quintet.
Firmly dedicated to pedagogical work, Milenkovich taught in collaboration with Itzhak Perlman at the Juilliard School in New York City, NY, and Perlman Music Program, before accepting his current position as an Associate Professor of Violin at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. In 2012, he also accepted the position of a visiting professor at the University of Belgrade, Music Academy in Serbia.