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Notes from a family

BY REBECCA KOONS | JANUARY 20, 2010 7:30 AM

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Every family has its own customs of sorts, and music is just that for Zoran Jakovcic’s clan.

The craft of musicianship has been a natural progression for the Jakovcics over several generations, and this will be showcased at an annual faculty recital.

Jakovcic will perform at 7:30 p.m. today in the Riverside Recital Hall with Wendy Warner (cello), Rene Lecuona (piano), and Anton and Annette Jakovcic, Zoran’s son and daughter, on viola and cello. For this recital, Zoran Jakovcic created his own program and selected instrumentalists to perform with whom he love and respect for as people and musicians.

Anton Jakovcic is a student at the UI, and he has won several competitions, performing as a soloist across the globe. Annette Jakovcic is also making her mark performing as a principal cellist with the Europe Music Adventure tour this past summer. Both the younger Jakovcics, like their father, started playing music before they reached elementary school.

“The tradition continues,” Zoran Jakovcic said.

Three pieces will be performed at the recital, including Handel’s Sonata in G-Minor, Op. 1, No. 10, Bach’s Ciaccona from Partina No. 2 in D-Minor (for violin solo), and Brahms’ Piano Quartet in A-Major, Op. 26.

Lecuona, who has performed with Zoran Jakovcic over the past two years, said the Brahms piece is very demanding, and he has been at work for several months on that and the other musical works.

Zoran Jakovcic began his musical endeavors at the age of 6, when he first picked up the violin. His parents, cellists themselves, met as students at the Paris Conservatory.

“Everyone played an instrument at home when I was growing up,” he said.

He made his début as a soloist by age 12, and he was first violinist of the Essex Quartet for 10 years. He held several other residencies before coming to the UI.

Originally from Croatia, he became part of the UI community as the second violinist of the Maia Quartet in the fall of 2005. As the UI’s quartet in residence, members of the ensemble hold the title of lecturers, responsible for coordinating and teaching chamber music classes in addition to teaching individual lessons and performing.

Zoran Jakovcic said that as part of the faculty at the School of Music, the one thing that stands out is the level of involvement the program has with the rest of the Iowa City area and how both groups work together to enhance the city’s musical culture.

“This vibrant community supports and makes possible the Maia Quartet’s residency,” he said. “Having a resident quartet that performs locally, nationally, and internationally is not common to many music programs in the country.”

Growing as a musician and expanding his knowledge and understanding of music are what he hopes to continue in his professional pursuits. This recital is an opportunity to show people what he has learned, he said, and how his approach to the classics is unlike any other.

“As a solo violinist … I strive to give new life and fresh approach to the music,” he said. “I hope to draw the audience into our very personal and unique form of communication and mutual inspiration.”


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