On Saturday and Sunday at the 53rd BEMUS, Free Concerts

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Fans of choral art at the 53rd BEMUS on Saturday, November 6, are expecting a concert by the ‘Branko’ church choir from Niš in the crypt of the Temple of Saint Sava, under the direction of conductor Sara Cincarević. The programme includes works of spiritual music. Admission is free. The ‘Branko’ Choral Society was founded in 1887 at the Cathedral of the Holy Trinity in Niš. The choir was named after Branko Radičević, a famous poet of Serbian romanticism. From the long and turbulent history of the choir, the performances of the choir between the two world wars throughout the Balkans stand out, which spread the glory of Serbian choral music. In the same period, the choir became the holder of the Order of Saint Sava of the third degree, Dukat of King Alexander Karađorđević and Družinske zastave of King Peter II Karadjordjević, while some of the honorary members were S.S. Mokranjac, S. Binički, J. Marinković, А. Šantić and B. Nušić. After the Second World War, the choir did not participate in social life for more than 40 years, constantly persisting in its basic purpose in the form of chanting at worship services. In the nineties of the last century, the ensemble was completely renewed. During the last 30 years, the choir has performed in Belarus, Ukraine, Russia, Bulgaria, Slovenia, Republika Srpska, Croatia, Montenegro, Great Britain, Luxembourg, Belgium and many other countries. The ensemble has won many awards and participated in numerous festivals, some of which are the International Festival of Orthodox Chanting in Minsk (Grand Prix), Days of Church Music in Hajnówka (Grand Prix), Days of Mokranjac in Negotin (first place at the Competition on the 40th Days of Mokranjac), BEMUS in Belgrade, NIMUS in Niš, International Choir Festival in Niš. The ‘Branko’ choir participated in the enthronement of two Serbian patriarchs in Peć – Patriarch Pavle and Patriarch Irinej. The ensemble is the winner of the Order of Saint Sava of the first degree, the highest decoration of the Serbian Orthodox Church. Since 2009, the ‘Branko’ Church Choir has been organizing the ‘Music Edict’ International Festival of Spiritual Music in Niš, which is held biennially and which hosted over 150 ensembles from around the world. Sara Cincarević was born in Prizren, in the Timotijević priestly family. She received her basic music education in the same city. As a fifteen-year-old girl, she already conducted the children's choir of the Orthodox Church in Đakovica. She continues her music education at the Secondary Music School ‘Mokranjac’ in Belgrade. During that time, she conducted the youth of the First Belgrade Singing Society. Since 1990, she has been the head of the Niš church choir ‘Branko’. Thanks to her commitment and professional authority, the ‘Branko’ choir has not only been revitalized and rejuvenated by pupils, students, intellectuals and artists, but has achieved exceptional results in recent decades with numerous notable performances in the country and abroad. In 2008, Sara Cincarević was awarded the Order of St. Apostle Paul, Metropolitan of Veria, Naoussa and Campania of the Greek Orthodox Church. In the period from 2010 to 2013, she was a member of the jury of the international festival ‘Days of Church Music’ in Hajnówka (Poland). She has been the selector of the International Festival of Choral Spiritual Music ‘Edict of Music’ in Niš since its founding, a longtime member of the Council of ‘International Choral Festivals’ in Niš and the Council of ‘Days of Mokranjac’ in Negotin.
________________________________________ On Sunday, November 7, violinist Petar Pejčić will perform with pianist Natalija Mladenović at the BEMUS youth podium in Kolarac's Endowment. Free tickets can be purchased at the Kolarac box office.

Petar Pejčić was born in 2002 in a family of musicians. He started playing the cello at the age of four. After his musical beginnings in Belgrade, he moved to Germany in 2017, where he studied at the ‘Felix Mendelssohn-Bartholdy’ Higher School of Music and Theatre in Leipzig in the class of Professor Peter Bruns. He is the winner of numerous national and international competitions. He won the ‘AENA Special Prize’ at the renowned ‘Pablo Casals’ competition in Spain in 2020, the second prize at the ‘Ana Cool’ International Competition in Austria in 2020 and the third prize at the University Competition where he studied in 2019. Other awards and recognitions: "ArtLink Société Générale – The Most Promising Young Musician for 2018’; He won the first and special prize at the State Competition in Serbia (Belgrade 2010, 2012, 2014, 2016).
Pejčić held his first solo concert at the age of nine in Belgrade, and after that he performed with concerts and recitals in Serbia, Slovenia, the USA, Russia, Switzerland, France, Germany and many other countries. As a soloist, he performed with orchestras such as the Graz Philharmonic, the RTS Symphony Orchestra, the Stanislav Binički Orchestra, the ‘Ljubica Maric’ Belgrade Chamber Orchestra, Kamerata Balkanika. He attended master classes with David Geringas, Frans Helmerson, Ivan Monighetti, Josef Schwab, Jan Vogler, Istvan Vardai. Wanting to expand his musical horizons, he collaborates with choreographer Jacopo Godani and the Dresden Frankfurt Dance Company. The work ‘BACH OFF!’ represents a new look at the relationship between musicians and dancers. In 2020, he took over the role of ambassador of the Pablo Casals Foundation. He is a scholarship holder of the International Academy of Music in Liechtenstein, the Yehudi Menuhin Foundation, the Live Music Now Foundation, the Freunde Junger Musiker Foundation, the Dr. Hübner Foundation. In 2021, he received a Günter Henle-Scholarship from the Peter Klöckner-Foundation (at the Deutsche Stiftung Musikleben). Peter Pejčić plays the cello Stefan von Behr (2012, Paris), lent by the ‘Deutsche Stiftung Musikleben’. Natalija Mladenović started studying piano at the age of five in Samara (Russia). From the age of eleven, she attended the Central Special Music School at the Tchaikovsky Conservatory in Moscow, where her professors were Vladimir Bunin and Anatoly Ryabov. At the age of seventeen, she was admitted to the Tchaikovsky Moscow State Conservatory, where she studied in the class of Larissa Dedova, Irina Osipova and Yevgeny Malinin. She graduated in 1996 with great success and obtained a master's degree in art. She has won awards at the ‘Petar Konjović’ International Competition in Belgrade and the Anton Rubinstein Competition in Paris.
Natalija Mladenović has performed throughout the former Soviet Union, Germany, Switzerland, France, Bulgaria, Denmark, Montenegro, Croatia… She has performed as a soloist with the Samara Philharmonic Orchestra and the RTS Orchestra, conducted by Angel Shurev and Bojan Suđić. She participated in the performance of the opera ‘Zora D.’ and ‘Maratonci’ by Isidora Žebeljan. She has collaborated with prominent cellists such as Kirill Rodin, Stefan Popov, Ksenija Janković, Mineo Hayashi, Alexandre Bouzlov, Marc Coppey and violinists Sreten Krstić, Matej Marinković, Jovan Kolundžija, Li Chuan Yun, Dragan Lauford, Raúl Garcia Marián and Srđan Grujić. She has participated in festivals: BEMUS, NOMUS, NIMUS, International Cello Fest, International Composers' Forum. Natalija Mladenović is employed as a senior artistic associate at the String Instruments Department, Faculty of Music in Belgrade.


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