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Milenkovich & Aznavoorian

Saturday February 5th, 2022 • 4pm

Occidental Center for the Arts
3850 Doris Murphy Ct, Occidental, CA 95465

Handel, Prokofiev, Kreisler, others

Violinist Stefan Milenkovich and pianist Marta Aznavoorian make their first appearance with Redwood Arts. While both artists are internationally renowned in their own rights, they have frequently collaborated.  We are fortunate to be able to bring them to the Occidental Center for the Arts on February 5 at 4:00 pm with their current collaborative project. Their program will feature Handel’s Sonata for Violin and Piano in D Major, Prokofiev’s Sonata No. 1 in F minor for Violin and Piano, and works by F. Kreisler, Wieniawski and Pablo de Sarasate.

Violinist Stefan Milenkovich enjoys a prolific career as an international soloist and recitalist.  Established as one of the foremost violinists of his generation, Milenkovich appears in some of the world’s most celebrated venues such as Carnegie Hall, Kennedy Center, Cadogan Hall, London (UK), Suntory Hall, Tokyo, as well as Italy’s La Fenice, Venice. Milenkovich’s 2019-20 season included release of Beethoven and Bruch Violin Concertos with Slovenian Radio-Television Symphony, as well as many symphonic performances in the US and Italy. For 2020-21, Milenkovich accepted the role of Artistic Director of “Nei Suoni dei Luoghi” music festival in Italy.

Milenkovich started his career at a very young age. He performed for U.S. President Ronald Reagan at a Christmas concert in Washington, DC (age 10) for Mikhail Gorbachev (age 11) and for Pope John Paul II (age 14). By age 17, he was the winner of The Young Concert Artists International Competition (USA), as well as a prizewinner in the International Violin Competitions in Indianapolis (USA), Belguim, Germany, Switzerland, Italy and England. 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’. 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. Milenkovich plays a 1783 Giovanni Battista Guadagnini violin. 

Multi-Grammy nominated artist, Marta Aznavoorian, has performed to critical acclaim throughout the world as orchestral soloist, recitalist, chamber musician and educator. A Chicago native, she has performed in her hometown's most prestigious venues ,and tours extensively throughout the world. She made her professional debut at the age of 13, performing Mozart Piano Concerto No.24 with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra.  She has won over audiences appearing as soloist with orchestras internationally including the Sydney Symphony Orchestra, the Sydney Conservatory Orchestra, San Angelo Symphony, San Diego Symphony, and the New World Symphony (resulting from a personal invitation from Michael Tilson Thomas, who also was her conductor). 

Aznavoorian has worked with such renowned conductors such as the late Sir Georg Solti, Michael Tilson Thomas and Lukas Foss, among others. She has won numerous awards, including First Prize in the Stravinsky International Competition, where she also received the Special Prize for best interpretation of the commissioned contemporary work. Ms. Aznavoorian was a Presidential Scholar, and performed as soloist at the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C. 

Ms. Aznavoorian is a founding member of the Grammy-nominated Lincoln Trio, which tours regularly throughout the world, and was called“one of the hottest young trios in the business” by Fanfare Magazine.

A passionate teacher and educator, Aznavoorian is on faculty of the Music Institute of Chicago, and DePaul University School of Music. Aznavoorian records for the Naxos, ARTEC, and Cedille labels. and ecently released Violin and Piano arrangements of the Music of Charlie Chaplin under the Warner Classics and Erato label with violinists Philippe Quint and Joshua Bell.

Marta Aznavoorian is a Steinway Artist.