LUKA OVČJAK, euphonium & TEJA UDOVIČ KOVAČIČ, accordion (7th Concert of International Music Cycle Young Virtuosi)
Luka Ovčjak, born in 2001, became interested in music at a very early age, beginning his education at Fran Korun Koželjski Music School in Velenje, where he started playing the euphonium under the tutelage of Miran Šumečnik. Music remained his passion throughout his secondary school years, and he graduated from the arts department of Velenje Gymnasium under Mitja Škorjanc. He has made regular competition appearances as a soloist and member of brass chamber ensembles, winning gold plaques, gold awards and first prizes. In 2020 he also received a plaque for exceptional musical achievements at the Fran Korun Koželjski Music School in Velenje. Throughout his musical career to date, he has attended numerous masterclasses given by internationally renowned teachers and soloists, including Steven Mead, Giacomo Marcocig, Markus Mikusch, Georg Pranger and Bastien Baumet. He is a member of the Zarja-Šoštanj Wind Orchestra, where he has already performed as a soloist on several occasions, and has also taken part in a project at SNG Maribor. He is currently in his third year of undergraduate studies at the Ljubljana Academy of Music under Nejc Merc.
Teja Udovič Kovačič, recipient of a Prešeren Prize of the Ljubljana Academy of Music for outstanding artistic achievements on concert stages, is completing her accordion studies. She has also studied at the Académie supérieure de musique in Strasbourg. She has won multiple competitions, including the Pula International Accordion Competition, PIF Castelfidardo, the International Accordion Festival in Trieste and the Svirél International Competition, and was a winner at the national TEMSIG Competition in 2023, 2020, 2017 and 2011. As a soloist and member of chamber ensembles, she has performed in the Ljubljana Festival, Jeunesses Musicales Slovenia and Jeunesses Musicales Ljubljana concert series, the Biennale Koper Contemporary Music Festival, Ljubljana Academy of Music Solo e da camera festivals, the Festival de Chartres (France), Klasika u Portu (Croatia), ADG Sommerkonzerte (Germany), Pro et contra (Croatia), Summer in Celje, and Variations – A Hommage to Franz Liszt. At the invitation of RTV Slovenia, she recorded a musical portrait for the Mladi virtuozi programme. She was the soloist in the premiere performance of Corrado Rojac’s composition Polja VI with the NOVA Filharmonija Symphony Orchestra, with which she also recorded an album. She has also appeared as a soloist with the RTV Slovenia Symphony Orchestra, the Strasbourg Conservatory String Ensemble Ensemble, the Chamber Orchestra of the Coast, the Vladimir Lovec Symphony Orchestra, the accordion orchestras of the Ljubljana Academy of Music and the Maribor Conservatory, and the AccordiOna Orchestra.
G. F. Händel: Suite No. 6 in F-sharp minor, HWV 431
L. Janáček: Our Evenings from On the Overgrown Path
U. Pompe: … miles and miles above my head … (III)
L. Janáček: A blown-away leaf from On the Overgrown Path
J. Guinjoan: Sonidos de la tierra (Sounds of the Earth)