Guest of the Opera
Principal conductor of the Brno National Theatre opera (since Jan. 1, 2015), and of the Pardubice Chamber Philharmonic Orchestra (since 2009), Marko Ivanović is a multitalented artist cutting a distinct figure on the present-day Czech music and theatre scene. He combines the careers of composer and conductor, standing out in both fields yet remaining reluctant to being bracketed within either: “I won´t be a composer who can somehow also manage conducting...”, he said in an interview. Elsewhere, he described himself as “a half-Yugoslav, a boyscout, husband, leftie, computer games addict, traveller, film buff, and now and then a bit of a troublemaker...” He was born in Prague, into a Czech-Serb family, spent his childhood years in Serbia, at age fifteen returned to Prague for conservatory studies, then pursued his training in conducting and composition at the Prague Academy of Music. In 2013, he won the Grzegorz Fitelberg International Competition for Conductors in Katowice, Poland. In his conducting engagement with the Prague National Theatre opera (2006 – 2010), and subsequently as its guest conductor, he was involved in the music direction of various major projects, including the Czech premiere of Britten´s opera Curlew River, and the world premieres of Aleš Březina´s Tomorrow There Will Be..., his own widely successful full-length family opera Wonderland, and Vladimír Franz´s War with the Newts. In 2007, he furnished a new musical arrangement for and conducted a production, staged by Miloš Forman, of Jiří Suchý and Jiří Šlitr´s opera A Well-Paid Walk. He has also frequently worked with the Moravia-Silesia National Theatre in Ostrava, where he inaugurated the Year of Czech Music in 2014 by a production of Bohuslav Martinů´s Mirandolina. The above list attests to Marko Ivanović´s affinity for new music. A respected specialist in 20th century and contemporary music, he is credited with introducing to audiences in this country in Czech premieres more than a few key works of contemporary world music (Arvo Pärt´s Passio, Steve Reich´s Music for 18 Musicians, and many others), as well as conducting world premieres of numerous works by Czech composers (Michal Nejtek, Slavomír Hořínka, Jiří Kadeřábek, Miroslav Srnka, and others). In May 2015, he is mounting the world premiere of Jan Klusák´s opera Philoctetes (Moravia-Silesia National Theatre, in co-production with the National Theatre in Prague). His most notable international triumphs have included a production of Janáček´s Jenůfa at Malmö, Sweden, which was recorded live and released on DVD by Naxos. He has guest conducted worldwide, appearing in Germany, Poland, Bosnia, Japan, and the United States. He works with leading Czech orchestras, and is a regular guest of the most prestigious Czech festivals, including the Prague Spring (since 2009). His compositions have been performed at many concerts and festivals in this country and beyond (Contemporary Music Marathon in Prague, Wien Modern, Young Euro Classic Berlin, a.o.). He likewise writes music for film and incidental music, and is a sought-after arranger. Apart from his artistic career, he teaches at the Prague Academy of Music, and is a respected popularizer of classical music in concerts targeted specifically at junior audiences.
Update: March 2015