I taught a very fun viola masterclass at the Belgrade Academy of Music (otherwise known as Fakultet muzičke umetnosti, literally: Faculty of Musical Arts) on February 9th. I studied here from the age of 16 to 18 and it was a surreal time in my life, one of great learning and great uncertainty. The former Yugoslavia was falling apart and the civil war was approaching. I was in a prestigious studio of Dejan Mihailović, working hard and growing in a uniquely inspiring and supportive environment, the one that gave Nemanja Radulović and other talented Serbian violinists to the world. The contrast between my outer and inner worlds was jarring, to say the least.
And there I was, many years later. It was nice to come back and give back. And thanks to the viola faculty Nemanja Marjanović and Dejan Mlađenović for having me!