Heart Strings

Renowned Bosnian classical guitarist Denis Azabagic on his inspirations,and playing basketball with his son.

Written by Akanksha Ramgopal | Published: May 8, 2012 12:40:30 am

Renowned Bosnian classical guitarist Denis Azabagic on his inspirations,and playing basketball with his son.

“This is my 4th visit to India,and I always enjoy coming here,” says Bosnian guitarist,Denis Azabagic. A well-known name in the international concert circuit today,Azabagic will perform in the city on May 11,at Mazda Hall in Dastur school. The classical guitarist takes part in concerts around the globe,maintaining a balance between his solo recitals,chamber music with his band and engagements as soloist with orchestras.

Azabagic started young and was the first to pick up a musical instrument in his family. “I started learning to play the guitar at the age of six. I always thought that this was much more challenging than any other subject at school,and it was always fascinating for me to see my teacher play everything that I had to practice hard for,” he says.

Every artist has inspirations,but for Azabagic,his biggest inspiration is music itself. “As a boy,the legendary Andres Segovia was my inspiration,and another two important guiding stars were John Williams and Julian Bream. But now,the inspiration comes from the music,not from any particular person. The other day we listened to a concert by Yo Yo Ma,the Assad brothers and other musicians,and it was inspiring to see them. Also Chicago Symphony’s concerts are uplifting,so I guess there are many great musicians who simply play great,and when I hear them,they always teach me something.”

Azabagic’s love for performing extends beyond merely playing the guitar. He also firmly believes in sharing the knowledge of music-making. He frequently offers master classes while on tour,and currently teaches at the Roosevelt University in Chicago. When asked if he finds a lot of youngsters in his audience,he says,“Not as many as I would like. It is the parents’ responsibility to bring the youngsters to the classical concerts. I think it must be taken more as education,rather then entertainment. The youngest audiences that I have experienced was in Taiwan. Many young people of the high school,and college age were attending our concerts.”

Most people listen to music to relax after a long day’s work,but this musician does something different once he is home after a long practice or concert. “I like playing with my son,either outdoors,like basketball,or playing some video games with him (at which I can not win anymore). I also enjoy walking,watching movies and reading.”

Azabagic has won twenty-four international competitions,and has written a book,On Competitions. “My wife,Eugenia Moliner,and I play together in a flute guitar duo called Cavatina Duo. Our seven-year-old son plays the piano.”

(Denis Azabagic will perform at Mazda Hall,Dastur School,Camp on Friday,May 11,at 7pm)

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