Mak Grgic

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Saturday, December 7, 2019
7:30 pm
Sundin Music Hall
1531 Hewitt Avenue
St Paul, MN 55104

Mak Grgic’s career is fueled by curiosity, imagination, and boundless energy. His repertoire reflects his versatility and wide-ranging interests—from the Baroque and Renaissance to music of the cinema, from ethnic music of his native Balkans to extreme avant-garde and microtonal music. He averages eighty-five performances a year as soloist and collaborator.

In 2009, Grgic made his debut in Russia, performing Rodrigo’s Concerto de Aranjuez with the St. Petersburg Symphony Orchestra. The following year, he toured the US for the first time, as a member of the Zagreb Guitar Quartet, and also appeared at the Lancaster Festival in Ohio. Since then, he has toured throughout Europe, Asia, and the US.

An active entrepreneur and educator, Grgic is director of EuroStrings, a consortium of 17 guitar festivals in Europe, the European Guitar Festival Collaborative, the Zagreb Guitar Festival, the Roots & Notes Interactive Music Festival in Croatia, and Music@Rush Hour in Los Angeles. He serves as director of Elemental Guitar in Santa Monica, a program for youth, and is an adjunct faculty member at Mount St. Mary’s University in Los Angeles.

Grgic’s recordings explore the world of guitar and its possibilities. His latest, Balkanisms and MAKrotonal, cover ethnic music, microtonal, new music, and early music on re-fretted instruments such as a “zig-zag fretted Bach prototype guitar.”

Born in Ljubljana, Slovenia, in 1987, Grgic studied guitar in Zagreb at the Elly Basic Music Academy. By age 14, he was balancing his world champion status in karate with his love for the guitar. Throughout high school, he concertized in Ljubljana and Zagreb while competing in professional martial arts contests across Europe and Asia. After an injury to his left thumb, he decided to focus solely on a career in music, completing a bachelor’s degree at the University for Music and Performing Arts in Vienna. Pursuing advanced studies in the US, Grgic was one of the first students to apply for the University of Southern California (USC) Thornton’s Arts Leadership graduate program, which he incorporated into his doctoral studies in guitar. In 2017, he became the first guitarist ever admitted to the elite Artist Diploma program at USC.