Serbian virtuoso to cast spell on Manx audience

SERBIAN TALENT: Classical guitarist Nemanja Bogunovic

SERBIAN TALENT: Classical guitarist Nemanja Bogunovic

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THE Erin Arts Centre will welcome internationally-acclaimed virtuoso from lands afar on Sunday, February 24.

Classical guitarist Nemanja Bogunavic caught the eye of a Manx tourist in Croatia and as a result has been invited to perform an afternoon concert in the island this month.

The Port Erin concert has been organised by John Snowdon, a Douglas classical guitar teacher with 45 years experience.

He explained: ‘I met Nemanja while taking part in a tour of the old and historic walled city of Dubrovnic in Croatia.

‘The moment I heard his music, the tour was forgotten. I became spellbound by the delicacy of his touch and the quality of his sound.

‘Over the next few days I got to know him a little and appreciate his musicality even more.’

The musician, from Zenum in Serbia, started playing the guitar with his father when he was just 10 years old.

He went on to attend the Josip Havenske music school in Belgrade, where he studied guitar with Nadir Kondic.

He later graduated from the Academy of Music at Belgrade University, where he studied with Vera Ogrizovic.

Princess Karageorgevith of Serbia has since appointed him the art director of the Prince Tomislav Foundation. And he is the founder and a member of the Belgrade Guitar Quartet.

As well as playing the guitar, Nemanja is also a very active composer and arranger. He wrote his first composition in 2004, aged 14.

John said: ‘Nemanja’s playing epitomises for me the soft and varying tones and colours I believe make the classical guitar unique. Tones which I as a musician myself have spent a lifetime trying to create.

‘I hope that you will agree with me, after listening to him play, that the world of musical expression has gained another fine exponent of the art in Nemanja Bogunavic.’

The concert programme will include various traditional compositions and movie theme arrangements written by Nemanja himself, plus well-known pieces such as Windmills of your Mind by Michael Legrand and Moon River by Henry Mancini.

‘He won’t be playing classical music really, I think people are put off by the word “classical” sometimes. It’s more ballads - really beautiful music on a beautiful instrument,’ he concluded.

The concert starts at 3pm.

Tickets cost £8 and are available from the centre box office on 832662.

The centre is open Wednesday to Friday between 10am and 4.30pm. The box office is also open 30 minutes before each event.

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