FeaturedInterviewsIssuesJune 2024

Snježana Pavićević Artist Interview

Snježana Pavićević, Solo Piccolo of the Belgrade Philharmonic Orchestra since 2002, recording and performing artist. Founder and Artistic Director of the "Belgrade Piccolo Weekend" Festival, and Founder and Mentor at "Piccolo studio SP" for the flutists of all levels. Internationally Touring Artist, and promoter of the new piccolo works. Burkart piccolo artist and President of  the Serbian Flute Association.

Career highlights:


- One of them is passing audition for the Belgrade philharmonic. As many young flutists, I dreamed of being part of some high professional orchestra.
-  becoming the first ever professional piccolo player in Serbia (and the whole area) by completing my Master degree in piccolo performance at Conservatorio G: Verdi  in Milano with Nicola Mazzanti.
- releasing the first CD with piccolo pieces by Serbian composers dedicated to me.
- founding "Belgrade piccolo weekend" - the first piccolo festival (the only one in the South East Europe) with the world's best piccolo players and teachers.
- founding my own "Piccolo studio" for students of all levels.


What do you like best about playing with the Belgrade Philharmonic?


Playing with the Belgrade philharmonic is like playing for the national representation, where I am small but very important part (as are each of my colleagues). I like that kind of responsibility when playing in the orchestra, which is even bigger than playing a solo recital.  Having a chance to contribute every single experience of live performance with this orchestra is something really powerful.


How was your transition from focusing on flute to focusing more on piccolo?


Piccolo was part of my flute life from the very beginning. At that period (30+ years ago) it seemed nobody was taking piccolo as some serious instrument, it was just extension of the flute group and flutists played it because somebody has to do that job. My teacher was looking very far in the future, always saying - practice the piccolo together with flute, you never know when you are going to need it, so be always prepared. And she was so right! I focused even more on piccolo when composers started to write new works for piccolo, so it became more of a solo instrument, independent from the orchestra.


CD releases?


So far, I released 2 CDs.
The first one with the music for solo piccolo (uncompanied) by the composers from all over the Globe - hence the name "Piccolo Solo Globe Tour".



The second one - "PersPICCtives" with the pieces for piccolo and piano, piccolo duet and piccolo solo by Serbian composers. All the works, except "Satir's flute" by Petar Konjović are dedicated to me.



What does your schedule look like for the next 6 months? 


-   July 4-12   "Croatia flute academy" in Karlovac (Croatia) -piccolo masterclass and recital
-   September 20-22 - 3rd "Belgrade piccolo weekend" in Belgrade (Serbia)
-   October 11  Masterclass and recital at The flute center of NY (New York, USA)
-   October 17  masterclass and recital at The Toronto University (Toronto, Canada)
-   October 21 Masterclass at the MIT music and arts department (Boston, USA)
-   October 22 Masterclass and recital at Levine music school (Washington, USA)
 -  November - solo concert with the orchestra in Belgrade TBA (celebrating 30 anniversary of my orchestral career)


What are your goals personally? 


Personal goals: to stay healthy (both physically and mentally).
To stay positive (in this crazy world).
To keep smiling and enjoying whatever I do.




Professional goals: to record the next album with new pieces for piccolo.
To find the way to include piccolo as obligatory subject in our educational system.
To continue collaborations with amazing artists worldwide.



What inspires you the most in life?


I am inspired by long lasting (lifetime) friendships. I am blessed with a few friendships like that, it gives me strenght and support no matter how far they are... I  am also inspired by people who faced some extremely difficult situations in their lives and they have never lost their hope and faith.


What has been your professional greatest challenge?


It is a huge challenge to start something new, from the very beginning. I  accepted the challenge by founding my Piccolo studio and the Belgrade piccolo weekend. And it is still challenging to keep it running successfully.


What has been your personal greatest challenge?


My biggest personal challenge, my lifetime challenge, was being a good mother and role model to my daughter (she is 23 now). And another challenge was facing a serious health situation and finding the way to deal with it (music, literally saved my life at that point).


Who were your music mentors?  and what did you learn from them?


My music mentors were as follows:
My high school  flute teacher - Nives Janković
My flute  professor that I graduate my bachelor and master degree with - Miodrag Azanjac.
My colleagues from the orchestra that I've learned a lot since I started to play in the orchestra professionally when I was 19.
The most precious things I learned from them are not related only to flute technique and sound. I also learned how to strengthen my "weaknesses" and how to improve my potentials, how to respect tradition while building my individuality, how to be self-confident and face the stage fright. And the most important - how to never give up from something you really love.


Can you give us 5 quirky, secret, fun, (don't think too much about this) hobbies or passions?  


My secret passions? Have some, but they are not secret!
I love to experiment with food, creating some new recipes, especially sweets,  but never expect someone else to try it before me. 😂
I love to have a glass of wine late in the evening, to toast  the passing day and welcome the new one.
I love to create some unique gifts for some special people.


What 3 things would you offer as advice for a young flutist?


Advice for young flutist:


1. Never compare yourself to others and don't take your musical path as a permanent competition.
2. It is ok to have an idol and to admire someone, but don't aspire to be anyone's copy.
3. Don't forget that learning never ends.......


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