Performance: Ljubinka Kulisic (accordion)
Thursday, July 25, 2024 at 7pm
Black Mountain College Museum + Arts Center {120 College Street}
TICKETS – $15 General Admission / $10 BMCM+AC members + Students w/ID
Join us for an exciting performance by accordion virtuoso Ljubinka Kulisic, featuring works by John Cage and John Zorn, including Cage’s DreamSouvenir, and Cheap Imitation I and II, as well as Zorn’s Road Runner.

About the Program:

The program features three pieces by John Cage: Dream (1948), composed for solo piano and premiered at Black Mountain College on August 20, 1948. Originally written for Merce Cunningham’s choreography, this piece’s melodic line and sustained resonances create a haunting and ethereal atmosphere. Souvenir for solo organ showcases Cage’s innovative approach to the organ, aligning with his prepared instrument aesthetic despite its limited presence in his work. Cheap Imitation I and II (1969), inspired by Erik Satie’s Socrate, highlights Cage’s use of the I Ching for rhythmic patterns. Initially composed for piano, it marks his return to composition after a seven-year hiatus and reflects his deep personal connection to Satie’s work.

Additionally, the program includes John Zorn’s Road Runner (1986). This thrilling, cartoon-inspired solo accordion piece captures its namesake’s frenetic energy through rapid jump cuts and dynamic changes.

About Ljubinka Kulisic

Born and raised in Bosnia and Herzegovina, Ljubinka Kulisic is an accordion artist whose repertoire spans music from early baroque (adaptation for free-bass accordion) to contemporary music written for her instrument. As a child, she won several awards at competitions by performing modern pieces for accordion. She received her Bachelor of Arts in Music Performance and Master of Arts in Music Performance from the University of Applied Sciences and Arts of Southern Switzerland in Lugano. She performed solo and in contemporary music ensembles across Europe, Canada, and the United States.

She participated in numerous festivals, such as the Act Performance Festival in Dampfzentrale in Bern, Switzerland, where she performed pieces for accordion by Arne Nordheim, and the Contemporary Music Festival” 900 e presente” at the Radio of Italian Switzerland (RSI) she performed pieces by John Cage.

At the University of Toronto, Ljubinka honed her skills and also shared her knowledge as a teaching assistant for the Contemporary Music Ensemble (CME) at the Faculty of Music. In this role, she led graduate students, introducing them to new music literature, compositional techniques, and ways of interpreting contemporary musical pieces. Her dedication to music education is a testament to her deep understanding of the subject and her commitment to the development of new talent.

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Ljubinka’s talent has been recognized on some of the world’s most prestigious stages. She performed as a soloist with the New World Symphony in Miami and at the New England Conservatory in Boston. These performances were not only a testament to her skill but also an opportunity for her to collaborate with esteemed musicians, including conductor Michael Tilson Thomas and Grammy-award-winning violist Kim Kashkashian.

Ljubinka was a full-time artist at the Ojai Music Festival 2024. Her interpretation of works by John Cage, John Zorn, and Sofia Gubaidulina was described as “extraordinary,” “virtuosic,” “stunning,” “fabulous,” and “mesmerizing” by the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Los Angeles Times, San Francisco Classical Voice, and others.

She also earned a Certificate of Advanced Studies in Music Pedagogy from Halvetic Music Institute-Private Institute for Continuing Education in Music Pedagogy and Music Therapy in Bellinzona (Switzerland) and lives with her family in New York City. Ljubinka speaks English, German, Italian, Greek, and Serbian/Croatian.