LJUBISA JOVANOVIC acquired his B.A. and M.A. degrees in Belgrade under the mentorship of Prof. Miodrag Azanjac. He had further training with Prof. Christian Lardé in Paris where he received his Diplôme Supérieur de Concertiste in 1983. After that he has established a long-lasting collaboration with Aurèle Nicolet, one of the greatest musicians and flute pedagogues of the 20th century. He has performed at all the major festivals in the former Yugoslavia, as well as in France, Switzerland, Italy, China, Austria, Germany, Russia, Romania, Great Britain, Algeria, Finland, Denmark, Ukraine, South Africa, Norway and Argentina.
Ljubisa Jovanovic won the First Prize for Interpretation at the at the International Review of Composers in Sremski Karlovci and Novi Sad in 1992 and in Belgrade in 1998, Golden Link award for artistic achievements in 1992, the Annual Award of the Serbian Musical Artists Association, the same year, as well as the Belgrade Cultural Fund Award for the best concerts in Belgrade in 1987, 1989, 1991 and 1992. He also received the Golden Medal in honor of the 75th anniversary of the Belgrade Philharmonic Orchestra (1998) and the University of Arts Silver Medal for his merits in improvement of the teaching process (2000), the City of Belgrade Award for 2008 & 2013, the St. Sava National Award (2009), as well as the Aleksandar Pavlovic Award and the Serbian Composers Association Award for the year 2017.
He is a permanent member of the Ensemble for New Music and the trio Anima. Since 2006, he has been continuously collaborating with the pianist Aleksandar Serdar. He has held master classes in Germany, Argentina, Italy, Ukraine, Norway, China, South Africa, Romania, Croatia, Montenegro and Serbia.
Ljubisa Jovanovic has performed with some of the most prominent flute players of our times: Aurèle Nicolet, Irena Grafenauer, Emmanuel Pahud, Michel Debost, Christian Lardé. He has recorded more than 50 CDs. In the course of over 30 years of artistic activities, he has given more than 80 first-run performances of solo compositions and chamber music by Serbian authors.
For 25 years he was a solo flautist at the Belgrade Opera & Ballet Orchestra (1978-88), Serbian Radio and TV Symphony Orchestra (1988-'89) and the Belgrade Philharmonic Orchestra (1989-2004). He has been working at the Faculty of Music in Belgrade since 1994, now in the position of a full professor of flute. From 2002 to 2009 he was a Vice-Dean for Artistic and Scientific Work and International Cooperation at the Faculty of Music in Belgrade. He is the founder and the president of the professional ensemble Camerata Serbica (2004). Since 2010, he has been the artistic director and conductor of the Lola Classic ensembles, and in 2013 he founded the BUNT festival. Ljubisa Jovanovic is an artistic director and conductor of the Children's Philharmonic Orchestra, as well as the artist of the “Haynes Flutes”, along with the flautists such as James Galway and Emmanuel Pahud.
CREATIVE WORKThe creative work and the contribution of the flute player Ljubisa Jovanovic to the development of musical culture and art in Serbia, in the last 30 years, have unfolded in several directions:
- Solo concerts and chamber music
- Establishment and management of new orchestral ensembles and festivals
- Pedagogical work
- Affirmation of domestic composers and contemporary music
- Orchestral engagement
- Charity and public activities
Over 1,500 solo concerts in the country, on the territory of the former SFRY and in 30 countries of Europe, America and Africa, the reviews of which emphasize the high professional and creative level of performance of Ljubisa Jovanovic:
“We are often not at all aware of the extraordinary artists having among us. This is the case with the flautist Ljubisa Jovanovic. He has again proved in this occasion, that his place is at the world's top, by interpreting the concert of Karel Stamic, combining in the best way the rational and the emotional, virtuosic and artistically suggestive. The same inspiration was also present in the joint performance of Lardé and Jovanovic, which the audience greeted with ovations.” (Borba, Belgrade, 1992)
“The audio results of this project were the stylistic patterns of the highest aesthetic refinement, so little cultivated in our environment, the accomplishment of which was made by the contribution of the flautist part of Ljubisa Jovanovic as a worthy follower of the great exemplar, (Jean Pierre) Rampal.” (Politika, Belgrade, 1991) “Lucky is the environment that has such a flute and musical perfection as embraced in Ljubisa Jovanovic ... he was spreading with his magic flute the most subtle feelings of his soul, he was singing the most remarkable cantilenas, that literally dematerialized the sound weaving and sent the very feeling into some undefined spiritual state, in a kind of common trans, when all the present breathed with one breath and one heartbeat ... for that and such a feeling, for that and such a common vigil, we can not but bow to the infinity of his art” (Politika ekspres, Belgrade, 1992)
“... it was clear that we were attending the most exciting musical event. Thanks to the soloist, such a feeling would not have changed even if we were at one of the most prestigious world festivals... it showed an art in its zenith, classifying Ljubisa Jovanovic, without any doubt, into one of the greatest world flautists.” (Pobjeda, Podgorica, 2000)
“The music we heard left a deep impression, not only in terms of its technical excellence, but also due to its passionate and deep artistic cogitation, as well as the free imaginative performance, resting on the clear familiarity with the author's style, but also with a deep faith in the own sure creative process of the performer... he completely won us with his approach to this music, so we can freely say that we haven’t heard so thoughtful interpretation of Bach for such a long time.” (Dnevnik, Novi Sad, 1992)
“Ljubisa Jovanovic plays as if he does not take his breath at all, drawing musically, imaginatively, miraculously, mystically, anfractuous arabesque tones... whose emotional diversity was presented with a shaky tone narration ...” (Borba, Belgrade, 2008)
In the field of chamber music, Ljubisa Jovanovic performs with numerous ensembles, playing at the most important festivals in the country and abroad (BEMUS, NOMUS, A tempo, Varazdin Baroque Evenings, Buenos Aires Festival de la Música, Gric Evenings, Lugano Festival ...). Playing with the Trio Anima, the Belgrade wind quintet Les Bacchanales, Flute Choir, the wind players of the Belgrade Philharmonic Orchestra, Aleksandar Serdar, and particularly in the separate projects like the integral performance of all the Bach sonatas, “Musical Victims” of the same author, Mozart’s quartets or the music for flute and cello, with Sandra Belic, as well as in breaking the concert forms in the programs where the flute is the leading instrument in diverse combinations, represents the backbone of the thoughtful dealing with the chamber music of this artist.
“However, the highlights of the first part of BEMUS reached those musicians who, in addition to the expected impeccability in performance, familiarity with the style, expressiveness and musicality, offered also a desire for communication. Such distinctions were carried out by the performance of the Belgrade Wind Quintet “Les Bacchanales”, which in an inspirational and casual way, with a variety of details in terms of expressiveness and dynamics, performed a diverse program.” (Vreme, Belgrade, 1996)
“Ljubisa Jovanovic was playing all the time (needless to say it) brilliantly, carefully researching .... This sensitive artist has metamorphosed from the state of a mortal to the state of divinely inspired person, far beyond the level of everyday reading of material signs.” (BEMUS, Vecernje novosti, Belgrade, 1995)
“The main say had the flautist Ljubisa Jovanovic, who was making music remarkably plastically, rounded in tone and expressively, sculpting beautiful cantilenas, feeling both the detail and the whole, communicating both with his partners and the audience.” (Politika, Belgrade, 1987)
“Although Jovanovic's instrumental skills are undeniable, what set out this artist to be “a rare bird” in our musical environment is not only his pure intonation and a long breath. Broad education, not only in terms of music, highly-set artistic criteria and a well-formed musical taste, revealing a developed affinity towards contemporary creativity, add to Jovanovic's interpretation not only a quality but also an identity, being, to my opinion, one of those features that separate the performing art from the craft.” (Muzicki talas, Belgrade, 1995)
“A highly harmonized musical impulses of both soloists (Ljubisa Jovanovic and Sandra Belic) as well as their magical enthusiasm in interpreting a diverse program has had a hypnotic influence over the audience that frenetically applauded. It was the event to be remembered.” (“The Days of Mokranjac” festival, Pro Musica, 1988)
“…the following evening was dedicated to the chamber formations of instrumental masters and the works, rarely performed or performed for the first time, by Reger, Schulhoff and Prokofiev. This extremely demanding program was joyfully, reliably and inspiringly performed by the contrabassist Zoran Markovic, violinist Ivan Vukcevic, flautist Ljubisa Jovanovic, violinist Marija Spengler, clarinetist Ognjen Popovic and the oboist Bojan Pesic.” (Zorica Premate, Politika, 11/11/2017)
“The experienced flautist Ljubisa Jovanovic has shown exceptional skill and sense of characteristic coloring, properly leading a broadly set melodic line in Largo, but also virtuously playing the last movement, Presto of Reger's Serenade… Although there are various approaches and ways of performing this piece, it seems that yesterday we live witnessed one of the best interpretations of Schulhoff’s Concertino. ... Freely and surely, with clear conception and dramaturgy, Zoran Markovic, Ljubisa Jovanovic and Ivan Vukcevic presented themselves in the best possible light by performing one, at least in our society, not so well known piece. They left a powerful interpretative seal, contributing to the unique listener’s impression. (Rados Mitrovic, Kulturni krugovi Second Program of Radio Belgrade, 07/11/2017)
“The flautist Ljubisa Jovanovic, known as a musician of suggestive tone and excellent technique, has also shown them at this concert ...” (Srdjan Teparic, Second Program of the Radio Belgrade, 12/11/2017).