Bosnian Rhapsody in Burbank
The Bosnian Rhapsody (Bosanska Rapsodija) chamber version by Dino Zonic was performed as a part of the legendary EMS Enlightenment Music Series, Burbank, Saturday, January 18th, 2020 at 7:30 pm.
The concert featured the esteemed musicians of the Enlightenment Music Series, Marina Manukian - violin concertmaster, Mark Baranov - violin, Maksim Velichkin - Violoncello, Mischa Lakirovich - Viola, Simone Vitucci - Violoncello, Bryan Pezzone - Piano, and Filippo Voltaggio as Master of Ceremonies.
Along with the premiere of the "Bosnian Rhapsody," the chamber version, the program included works by Dvorak, Dotzauer, Bartok, Shostakovich, Gliere.
Introduction Story by Filippo Voltaggio, Host Life Changes Show, Los Angeles, January 21, 2020.
As the Century turned from the 20th to the 21st, there were many hopes and dreams created by millions of people throughout the world, of a Century of peace and love for all humankind. One such particular dreamer and creator was a young Bosnian music student, composer, and conductor, of creating unity through music, and of composing unifying orchestral pieces.
One such piece was to be in honor of his beloved Country, Bosnia, and to have it performed by his National Philharmonic Orchestra, the Sarajevo Philharmonic. On his way to realizing his dreams, he himself was honored soon after by being inducted as the conductor of the Philharmonic Orchestra. His would-be tenure and dreams were interrupted with what was to be known as one of the most brutal wars of the new Century, the Bosnian War.
Forced to leave his homeland, he and millions of other Bosnians were welcomed and found refuge in the United States. Broken-hearted, but not disheartened from his dreams, he developed a love for his adopted country and shared with it not only his dream of unity through music but shared the best his culture had to offer.
Not only did Americans take to him, his music, and his vision, they thanked and showered him with awards and recognition, including Business Journal 40 Under 40, The Golden Karma Award, American Symphony Orchestra League and ASCAP, an invitation by His Holiness, the Dalai Lama, and most near and dear to his heart, being named as Cultural Ambassador of Bosnia and Herzegovina.
Thirty years after the spark of his dream, and twenty-five years after the war, the Sarajevo Philharmonic commissioned a work of hope for their country, which had not only suffered great loss during the war but continued to suffer from devastation and separation.
To compose that special piece they turned to their former composer and conductor who had never been forgotten and who was dearly missed. That composer and conductor was, and is,
Dino Zonic. Their hope was that he would not only compose a piece for them but return to his homeland and conduct the premier with the philharmonic on their grandest concert of the year, their Annual Nationally Televised New Year’s Eve Gala.
Much had changed in the 24 years since he had appeared at the podium in front of the Sarajevo Philharmonic at the Bosnian National Theater. The Country had changed, the people had changed and he had changed, not the least of which, he had since become an American citizen and had been honored by, and shaken the hands of Presidents.
He felt an opportunity to further his dream of unity through music by returning not just as an Ambassador of Culture of Bosnia and Herzegovina, but as an Ambassador of American Brother and Sisterhood. With that dream in heart, he not only wanted to return to his homeland with the music they commissioned, but he also wanted to return home with some of what he had come to love about America.
He chose to make his return with two special guests, one in the form of a Concert Master, Marina Manukian, and the other in the form of a Master of Ceremonies, Filippo Voltaggio, both of whom were honored to have been asked to represent America in this great cultural exchange of unity through music, especially on the eve of a new year and at such an important concert for the Maestro and the Sarajevo Philharmonic.
The Sarajevo Philharmonic welcomed the Concert Master and Master of Ceremonies from United States. In the hundred years
history of the Philharmonic, they had never had a Master of Ceremonies for the New Year's Eve concerts.
Many worked hard to make this happen from Maestro to the Sarajevo Philharmonic, to the City of Sarajevo, the Bosnian Government and the American Embassy. In the end, it seemed like everyone was in on what was going to happen, including the audience who would be in attendance, the television audience and the Ambassadors of many countries.
As the New Year’s Eve Gala Concert commenced, the audience buzzed with anticipation. As Concert Master, Marina Manukian brought a way of leading the orchestra members that she had learned in being a part of some of the top orchestras in the world, and one of the top TV and Film Industry’s violinist. As Master of Ceremonies, Filippo Voltaggio, set the stage for the already elegant and classy evening of music, adding a touch of humor, and a touch of sentimentality, as he does on many of his projects, especially as host of The LIFE CHANGES Show.
And finally, the moment that everyone had been waiting for. Maestro Edin Dino Zonic took to the stage as if he had never left it. He was home again. And after receiving his warm welcome from the audience, he tipped his baton and the first notes of “Bosnian Rhapsody” began to touch the hearts of all who could feel the persistence of his dream, the weight of his longing, and the hope for more unity through music for the future of his now two beloved Countries, Bosnia and Herzegovina, and the United States.
With the music still in their hearts, the celebration on so many levels continued through the night into the days and weeks ahead. As for the trifecta of Composer/Conductor, Concert Master and Master of Ceremonies, before the last of them had landed back to America, the Sarajevo Philharmonic had not only well received the gifts, they got word that the three of them had been requested to return for another special event.
In keeping with Maestro’s dream of unity through music, the Sarajevo Philharmonic has commissioned him to compose a new orchestral piece, this time in memory of the 25th Anniversary of Srebrenica and those who were lost in the war 25 years prior, which will be premiered in July of 2020.
Thank you for sharing your music, your vision, and your dream of unity through music with us, Maestro Edin Dino Zonic.
Dino Zonic with Mariana Manukian, Filippo Voltaggio and musicians from the EMS chamber orchestra