Ivo Pogorelić |

Ivo Pogorelić |

Ivo Pogorelić

Date of birth

Ivo Pogorelić |

Advertising escapades, sensational declarations, noisy conflicts with concert organizers – these are the circumstances that accompanied the rapid ascent of a new bright star – Ivo Pogorelich. The circumstances are disturbing. And yet, one cannot ignore the fact that even now the young Yugoslav artist occupies one of the most prominent places among the artists of his generation. Equally undeniable are its “starting” advantages – excellent natural data, solid professional training.

Pogorelich was born in Belgrade into a musical family. At the age of six, he was brought to a well-known critic, who diagnosed him with: “Exceptional talent, phenomenal musicality! He can become a great pianist if he manages to break into the big stage. Some time later, Ivo was heard by the Soviet teacher E. Timakin, who also appreciated his talent. Soon the boy goes to Moscow, where he studies first with V. Gornostaeva, and then with E. Malinin. These classes lasted about ten years, and during this time few people even heard of Pogorelich at home, although at that time he easily won first place first at the traditional competition for young musicians in Zagreb, and then at major international competitions in Terni (1978) and Monreale (1980). But much more fame was brought to him not by these victories (which, however, drew the attention of experts), but … failure at the anniversary Chopin competition in Warsaw in 1980. Pogorelich was not admitted to the final: he was accused of too free treatment of the author’s text. This caused stormy protests from listeners and the press, disagreements in the jury, and received a wide world response. Pogorelich became a real favorite of the public, newspapers recognized him as “the most controversial pianist in the entire post-war history of the competition.” As a result, invitations poured in from all over the world.

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Since then, Pogorelich’s fame has grown steadily. He made several big tours in Europe, America, Asia, participated in a number of festivals. They wrote that after his performance at Carnegie Hall, Vladimir Horowitz allegedly said: “Now I can die in peace: a new great piano master has been born” (no one confirmed the authenticity of these words). The artist’s performance still causes heated debate: some accuse him of mannerisms, subjectivism, unjustified extremes, others believe that all this is outweighed by enthusiasm, originality, elemental temperament. The New York Times critic D. Henan believes that the pianist “does everything to make himself appear unusual.” New York Post reviewer X. Johnson stated: “Without a doubt, Pogorelic is a significant person, full of conviction and able to say something of his own, but how significant what he will say will be unclear yet.” The pianist’s first records do not give an answer to this question either: if one can find many interesting details and colors in the interpretation of Chopin, Scarlatti, Ravel, then for Beethoven’s sonatas the pianist clearly lacks a sense of form, self-control.

However, the wave of interest in this artist does not subside. His performances in his homeland gather an audience that pop stars can envy. Pogorelic, for example, became the first artist who managed to fill the hall of the Belgrade Sava Center twice in a row, accommodating more than 4 thousand spectators. True, some people speak with irony about “the hysteria around the name of Pogorelich”, but it is worth listening to the words of the Belgrade composer N. Zhanetich: “This young pianist carried the glory of his country in Warsaw, New York, London, Paris after such luminaries opera stage, as 3. Kunz, M. Changalovich, R. Bakochevic, B. Cveich. His art attracts young people: he awakened in thousands of his peers a love for the great creations of musical geniuses.

In 1999, the pianist stopped performing. According to unofficial data, the reason for this decision was depression due to the cool attitude of the listeners and the death of his wife. Currently, Pogorelich has returned to the concert stage, but rarely performs.

Grigoriev L., Platek Ya., 1990

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