I wish I knew how to do anything half as well as Snježana Pavićević knows how to play the piccolo. The Serbian musician has dedicated her life to the instrument and the music she loves. She has a Master’s degree in flute from the Belgrade Academy of Music, and another for the piccolo from the Giuseppe Verdi Conservatory in Milan. Professionally she is the solo piccolo flutist with the Belgrade Philharmonic Orchestra. She has been a permanent member of the Orchestra since 2002.
Pavićević is also a teacher with “Play with a Pro,” and the artistic director and manager of “Belgrade Piccolo Weekend,” a group she founded to benefit flute students interested in improving their skills with the piccolo. Through the course of her career she has played with orchestras around the world and worked with numerous world-famous conductors such as; Zubin Mehta, Michail Jurowski, Thomas Sanderling, Muhai Tang, Krzystof Penderecki and Howard Griffiths. She has won numerous awards at national and international competitions in the categories of flute and chamber music.
Soon, Snježana Pavićević will have a new album to add to her list of accomplishments. In preparation for that release, the artist shared a recording of her performance with pianist Vanja Šćepanović (PHD in Music performing Arts). They perform “Zvrk (spinning top),” for piccolo and piano by Serbian composer Ivan Brkljačić. Recorded live February 5, 2020 at the Belgrade Philharmonic hall, it is a mesmerizing display of technical prowess and artistic interpretation of a visionary and dramatic piece.
The early staccato melodic runs of the 8:52 recording musically interpret the visual of a spinning top. Pavićević and Šćepanović exercise stunning technique as they each rip through lightning fast stanzas. At and around the 3:00 mark the two play incredibly difficult segments in perfect unison. Then, halfway through the piece the mood changes.
Through the middle section the duo trades lines through a theatrical call and response. The music is occasionally peppered by the avant garde, with unexpected timing and dissonant piano chords. It is hypnotic. By 7:30 the music becomes slow and dramatic. One imagines the top has stopped, until it is spun again just before the end of the piece.
“Zvrk (spinning top)” is a masterful performance by two artists at the top of their form. Check it out and follow the links below to connect with Snježana Pavićević. Stay in the know on all of her projects, including the forthcoming album.