String Department student concerts take place at 6 p.m. every third Tuesday and Thursday of each month. Entrance to these concerts is free.
HISTORY OF THE STRING DEPARTMENT
A violin studio led by the famous violinist Emil Saks, a student of Prague Conservatory, was established in 1909, simultaneous with the foundation of Isidor Bajić Music School itself. Since that that time, Violin instruction has been offered continuously, and the opening of studios for other string instruments followed in time (a cello studio was the first to follow; viola and double bass were added slightly later). During the 1930s, the department was expanded by introducing a chamber music studio with a special focus on teaching string quartets. Twenty years later, a school chamber orchestra was founded, which was then soon followed by the establishment of a symphonic orchestra, with String Department teachers and students making up the core of both. Esteemed musicians have been engaged with the department since its establishment, and such quality has inevitably led to a respective rise in the quantity of the instruction sought and offered, all of which has resulted in a great number of our students winning prizes and honors at competitions within the country and abroad. Our former students have also gone on to hold positions in some of the world’s most renowned orchestras, such as the Munich Symphony Orchestra, the Viennese Radio Symphony Orchestra, and the Verbier Festival Orchestra, among many others, and have held teaching positions in various European countries and in the USA.
Around 150 string department students are currently enrolled across the elementary and high schools, with twenty new pupils entering the department each year to study with one of the ten violin teachers, two cello teachers, the double bass teacher, or the viola teacher, while also pursuing an orchestral curriculum with one of two conductors and collaborating with one of the six piano accompanists also involved with the Department. Over the last two decades, the trademark of the department has been the elementary school’s string orchestra, the Bajić Young String Players, which was founded in 1988 and features students between 11 and 14 years old. The Orchestra has won over 20 first prizes at various competitions, has published several CDs, and has been successfully performing in the country and abroad, proudly nurturing musicians that have embarked on rewarding professional career paths in making their first steps in precise orchestral playing as members of this unique orchestra.
The secret behind the success of our students in solo as well as group musicianship is best captured in this quote from Professor Czaba Zima, a violin teacher and conductor of the Bajić Young String Players (taken from the booklet of one of the Orchestra’s CDs):
“It is natural for children to like games, as well as fairy tails, imagination, magic…And what is music, if not magic? The magic of rhythm, sound, silence, and emotion. For both my students and myself, playing in the orchestra is an engaging game, a game of listening and observing, a game of posing questions and articulating answers, a game embracing strict rules of self-control and self-discipline while at the same time encouraging indescribable spiritual and emotional freedom, and, first and foremost, a game of joint-playing experience! In our game, we all become part of the monumental, unspoken, and transcendent magic called music.”