4 American musicians chosen for Cultural Exchange with Sarajevo Philharmonic

Four young American musicians have been selected for an International Cultural Exchange program that will take them to Bosnia-Herzegovina for 10 months to perform with the Sarajevo Philharmonic.  Tim Boyer of Charlotte,  Sara Laupp of Nashville, Megan Robbins of Chicago, and Matt McLaughlin of Cleveland will play opera, ballet and symphonic concerts through July 2012.

The International Cultural Exchange program is coordinated and sponsored by the Bosnian-Herzegovinian American Academy of Arts and Sciences (BHAAAS) in cooperation with the Sarajevo Philharmonic.  The American conductor, Diane Wittry, was named Artistic Director (USA) of the International  Cultural Exchange program in May 2011.  Her responsibilities involve the screening and selection of the American musicians that will participate in the program.

The mission of the Bosnian-Herzegovinian American Academy of Arts and Sciences is to provide connections between Bosnian-Herzegovinian and scientists, musicians, artists, and professionals in North America to build bridges of cooperation between our countries. The Academy promotes the spirit of intellectual diversity and free exchange of ideas in the belief that knowledge is shareable wealth.

The Sarajevo Philharmonic was founded in 1923 and has played an important role in shaping the musical life of Sarajevo and Bosnia and Herzegovina.  The Sarajevo Philarmonic is a full-time orchestra that currently performs in the National Theatre in Sarajevo and tours throughout the region.

The Sarajevo Philharmonic operated without interruptions throughout the siege of Sarajevo  from 1993-1995. Although Sarajevo was exposed to daily bombardment from the surrounding hills which killed over 10,000 of its citizens, the Philharmonic held nine concerts in the 1993-1994 season, 21 concerts in the 1994-1995 season, and 41 concerts in the 1995-1996 season. Out of those 41 concerts, 10 were held prior to November 1995, when the Dayton Peace Agreement was signed.  The Philharmonic lost two musicians during the siege.

The International Cultural Exchange Program for Classical Musicians started Sept. 11 and the participants will return to the United States on July 2, 2012. Selection of the musicians was done by Conductor and Artistic Director Diane Wittry, who is a  BHAAAS international member; Samra Gulamovic, director and conductor of the Sarajevo Philharmonic; and Eldin E. Karaikovic, BHAAAS project director.  The applicants submitted copies of their performance resumes and unedited DVDs of their playing. The applicants also included a short video of why they wanted to participate in the program.

Read more below:
Introducing Our 2011- 2012 Participants