Classical Music Exchanges
Music is universal, and Santa Barbara and Kotor are home to some of the most prestigious music venues in the world. The KotorArt International Music Festival is recognized as the finest in all of Europe and the Music Academy of the West is second to none in the U.S. These venues have given gifted young musicians from both cities the opportunity to advance their careers as well as experience international travel and establish friendships that will last a lifetime.
Funded by a grant from the U.S. Embassy in Montenegro, composers from Santa Barbara and Kotor created original music, representative of their home countries, which was performed by young musicians from each of our Sister Cities. The performance was attended by U.S. Ambassador to Montenegro, Judy Rising Reinke, and Sister City Committee liaison, Vickie Williams.
As an encore, these young musicians will perform this program at the Music Academy of the West in Santa Barbara on October 2, 2022. Also performing will be Montenegrin guitarist, Miloš Karadaglić, together with Nicholas Petrovic Njegoš, the Crown Prince of Montenegro, on flute. Other dignitaries from both Sister Cities will be on hand as Santa Barbara’s Dr. Ichak K. Adizes is awarded the newly established American Montenegro – USA Friendship Award under the patronage of the President of Montenegro, Mr. Milo Djukanović.
Dear Friends of Kotor,
KotorArt was invited by the U.S. Ambassador in Podgorica to apply for a small grant with a project that would strengthen the connections between the United States and Montenegro. We see no better basis for a project like this, than our established collaboration with the Santa Barbara-Kotor Sister City Committee and the University of California Santa Barbara Music Department!
Receiving this grant will allow us to commission four original pieces, from two composers, one from Montenegro and one from Santa Barbara, inspired by Montenegrin and United States heritage (local melodies, jazz standards, etc.).
To perform these pieces, we will create a small ensemble of four young musicians (two from each country). They will collaborate and prepare online, and finally meet in person, to rehearse and perform the pieces at the KotorArt International Music Festival, the University of California Santa Barbara and the Music Academy of the West in 2022.
Founder and Executive Director of KotorArt
UCSB Music Students Sara Bashore, Violinist and Katrina Agate, Cellist joined KotorArt musicians Andrija Jovovic, Piano and Nastasja Vojinovic, Violin to perform at the Music Academy of the West in January 2020. The Concert ‘Strings and Keys’ was a celebration of the collaboration between the Santa Barbara – Kotor, Montenegro Sister City Program and the UCSB Department of Music.
2019 KotorArt International Festival Collaborates with UC Santa Barbara! July 2019, UCSB graduate cellist Katrina Agate was selected to perform at the KotorArt Music Festival in Kotor, Montenegro as part of the Santa Barbara - Kotor Sister City program. Ms. Agate, representing both the city of Santa Barbara and UC Santa Barbara, performed with other young European musicians.
Isak Haračić selected to attend Music Academy of the West Summer Fellows Program 2013! In April 2013, Isak Haračić, cellist, from Bosnia and Herzegovina was selected to attend the Music Academy of the West Summer Fellows Program, June 17 through August 10, 2013. Mr. Haračić attended the Academy of Music Sarajveo and currently performs with No Borders Orchestra and is Principal Cello with the Sarajevo Philharmonic Orchestra.
Classical pianist Ratimir Martinović first performed in Santa Barbara in February of 2012 at Santa Barbara City College Fe Bland Forum. Mr. Martinović returned for a second performance in February 2013 at the Music Academy of the West's Hahn Hall. Santa Barbara classical music lovers were treated to works by Chopin, Glière, Mozart and Bach. At present, Mr. Martinović works as Full Professor of Piano at the Academy of Arts, in Novi Sad, Serbia. He is one of the founders of the International Festival KotorArt and director of its music program called Don Branko's Music Days.