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Vesna Stefanovich-Gruppman

Vesna GruppmanAccording to Gramophone Magazine, Vesna Stefanovich-Gruppman is critically acclaimed for her “impeccable taste and beautiful singing tone.” Equally so, she is acclaimed as both a violin and viola soloist, having received First Prize at the Jaroslav Kocián International Violin Competition. She is also the first artist to win the National Violin Competition in her native Yugoslavia six times in a row.

She was born in Serbia (then part of Yugoslavia). Her solo career was launched while still a teenager. By the age of sixteen, she had performed as a soloist with such ensembles as the Munich Chamber Orchestra, the Moscow Philharmonic, and the Prague Philharmonic orchestras, appearing regularly on both radio and television programs throughout Europe. She is a graduate of the Moscow Central Special School of Music. She received her Doctorate in Performance and Pedagogy from the Moscow Conservatoire. While at the Moscow Conservatoire, she had the honor of studying under legendary teachers Yuri Yankelevich and Igor Bezrodny.

Vesna Stefanovich-Gruppman has a demanding schedule as a soloist and chamber musician. She has performed with the Dallas Symphony, the Edmonton Symphony, Concerto Rotterdam Chamber Orchestra, the San Diego Symphony Orchestra, the National Philharmonic Orchestra of Ukraine and London’s Beethoven Philharmonic Orchestra, and in recital at London’s Wigmore Hall and St John’s in Smith Square, Amsterdam’s Hermitage Hall, Kiev’s Philharmonic Hall, and the Mozart Hall in Prague.

Her solo and chamber music recordings have garnered high praise and accolades from international publications such as Gramophone Magazine, American Record Guide, and Classical Disc Digest. She won a Grammy Award for her recording of the Concerto for Two Violins and Orchestra by Malcolm Arnold (together with her violinist husband Igor Gruppman) for Koch International. In reference to her viola performance and recording of the recreated original version of Brahms’ F Minor Quintet together with lead musicians of the Academy of St Martin in the Fields, Classical Disc Digest’s article described the performance as follows: “Vesna’s electrifyingly intense, ripe-toned viola playing has infused itself into the hearts and minds of the British contingent, who responded by playing as if their very lives depended on it.”

Her critically acclaimed 2007 performance of Mozart’s Sinfonia Concertante with the Orchestra at Temple Square in Salt Lake City, Utah, in partnership with the legendary Ida Haendel was broadcast numerous times on the US national cable network. She was also a featured soloist and chamber musician for the 2009 season release of Video Artists International’s series of recital DVDs. The 2009-2010 season featured recital and chamber music tours of Asia and the United States. And in May 2010, she recorded a DVD for Video Artists International in Miami, Florida.

Vesna and Igor GruppmanShe met her husband, Igor Gruppman, at the Moscow Conservatoire. In an interview from their home in Provo, Utah, Igor stated that they wanted to marry, but because Vesna was not a Soviet citizen, “it was very dangerous for us to do that.” Vesna characterized it as “nerve-wracking.” She further commented, “It didn’t seem so romantic then.” The couple was finally reunited and married in Los Angeles, California in 1980.

In 1993, she and her husband were honored with a Grammy Award for their recording of Malcolm Arnold’s Concerto for two violins. They taught at Brigham Young University from 1996 to 2002. In 2002, they founded the Gruppman International Violin Institute. At the Institute, they select, train, and develop the careers of exceptionally gifted violinists from around the world using videoconferencing technology. Also in 2002, the American String Teachers Association honored her with the College Teacher of the Year award. She is also a founding member of the Orchestra at Temple Square.

Both Vesna Stefanovich-Gruppman and her husband, Igor, are members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. She converted to the Mormon faith in 1982, and he converted in 1983. Igor is artistic director of the Concerto Rotterdam chamber orchestra and concertmaster of the Rotterdam Philharmonic, and Vesna teaches at the Rotterdam Conservatory in the Netherlands.

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