College of Visual and Performing Arts

Q&A with Classical Guitarist Miloš Karadaglić

Miloš Karadaglić QandA

By Jen Kulju ('04M)

Miloš Karadaglić is taking the classical guitar music world by storm. “The hottest guitarist in the world,” (The Sunday Times), Miloš is topping record charts and delighting audiences worldwide with playing that is “crisp, colorful and rhythmically alive.” (NPR) Miloš performs his Voice of the Guitar program, a journey through music and time, with the 12 ensemble on Tuesday, February 25 @ 8 pm in the Forbes Center Concert Hall.

Prior to his Forbes Center performance, Miloš took the time to answer some questions about touring, musical influences, pre-performance rituals, and more!

Q:   What does it mean to you to tour the U.S. with the 12 ensemble?

A:   I’m extremely excited to be returning to the U.S.—this time with my friends from the 12 ensemble. The elegance with which guitar can so comfortably sit between the worlds of classical and mainstream is very special and indeed unique. The music I have selected for this program is inspired by that [belief], and it’s a true celebration of the guitar. I’ll be performing some all-time favorites such as Villa-Lobos, Albéniz and Bach, but also pieces that are new and continue to stretch the imagination and style with innovation and freshness of approach. In this program, there will be something for everyone.

Q:   What do you enjoy most about touring?

A:   I love touring because it always makes me feel focused and deeply connected to my music. I always say that music only really happens when it’s played live on stage. To create it, in the deep sense of its meaning and purpose, we need an audience. Touring gives me that [connection] on a very intense level; hence it’s the time when I’m the happiest. Being a musician is a true privilege and every day I live I realize more and more how lucky I am.

Q:   Who has most influenced your musical career?

A:   As a teenager, John Williams was everything—his peerless sound aesthetic, projection and clarity will forever be a huge inspiration to me. I learned so much just by listening to his amazing recordings. I love reading about and listening to other classical guitarists too, including Barrios, Segovia, Bream and Russell. But equally, I’m inspired by the musicians I meet every day, the conductors I work with, composers that write for me. It’s a privilege to connect with people and discover everyone’s unique gift, not just in music, but in every other way too. 

Q:   What pre-performance rituals to you have (if any), and what impact to you think they have on you/you performance?

A:   Over the years I have become less and less concerned by such things. I feel a huge sense of excitement and release every time I perform, and I accept that every performance brings with itself a unique experience. A live performance is an unrepeatable moment in time. You have to seize that moment and enjoy it for everything that it brings. Apart from a little meditation just before I go on stage, as well as making sure I sleep and eat well on the day [I perform], I’m generally pretty relaxed and happy.

Q:   What advice to you have for musicians trying to rebound from an injury that hampers their ability to perform?

A:   Suffering from any injury is extremely difficult—both professionally and personally—and I would say to anyone going through something similar to give themselves as much time as they need to rest physically and psychologically to rebuild their self-belief. It is also important to surround yourself with people you trust and people that give you strength. As with everything, there is a silver lining in it all. My time off also gave me the opportunity to re-evaluate my relationship with music in general and see the world I was part of in a more realistic way. This experience was probably the most important lesson of my adult life. 

Photo by Lars Borges.

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Published: Thursday, February 20, 2020

Last Updated: Thursday, February 20, 2020

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