Marjan Krajna was born in 1966 in Croatia. He began his accordion studies in Zagreb keeping on in Moskow where he also studied as conductor.
Marian has an active musical and accordion career, he is a successful teacher and principal of a Music School in Zagreb. He collaborates with many symphony orchestras and international conductors.
1. You have studied a lot to became a brilliant accordionist. Tell us about your first experiences as a students and your earliest inspirations?
I have always wanted to study in Moscow at the Russian Academy of Music Gnessin, considered one of the best music academies in the world. Attending the Gnessin academy is still a great honor and achievement for every student. I was really impressed with the academy, students, teachers, enthusiastic level of knowledge and requirements of the study.
Our department had at least 10 teachers and each professor had a half dozen students. You can imagine to take your exam in front of Sergei Kolobkov, Viatcheslav Semjonov, Friedrich Lips, Yuri Petrovich Dranga, Yuri Vostrelov, Viatcheslav Fillipovitch Beljakov, Vladimir Dolgopolov, Mikhail Muntijan… Each examination was a special experience!
In 1985 I was a stundet in a full training and I attended the Prof. Radomir Tomic’s lessions in Kragujevac: I won a competition in the former Yugoslav republican and after the Coupe Mondiale CIA in Portugal. Then I got a scholarship and studied with the famous pianist M° Ivo Pogorelich, Zagreb Concert Management. During my international competitions I knew my friend and excellent musician Mirco Patarini.
2. You have studied with Professor Viatcheslav Semionov. Could you tell us one good story about those years?
Viatcheslav Semionov is a wonderful man, a great musician, an artist, a composer, a performer and a great friend too. His former students name him “Semjonovci”, as a mark of respect. His past and present students are wonderful people, full of life and joy, great artists, realized musicians. Our meetings, contacts and cooperation are always characterized by energy, humor and love for music. I believe nothing happens by chance and I had been his first foreign student. I think that destiny wanted me to be his student.
3. You have chosen a Scandalli accordion. Why?
I have sought a long an instrument which would not just play but also enjoy. Scandalli Extreme has became part of me. It is a wonderful, generous, warm, soft, nice and with a penetrating sound. It has a large selection of registers, from pianissimo to fortissimo and gives a new dimension to the sound. Moreover Scandalli instruments have the perfect keyboard to the right and left hand. Every musician knows what is the best for himself and Scandalli is my Stradivari. I have to thank Mirco Patarini and Scandalli for upgrading and improving continually these instruments.
4. Now you have been directing the Zlatko Balokovica School of Music since 1997. What kind of difficulties do you encounter?
In Croatia there are 92 music schools and most of all have an accordion department. Zlatko Baloković Music School has got 600 students and it is the largest one in Croatia. In addition we have a piano, guitar, violin, cello, flute, clarinet, trumpet, saxophone, tambouritza-mandolin, singing sections and so on. The school has two departments one in Novi Zagreb and the other in Zapresic. I have been running the school for 15 years and we have always many people interested in enrolling so we need more space and classrooms. Moreover together with our local Government we are trying to solve all problems related to education.
5. You direct the Croatian Academic Accordion Orchestra. Being an Orchestra Conductor was you greatest dream or is there anything else?
Alongside my accordion studies, I have studied conducting at the Gnessin Music Academy in Moscow in the class of Prof. Kozuhar. He was also the principal conductor at Stanislavski Theatre and he is wonderful man so I have had the opportunity to study conducting with one of the best conductor in the world. He often said to me: “Theatre begins from angers.”
He has taught me everything necessary to conduct opera, symphonic orchestra, folk orchestra and accordion orchestra. This way inspired, I’ve always desired to study, teach and experience orchestra. It turned out that students, as well as teachers, prefer playing in ensembles where singular interpretations makes choral music.
6. What are you working on at the moment?
I organized a concert in the Old City Council Hall in the center of Zagre on 6th May, on occasion of the World Accordion Day.
The foremost representative artists of our region took part to the event organized in collaboration with the Cultural network of Southeastern Europe under the auspices of the EU and the city of Zagreb. There were: Petar Maric and Aleksandar Nikolic from Serbia, Borut Zagoranski and Feguš from Slovenia quartet, Orosz Zoltan from Hungary, Raisa Bužimkić from Bosnia and Herzegovina, Marko Matic and Martin Kutnar, and Blue world trio from Croatia. It has been a wonderful experience for all and certainly the best accordion showcase in the region.
Right now I’m working on a new project with the ensemble West Rail Station and the famous Hollywood actor Rade Šerbeđija which is from Croatia. Do you remember the films “Eyes Wide Shut”, “Harry Potter And The Deathly Hallows”, “Batman Begins”, “Taken 2” and “In the Land of Blood and Honey”. The last one is directed by Angelina Jolie which is, together with his husband Brad Pitt, a friend of Rade Šerbeđija. Next summer they are coming to Croatia. Rade Šerbeđija is an excellent actor and a wonderful man and time stops while hearing him. Rade Šerbeđija and West Rail Station performed in London, Lithuania, Austria, Croatia, Serbia, Montenegro, Macedonia and we have a plan to play in concert in Turkey, Dubai, Los Angeles, Paris.
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