Pedja Mužijević


October 21, 2018, 4 pm

Music Room

Born in the Bosnian capital of Sarajevo, Pedja Mužijević studied there before continuing his education at the Curtis Institute in Philadelphia and the Juilliard School in New York City. He now lives in New York and performs around the globe. In terms of repertoire, he is one of the most adventurous pianists. His concert reflects a fascination with creative programming, juxtaposing old and new, and placing well-known works such as Scarlatti’s Sonatas and Debussy’s L’Isle joyeuse alongside rarities like George Antheil’s La Femme 100 têtes (composed in 1933, and inspired by a book of etchings by Max Ernst), and contemporary pieces by the composer and sound artist James Joslin, whose Cadaquésan Landscape (2017) took Salvador Dalí’s Persistence of Memory as its starting point. Mužijević’s concert ends with Schumann’s Carnaval, subtitled “Little Scenes on Four Notes”—full of self-references, portraits of friends, and ending with the stirring “March Against the Philistines.”


Sonata in F minor, K. 519
Sonata in C-sharp minor, K. 247
Sonata in F Major, K. 17

La femme 100 têtes (Nos. 2,3,5,6, and 8)

ERIK SATIE (1866-1925)
Les valses distinguées du précieux dégoûté (“Three waltzes of a Jaded Dandy”)

Conversation at the Window from Goyescas

CLAUDE DEBUSSY (1862-1918)
L’isle joyeuse, L. 106


JAMES JOSLIN (b. 1987)
Cadquesan Landscape for Piano, Mechanical Music Box, and two Metronomes. 

Carnaval, Op. 9

Pianist Pedja Mužijević has defined his career with creative programming, unusual combinations of new and old music, and lasting collaborations with artists and ensembles. Mužijević’s symphonic engagements include performances with the Atlanta Symphony, Dresden Philharmonic, Milwaukee Symphony, New Jersey Symphony, Orquesta Sinfonica in Montevideo, Residentie Orkest in The Hague, St. Paul Chamber Orchestra, Santa Fe Pro Musica, Shinsei Nihon Orchestra in Tokyo, and the Zagreb Philharmonic. He has played solo recitals at Alice Tully Hall, Mostly Mozart Festival Little Night Music series, and The Frick Collection in New York, Terrace Theater at Kennedy Center, Dumbarton Oaks, and the National Gallery in Washington, DC, Casals Hall and Bunka Kaikan in Tokyo, Teatro Municipal in Santiago de Chile, Da Camera of Houston, Arizona Friends of Chamber Music in Tucson, Lane Series at University of Vermont, Spoleto USA, Verbier, Bay Chamber Concerts, Aldeburgh Festival in Great Britain, and many others. His Carnegie Hall concerto debut playing Mozart Concerto K. 503 with Oberlin Symphony and Robert Spano was recorded live and has been released on the Oberlin Music label.

Highlights on 2017/2018 season included solo recitals at 92nd Street Y in New York, for Carolina Performing Arts in Chapel Hill, Mainly Mozart in San Diego, and Honens Festival in Calgary, as well as return engagement with the Zagreb Philharmonic. Combining his two passions, music and food, Mužijević performs works by Ravel and Mussorgsky followed by a multi-course dinner prepared by chef David Bouley in his Test Kitchen in New York.

Mužijević’s many festival engagements encompass, among others, performances at Tanglewood, Spoleto, Ravinia, Mostly Mozart, Newport, OK Mozart, Bridgehampton, Bay Chamber and Maverick Concerts, San Miguel de Allende, Aldeburgh, Lucerne, Holland, Melbourne, Aix-en-Provence, Dubrovnik, Merano and Bratislava Festivals. He has toured with Mikhail Baryshnikov and the White Oak Dance Project throughout the United States, South America, Europe and Asia and with Simon Keenlyside in Trisha Brown’s staged version of Schubert’s Winterreise at Lincoln Center in New York, Barbican in London, La Monnaie in Brussels, Opera National de Paris, as well as in Amsterdam, Lucerne and Melbourne.

Mužijević’s solo recordings include Haydn Dialogues (live recording of a recital program of four Haydn sonatas interspersed with works by Jonathan Berger, John Cage, and Morton Feldman) and Sonatas and Other Interludes (juxtaposing Sonatas and Interludes by John Cage with composers ranging from W. F. Bach and Scarlatti to Liszt and Schumann). His discography also includes aforementioned Mozart Piano Concerto K. 503 with the Oberlin Symphony and Robert Spano, recorded in concert at Carnegie Hall and two albumss on 18th and 19th fortepianos—a Schumann Salon and Mozart and Beethoven Quintets for piano and woodwinds.

Mužijević was born in Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina and studied piano with Vladimir Krpan at the Academy of Music in Zagreb. He came to the US in 1984 to continue his education at the Curtis Institute of Music in Philadelphia and Juilliard School in New York. His mentors included pianists Joseph Kalichstein and Jerome Lowenthal, harpsichordist Albert Fuller, and violinists Robert Mann and Joel Smirnoff. Mužijević has been the artistic administrator at Baryshnikov Arts Center in New York since its opening in 2005 and he also directs a residency at the Banff Centre in Canada called Concert in 21st Century that looks at the concert experience and what can we do to make it more relevant today. He lives in New York City and, when not touring, enjoys cooking for friends and seeing performances in all disciplines.