It is a long way from Karlovac, Croatia to the stages in Sao Paulo, Brazil or even Sydney, Australia but the life of a child prodigy and world class classical guitarist takes Ana Vidovic around the globe. She does hope to do more shows in Croatia in the years ahead. It has been a honor to hear more about Ana’s story, as she was selected as one of the National Federation of Croatian American's “40 Under 40” rising stars and role models of success from within the Croatian American community.
It’s quite a story when someone starts playing guitar at age five and by age 13 is performing live in concerts internationally.
Ana Vidovic is quick to quip, “I was so fortunate to have a father who played the electric guitar and two older brothers that guided me and fostered my love of music from an early age.” Both her brothers Viktor and Silvije were musicians who inspired her within her early musical journey. She readily admits that playing the guitar came naturally and she loved it.
Ana was the youngest student to attend the prestigious Academy of Music in Zagreb and started there at the age of 13. Ana proudly says, “Growing up in Croatia for most of my life had a significant importance in both my professional and personal development. I studied classical guitar at the Academy of Music in Zagreb and was very fortunate to be able to study with incredible teachers including Professor Istvan Romer who was the biggest influence in my career. Classical guitar has a very long tradition in Croatia and during my childhood there were many young guitar players and I was very inspired by them all.”
Ana’s classical guitar playing was further refined and she graduated from the Academy in Zagreb at age 18 and was ready for a new challenge and a bigger world stage. Her reputation grew and so acceptance to the prestigious Peabody Conservatory in Baltimore, Maryland in 2000 was not a major surprise but a desired opportunity by Ana to study in the United States. Ana was so fortunate to study with both Ray Chester and even more seriously with Manuel Barrueco, a Cuban classical guitarist who has a well deserved reputation as one of the world’s finest classical guitarists. Ana earned her Artist diploma and graduated from Peabody Conservatory in 2003 and has resided in the Baltimore area since that milestone achievement.
Her international performance in her early career included recitals, concerto engagements and festival appearances in many of Europe’s cultural destinations including Budapest, Copenhagen, London, Oslo, Paris, Rome, Salzburg, Vienna, Warsaw and Zagreb. Her tours have also taken her to Australia, Brazil, Israel, Japan, Korea and Mexico. In North America, audiences have seen her on the stages of Austin, Baltimore, Boston, Dallas, Houston, New York City, San Francisco, St. Louis, Toronto and Washington, DC.
Year by year, she performed more and her reputation grew, and she says, “It’s a wonderful life and and so rewarding that my music allows me to see the world and experience so many cultures. I remain very grateful and it’s all so personally gratifying to be able to perform in concert halls around the world." However, Ana does say for the record, that “Any success I have did not happen overnight and fortunately, I love music and playing the guitar and so all the hours practicing are well worth it."
By 2006, Ana even made the cover of the Acoustic Guitar magazine and asked how that felt and she gushed that “It was very flattering and such a nice surprise to see my work acknowledged in that way.” Ana has performed with a six-string Jim Redgate guitar for years now and shared that it’s a beautiful guitar with not only a warm sound but is so powerful too. This Australia-made guitar travels the world with our talented Croatian musician.
Ana has won first prizes in the Albert Augustine International Competition in Bath, England, the Fernando Sor competition in Rome, Italy and the Francisco Tarrega competition in Benicasim, Spain. She also garnered other top prizes which include the Eurovision Competition for Young Artists, Mauro Giuliani competition in Italy, Printemps de la Guitare in Belgium and the Young Concert Artists International Auditions in New York.
During recent seasons Ana’s prolific career has taken her to London where she has performed at King’s Place twice; Bordeaux and Paris, Vienna’s Musikverein, Avezzano and Pescara (Italy), Aachen, Ansbach and Ettlingen (Germany) and another fifteen countries over the last five years. She has performed throughout the U.S. including Baltimore, Bethesda (The Strathmore), Washington, DC (Kennedy Center), Ft. Worth, Los Angeles, Portland, St. Louis, Salt Lake City, San Francisco, Champaign, IL (Krannert Center), Milwaukee (Sharon Lynne Wilson Center). Her concerto performances have taken place with the West Virginia Symphony, Erie Philharmonic, Westmoreland Symphony, Asheville Symphony, Illinois Philharmonic, Knoxville Symphony, Glacier Symphony, Missoula Symphony, Wisconsin Chamber Orchestra, Wheeling Symphony and the Bangor Symphony. She proudly has performed with the Slovene Orchestra in Slovenia and Zagreb Philharmonic.
When asked about Croatia, Ana does share that she still thinks Croatia is the most beautiful place in the world and one day would like to return. In Croatia, the guitarist has performed with the Symphony Orchestra of the Croatian Radio and Television, as well as having been featured in three television documentaries by the eminent Croatian film director Petar Krelja.
Ana hopes to finish a new musical CD by early 2018 and will continue her exciting travels around the world this year. Please take a listen to her unique and beautiful rendition: Ana Vidovic plays Asturias by Isaac Albéniz
Please mark your calendar if you live in the Baltimore or the Washington D.C, area, as Ana, will take the stage on Saturday, September 9th at 8:00 pm at the An Die Musik concert venue in Baltimore, Maryland. Of course, many of us hope to see her perform at the Croatian Embassy in the nation’s capital too later in 2017 with a few other “40 Under 40” musicians from the ranks of our talented Croatian American community.
To learn more about Ana, visit her official website.