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Ivana Cojbasic: Concert Reviews

Solo Recital at the University on Minnesota Duluth

"...Her full depth of emotional expression and technical prowess affected each listener. She was able to draw out sounds and colors from our instrument that nobody else had discovered."
Dr. Jeanne Doty, Chair, Keyboard Area, University of Minnesota Duluth (Oct 5, 2005)
Solo Recital at the College of Musical Arts, Bowling Green State University, Ohio

"... She gave a very convincing and colorful performance, demonstrating her comfort in a wide variety of styles. The most striking performance of the afternoon was the Piano Sonata of Sofia Gubaidulina, in which she gave an imaginative, beautifully-shaped version of this difficult work."
Dr. Laura Melton, Associate Professor of Piano, Coordinator of Ketboard Studies, College of Musical Arts, Bowling Green State University, Ohio (Sep 29, 2006)
"...She is a pianist of great artistic achievement, displaying a sense of drama, a wide tonal palette, and musical sensitivity..."
Dr. Robert Satterlee, Associate Professor of Piano, Bowling Green State University, Ohio (Jun 1, 2006)
"...She is an artist of uncommon sensitivity and imagination, who performs with taste, brilliance and individuality."
Dr. Pamela Mia Paul, Regents Professor of Music, University of North Texas College of Music (Sep 25, 2005)
"One of the most stunning aspects of Dr. Cojbasic is her stage presence. She exudes confidence, artistry and poise from the moment she walks on stage to the last note of the performance... Ivana is a true virtuoso and her skill and artistry at the piano ranges from the most expressive nuance to the most intense passion."
Dr. Calvin Hofer, Associate Professor of Music, Chair of the Music Department, Mesa State College, Grand Junction, Colorado (Feb 20, 2007)
"Cojbasic enchants audience with timeless music" (heading)

"The Scherzo (from Schubert's Sonata in B-flat Major) was all I could have asked for: fast and delicate, with both naive and sly humor. I especially enjoyed the elusive, slightly devious timing of the accented bass notes in the Trio of the Scherzo"..."Cojbasic has the technical facility to carry off their bravura demands with ease, and she is fully at home with their (Liszt, Scriabin) impassioned lyricism and drama."
Philip Wyse, former Assistant Professor at Kentucky Wesleyan College of Music, Northern State University in Aberdeen, S.D., South Dakota State University in Brookings. - Grand Junction Free Press (Sep 30, 2003)
Soloist with Grand Junction Symphony, November 12, 2002

"The concert ended with Variations on I Got Rhythm" composed by George Gershwin and featuring pianist Ivana Cojbasic. Cojbasic's dynamic manner was apparent from the first notes of the piece. She drew out the enrgetic variation and rhythm, making the piece classy instead of jaunty...She did come back with a rousing solo encore performed with flair and style."
Ann Winterholter - The Daily Sentinel, Grand Junction, Colorado (Sep 26, 2002)
"Pianist captivates, charmes Robinson Theater audience" (heading)

"Ivana Cojbasic captivated the audience at William S. Robinson Theater at Mesa State College on Sunday with her elegance in style and presence at the piano.
Cojbasic began the concert and the 2000 Music at Mesa Artist Series with "Sonata in f-minor, Op. 57" composed by Ludwig van Beethoven (1770-1827). From the sonata's austere beginning to the mood and theme changes woven in deep chords and seemless runs, Cojbasic's style supplied the music with a fresh sound.
Cojbasic not only gave beauty to the single note or chord but to the quiet space around them. In effect, she made each note clean and resonant, not stark.
Articulate phrasing kept the themes fresh and the runs clear and expressive. Coupled with pronounced dynamics, Cojbasic made each piece performed sound like 3-D looks.
Cojbasic transferred these qualities to Sofia Gubaidulina's (born 1931) "Piano Sonata." This seemed to place side by side different stripes of musical color, which hung together in some odd but delightful manner that made the listener pause with pleasant curiosity or dismiss in distaste its modern sound.
At many points in the sonata's three movements, Cojbasic would reach into the piano box and either pluck the strings or dampen them while the other hand played the notes on the keyboard. The effect added color to the sonata, expanding the range and voice of the piano.
Cojbasic rounded out the concert with three selections from Frederic Chopin (1810-1849). The first two, "Ballade in F Major, Op. 38, No. 2" and "Ballade in f minor, Op. 52, No. 4," both developed like musical stories, with songlike characteristics. The former went back and forth between a quiet, simple melody and storm of runs and chords. The latter, however, had a lilt to its rhythmic melody that was built upon in a continuous, evolving manner.
Chopin's "Scherzo in b minor, Op.20, No.1" again showed off Cojbasic's careful phrasing.
At times it seemed like the "Scherzo" was asking the audience a question but then would rush off in a flurry of notes before an answer could be given.
Cojbasic followed a standing ovation with George Gershwin's (1898-1937) "The Man I Love" that left the audience completely charmed."
Ann Winterholter - The Daily Sentinel, Grand Junction, Colorado (Sep 13, 2000)
"Personal Bach" (heading)

"...From the first measures of Bach's Partita No.2 in c minor, it was clear that she (Ivana Cojbasic) is a mature artist, with an inner concentration, technical perfection, and a deep personal experience of Bach's music. This was particularly sensed in the expressive piano dynamics of the wonderful meditative Sarabande, as well as in the sculpturing of poluphonic texture in the Capriccio.
Chopin's Andante Spianato and Grande Polonaise Brillante in E-flat Major Op.22...was also performed with great refinement, with a cobweb-like weaving in the Andante... Ivana Cojbasic also conveyed great expression and nobleness in her interpretation of three etudes for piano by Alexander Scriabin: No.5 in E Major, No.11 in B-flat minor (both from Op.8), and in emotional "waves", No.5 in c-sharp minor Op.42"
Gordana Krajacic - Borba, Belgrade, Yugoslavia (Aug 2, 1998)
"Success of the pianist Ivana Cojbasic in the concert at the Verdi School of Music...The pianist knew how to underline melodic passion and rhythmic tension of the music, strongly characterized by the influence of popular Polish and Hungarian culture...From Delicate Berceuse Op.57 by Chopin, the pianist procedeed to Funerailles and Sonata in b minor by Liszt, demonstrating a high level of technical mastery..."
La Nazione, Prato, Italy (Feb 6, 1998)
"Significant Success" (heading)

"...Performing one complex program, Ivana shined through her powerful playing, which appealed in all its aspects and its demands... Astonishingly powerful and excitingly meaningful. Especially the first movement of Chopin's b-flat minor Sonata, which Ivana performed with utmost integrity!.. At the end, Ivana played the Ballad in g minor, softly and lively, maintaining the singing quality and beauty of execution even in the most powerful tempos..."
Slobodan Turlakov - Vecernje Novosti, Belgrade, Yugoslavia (May 6, 1998)

"Symphony Review - Soloists Heighten Powerful Evening" (heading)

"Pianist Ivana Cojbasic and timpanist Adam Wallstein were both outstanding. I especially admired Cojbasic’s ability to shift from the chattering running passages and dissonant jumping chords of the first movement to the tolling bells of lament in the Andante." [In Martinu's Double Concerto for Two String Orchestras, Piano and Timpani.]

"...Cojbasic showed herself to possess complete mastery of Debussy's challenging writing, and to be an artist capable of unlocking his unique tone-world to an interested listener.  On this occasion, the listeners were not merely interested, but spell-bound." [Performance at the 2017 Northwest Bach Festival with Danielle Talamantes, soprano]