From bow to baton

When I was 7 years old and visiting my grandparents, I found my mother’s violin in the attic. I was fascinated by this little wooden box and asked my mother to tell me everything about it. It was immediately clear to me that I wanted to learn to play the violin and become a musician. I always loved music and wanted to sing and dance. As a child, I sang in choirs and played in mandolin orchestras, and I still play the violin in the radio orchestra.

My most important violin teacher was Oleg Kondratenko. He was incredibly strict and wanted me not only to be able to play a piece on the violin but also to know everything about it, from the composer to the style, the musical architecture to the accompaniment. That was one of the reasons I started thinking about conducting.

At the Academy of Music in Skopje, I was accepted into the conducting class of Professor Borjan Canev. I studied with him for four years. It was a fantastic time, and he accepted me from the first moment he saw me conducting. The fact that I was one of the few female students in his class was never a problem. We just connected on a musical level. At the same time, I attended my first masterclass with Maestro Uroš Lajovic. I was just 19 years old, and he has been a fantastic mentor ever since.

Growing up in a small country like Northern Macedonia was a great advantage because my teachers could spend a lot of time with me. They supported my idea of conducting, even though they knew how hard it is for a young girl to pursue a career as a conductor.

But I am determined.  I just love the atmosphere on stage. Looking into the musicians’ eyes and feeling their focus and motivation creates such an inspiring atmosphere. At that moment I give my maximum and I deeply connect to them through the music we create.

And there are two musicians who motivate me more than anything. One is conductor Marin Alsop, the first woman to win the Koussevitzky Prize, showing that nothing is impossible for women. The other is Simon Trpčeski – a world-class concert pianist who comes from Macedonia and proves that good musicians are respected wherever they perform.