On July 20, Wishek Under the Stars is featuring Divertimento String Quartet, lead by Dr. Ljubomir Velickovic, the strings instructor at Hutchins Street Square. Velickovic, who plays the violin and viola, is a member of the Stockton Symphony.
Here, he talks about the quartet who perform an array of music at this week at the Square.
Q: Who are the other performers who will be on stage at the event?
A: Bogdana Krasteva II, who plays violin in Stockton and Modesto symphonies; David Calderon — who plays viola in the Stockton Symphony; and John Velickovic, a cellist who lives in Southern California.
Q: How would you describe the performance in your own words?
A: Our performance is inspired by a journey from Wiener elegant waltzes trough lively American rags, Latin tangos, jazz, swing and Broadway pops towards Beatles arrangements.
Q: Do you have any tips for young musicians on how to continue in music throughout their lives?
A: First of all, young people should think about music as enlightening their lives.
The ability to sell their interpretation will give them the guidance as to what to do in their lives.
Q: Can you tell me where you grew up and where you studied music?
A: I grew up in Belgrade. I followed my mother to her accordion private lessons starting when I was 5 years old. My granddad listened passionately to Hungarian Czardas Virtuosos on the radio every day while he was cooking master dishes.
Soon, at the age of 7, I decided to study violin in my hometown. At that time I didn't realize that music would open the world for me.
At age 11, I won a national violin competition and was recorded on TV soon after. That wasn't enough. I wanted to learn more and practiced at least four hours a day to learn as much as I could.
My country was too small for my appetite for knowledge. So, I become a world traveler and performer. I've played in Western Europe, Japan and the U.S., and (in cities such as) Paris, Cologne, Bolzano, Zagreb, Munich, Tokyo, Cape Town, Johannesburg, Miami, San Francisco, Austin, Los Angeles, Malibu and Cork, to name the few.
Q: Who inspires you?
A: Who inspires me? Any truly artistic work or performance, and God.
Q: What are your favorite songs to play?
A: I have a couple of them. Somehow, I like The Beatles, strangely.
Contact Lodi Living Editor Lauren Nelson at firstname.lastname@example.org.