Guarnerius Art Centre was founded by the distinguished Serbian violinist, Maestro Jovan Kolundžija in 1996, as the first private non-profit cultural institution in Serbia. It was opened on October 2nd 2001, after a massive five-year restoration, that brought the work of Russian architects Vassylev and Kozinsky dated in 1924, to its former brilliance, beauty and elegance.
In the year 2013, Guarnerius Art Centre has been given the status of the Cultural institution of national importance, by the Government of the Republic of Serbia.
Guarnerius Hall is the most spectacular chamber music hall in this part of Europe, and it is located in the vicinity of the old Belgrade bohemian quarter Skadarlija, in the endowment of the industrialist Dimitrije Milojević, the venue which is under protection of the National heritage institute of the Republic of Serbia.
Guarnerius Art Centre is named after Guarneri, the famous violin maker from Cremona. One of Guarnerius precious violins, made in 1754, is owned by Maestro Kolundžija and has been his concert companion for over three decades. As a special honor, the Guarnieri family granted us the permission to use their coat of arms, which has become our emblem as well.
Since the opening of the Art Center, we have presented over 750 artistic programs in the Guarnerius Concert Hall and in the Gallery. During this period, the Belgrade audience had the opportunity to meet hundreds of important artists from all over the world, but also young musicians, with a great future ahead. Over the past years, we have revealed many young talents who, through concert cycles, competitions, master classes, are given the opportunity to show their talent to the audience, and our journey is always followed by the support of our media.
The concert hall of exceptional beauty and acoustics, built in the late Renaissance style, can seat over one hundred guests.
Apart from concerts, the hall is also used for theatre plays, master classes, film projections, lectures, book readings, fashion shows, but also for press conferences, promotions, receptions, presentations, cocktail parties, exhibitions, various celebrations, seminars, auctions and others. Because of the flexibility of its space, the concert hall can be accommodated for specific needs of the clients.
Guarnerius Art Centre is also organizing projects in other concert halls in Belgrade (Kolarac concert hall, The City Assembly Hall, Sava Centar, Belgrade Cultural Centre, Belgrade Philharmony hall), and also in Serbia and the whole region.
Guarnerius Art Centre has become well-know for its support of young talents, and also awarded for its endless effort. In 2012. our Centre was given two prestigious recognitions –
- Regional prize BUSINESS PARTNER 2012 in the field of culture, traditionally assigned by the Mass Media International company, to the best companies and institutions in the region. Award established in 1995, has grown into distinguished business, and public recognition, that is assigned to the regional companies and organizations from different fields, institutions that honor and apply high professional standards and firm ethical norms in their business conduct, with a goal to encourage new partnerships and establish better business environment in the region.
- In the year 2012. and on the occasion of the celebration of the great jubilee – 75 years of the Faculty of Music in Belgrade, Art Centre Guarnerius was awarded with a Diploma for the exceptional merits and contribution to the Faculty of Music in Belgrade, for successful partnership and excellent collaboration in the project – concert cycle presenting the best students of FoM.
The founder of the Guarnerius Art Centre, Maestro Kolundžija was acclaimed for the Manager of the year in the filed of culture 2013, and this respectable recognition is given by the Club of the economic journalist of Serbia.
Out of numerous events organized by the Guarnerius Art Centre, we would like to point out:
- „The exhibition that plays“, first of its kind in the Balkans. The exhibits were precious violins of the French and Italian makers, that are part of the collection of the world famous string-instrument expert, Maestro Gilles Chancereul.
- In 2008. we were founders and organizers of the Festival AOS – Art of Sounds, the first international festival of the Electronic Polymedia Art, Electroacoustic and Radiophonic Music, that presented works from authors from around the world.
- In 2009. we were organizers of the National competition for young violinists, that gathered our best young violinists
- In 2011. we founded the Competition for young talented musicians from Serbia “The Award of Guarnerius” – the first competition of this kind in Serbia- a talent show competition for the classical music performers only.
- In the season 2011/2012. Faculty of Music, Belgrade (FoM) and Guarnerius Art Centre established a long-term collaboration through organizing the cycle of concerts „FoM and Guarnerius are rewarding“, presenting the best students and winners of prizes from the FoM funds.
- In 2013. Guarnerius organized the Chamber Music Festival „ARS LONGA“, that gathered excellent young musicians from the whole world
- The year 2013. was marked with a very successful project – great Serbian concert tour of Jovan and Nada Kolundžija, that included 22 Serbian cities. In each city, master class for the best young violinist, was followed by an evening concert.
- We hosted many renewed soloists and ensembles – Alban Gerhardt, Nicholas Clapton, Yoshimuru Nanae, Goetz Teutsch, Trio Fibonacci, Paul Marleyn, Mineo Hajashi, Nicholas Clapton, Simon Nabatov, Darko Brlek, Klaudio Arimany, Massimo Merceli, Nils Vogram, Jean-Marc Phillips Varjabedian, Yury Revich, Jan Orawiec, Baroque ensemble La Folia, Anais Lee, ensemble Nova Akademia, Soloists from Sofia, Penderecki string quartet, Valentina Babor, piano duo Jean Jacques Balet – Mayumi Komeda, Trio Fibonacci, Matija Dedić, Ani Aznavurian, Kasia Sadej, Marianna Humetska, Alexei Belousov, Oleg Pokhanovski, Lynn Kuo, Eugene Choi, Steven Gutman, Gordana Josifova-Nedelkovska, Piotr Koscik, Marcos Vinicius, Marcelo Bratke, etc.
…and Serbian artists St. George Stings, Jovan Kolundžija, Nada Kolundžija, Stefan Milenković, Jadranka Jovanović, Lajko Feliks, Teofilović brothers, Egon Mihajlović, Pavle Aksentijević, Živan Saramandić, Roman Simović, Ilija Marinković, Smiljka Isaković,Melodi choir, Mina Zakić, Ljubiša Jovanović, Kir Stefan Srbin choir, Biljana Krstić, Prelo singers, Svetlana Nestorov, Darko Veličkovski, Ivan Ilić quintet, Sonja Lončar and Andrija Pavlović, Jovan Bogosavljević, Milan Milisavljević, Vera Milanković, etc
- In Guarnerius gallery, smaller venue with highly decorating reliefs, and with a permanent exhibition of the most prominent Serbian painters, we organize painting exhibitions, exhibition of graphics, photographs, applied art, antiques… Painters such as Jovan Bjelić, Stojan Aralica, Ivan Radović, Ljuba Popović, Boža Ilić, Ksenija Divjak, Vlada Veličković, Danica Antić, Radislav Trkulja, Olja Ivanjicki, Petar Dobrović, Sava Stojkov were organized exhibitions in our gallery. For the first time in Serbia, traditional Japanese graphics were presented to the audience, and also an exclusive exhibition of photographs by Robert Haas, the official National Geographic’s photographer.
- One of the initial goals of our Centre, is the support of the young musicians, who made their first professional steps right here, in Guarnerius, having the chance to present themselves to the audience through the cycle of concerts “Jovan Kolundžija to the young violinists” and “In the focus of Nada Kolundžija”.
- In 2002. the first milonga-tango evening in Belgrade, was held in Guarnerius Art Centre, and since then we are cherishing dear friendship and excellent collaboration with the Belgrade Tango Association, and our Centre has become the gathering point of the tango dancers from the whole region. Each month we are organizing concerts, milongas, master classes and festivals, and in 2014. we enriched our cooperation with the Argentine tango courses
Guarnerius is a constant participant in numerous humanitarian projects, such as “We care for the abandoned children – join us!”
- Since 2004, we are cherishing very successful collaboration with the Belgrade Tango Association, with milongas, festivals, tango classes and various multimedia events. First Belgrade milonga ever, took place in the Guarnerius venue, in February 2003, and since then our Centre has become gathering point for all the tango dancers and tango lovers from the whole region.
- Guarnerius Art Centre is collaborating with the embassies in Serbia, in presenting different cultures (Japan, Angola, Korea, Canada, Mexico, Australia, Russia, Poland, Mexico, Argentina, Slovak Republic, Germany, Switzerland, Czech Republic etc). We have collaborated with the Charity club Lions, Goethe institute, Italian Cultural Centre, Russian Cultural Centre, City municipality of Stari grad, Pro Helvetia, Serbian National radio-television broadcast – music production, Faculty of Music Belgrade, Academy of Fine Arts, Academy Nova.
- Since its founding, Art Centre Guarnerius is the organizer of all the great concert achievements and tours of Maestro Kolundžija, including the concert at the Kolarac concert hall, on the occasion of celebrating 40 years on the music scene, as well as great projects “Do you love Beethoven”, “Bravissimo Maestro Mozart” and “In the honour of the great Brahms”.
Founder of the Guarnerius Art Centre: Jovan Kolundžija
Director: Miljana Kolundžija
Art director: Nada Kolundžija
Public relations: Biljana Petković
Džordža Vašingtona Street No. 12, 11000 Belgrade, Serbia
tel / fax: +381 11 3346807
tel: +381 11 3345237