About me

I came to London in 2001 to study with Benjamin Kaplan and remained here since.

Early days

I was born in Kosovo to parents from Kosovo and Macedonia when these were still part of Yugoslavia. I lived in Kosovo but spent at least one month each year in beautiful Struga in Macadonia and always felt a strong connection to the country of the beautiful lake Ohrid.

I don’t quite remember how it all started, but I know I wanted to play the piano very early in my life and I still remember the first time I played one when we visited my father’s cousin in Macedonia. He taught me the C major scale that day and I remember getting frustrated that even after a day’s practice I still couldn’t play a single piece!

I went to music school right after and I am not sure I knew what being a pianist meant, all I wanted to do was play the piano and Turkish march.

My first piano teacher was Letafete Ballata and I still remember how strong her influence was in the build of my confidence.

Afterwards I studied with Lejla Pula who remained my teacher all the way through University. Lejla was someone everybody looked up to and was so great to have her as such a major part of my life.

Coming to London

In 2000 I went to Israel at the Tel-Hai masterclasses where my teacher was Benjamin Kaplan from London. After the first lesson I knew I wanted to study with him and in 2001 I packed my bags and moved to London. I studied with Ben for four years. During those four years I saw him every day; I used to practice on his Steinway B, walk his dog Barney, have dinner with him and his family and had lessons twice a week. In the first lesson he gave me the first book of Debussy preludes and said to practice them for the next lesson. I asked ‘Which ones?’ and he said ‘The whole book’. Ben was by far the greatest influence in my life. I used to call him Professor (coming from an ex communist regime, that was the only way you would address your teacher) and I think he secretly loved it, but told me off one day and he became Ben. Being around Ben every day was a great experience for me. He became so much more than just a teacher, he was a friend (although one you should always listen to), taught me about gardening, about Arsenal and even which books I should read; or shouldn’t.

During this time with Ben, I took an external exam at the Guidhall School of Music and Drama.

Royal College of Music

After a while I decided I would like to get further with my education and completed Masters Degree at the Royal College of Music where I studied with Vanessa Latarche. I loved my time at the college and especially enjoyed the late night practice at the RCM. Vanessa is such a great musician and I explored a vast repertoire with her, mainly 20th century and I am always grateful to her for introducing me to Barber.

Royal College of Music

Royal College of Music

In the UK I have had over 200 concerts and have been lucky to perform in many other countries across the world. I have performed in festivals such as Chelsea Schubert Festival, Mozart Piano Sonata Festival, Transcendent Festival in London, the Ohrid Summer Festival in Macedonia, Music Festival of Nations by the Cultural Association Tempietto, in Rome, Italy, Remusica festival in Kosovo etc.

Performing

I was chosen to perform at the Pianists of the World Series at St ­Martin­-in-­the-­Fields in London, followed by the opening recital of the Bosendorfer Piano Series and a highly acclaimed performance at Blackheath Halls. In the US I have performed at the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington D.C. which was broadcast live over the Internet.

I regularly perform in Kosovo and Macedonia and was particularly proud after performing Rachmaninov’s Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini in Skopje with Macedonian Philharmonic Orchestra to perform it in Struga also, which was the first performance of the Macedonian Phil ever in Struga. The mayor of Struga organized a reception after the concert.

Notable performances in 2013 have been concerts in Norden Farm Arts Centre in Maidenhead, Fairfield Halls as well as a recital in Italy, in Brezzo di Bedero, organised by Cultural Association Casa Paolo. Also, in October I have completed my first marathon, TCS Amsterdam Marathon in 3:54.

I am now looking forward to more concerts, new projects and more marathons.

  • New video!

    Prokofiev Sonata Op.28 n. 3 in A minor. Prokofiev finished the sonata in 1917 while he was still living in Russia. The subtitle of the work is From the old notebooks, since the early sketches of the work date from... Read more
  • London Marathon

    In May 2014 I ran Edinburgh Marathon in 3:42 time, totally smashing my previous best time. This enabled me to qualify to run London Marathon for which I have been training really hard. I have a time target in mind and I... Read more
  • Concert at Burgh House

    On the 9th July I will be performing at the charming little venue, Burgh House in Hampstead. This is a part of Hampstead Music Club's three annual concerts by professionals. I have been a member of Hampstead Music... Read more
  • Interview with Kosovo Diaspora

    Kosovo Diaspora, a website dedicated to highlighting the achievements of Kosovans living abroad, has asked me for an interview. Here's the... Read more
  • Croydon Radio Interview

    On 26th of March, I was a guest on Jo Whitehall's show at Croydon Radio studio. We talked about my recent concert at the Fairfield Halls in Croydon, as well as my upcoming concert with the Kosovo Philharmonic Orchestra... Read more
  • Running for Mental Health Foundation

    On 25th May 2014, I will be running again. This time it's Edinburgh Marathon and I will run for a really good cause, for the Mental Health Foundation. These are the key areas in which their work is focused: improve... Read more
  • Recent recital at Blackheath Halls

    I recently performed at Blackheath Halls in London, at their Fundraising series organised by the Friends of Blackheath Halls. The concert took place at the Recital Hall and was very well attended. I was asked to... Read more
  • Amsterdam Marathon

    TCS Amsterdam Marathon 20th October 2013. Time 3:54:04. If I wasn't a pianist, I would have been a... Read more
  • Fairfield Halls Recital

    It was such a pleasure to perform at the fabulous Fairfield Halls on the 8th of October. The hall, the piano, audience and the whole history of the hall made my recital extra... Read more
  • Review in Farnham Herald

    On September 24th I opened the 2013-14 season of the Music at Lunchtime series at Farnham. The concerts take place at Farnham United Reformed Church, in South Street and this was my third visit there. Concerts are... Read more
  • Concert repertoire

    I remember a long time ago, when I was still studying with Ben Kaplan, I was asked to give a recital in a local venue in North London and was trying to sort out the repertoire for the concert. I told Ben I wanted to... Read more
  • An article in The Archer Newspaper

    The April edition of the Archer Newspaper of the East Finchley in London has published an article about me. They have expressed interest in me because I live in the... Read more
  • Concert at the Woodford Concert Society

    Forest School in Snaresbrook, East London is the host of 5 annual concerts organised by the Woodford Concert Society. I performed there on the 3rd of March, on a Sunday afternoon and it was the first time I visited the... Read more
  • Old scores re-visited

    Musicians are always challenged by learning new repertoire pieces whilst refining current works. Depending on the piece, these new works can be quite time consuming and sometimes I find myself not wanting to stop... Read more
  • Scarlatti Sonata in B Minor, K27

    Domenico Scarlatti (1685-1757) wrote his sonatas later in his life and most of them are believed to have been written between 1752 and 1757. This sonata belongs to his early works known as Essercizi per Gravicembalo... Read more