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Matej Mestrovic


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Matej Meštrović is one of most versatile Croatian artists. Not only is he a successful musician and a composer, but also a well known director of documentaries and travel films, the field in which he was recognized and highly awarded both in Croatia and internationally (the memorable performance with a renowned American harpist Georgia Kelly at the Zagreb Music Biennale is only one of the grounds). For two years he was composing the opera ‘Gypsy Girl’ in Amsterdam for an Italian conductor and producer Giuseppe Raffa. Meštrović is also the laureate of the City of Zagreb Award for an exqusite realization of Croatian pavilion and the exhibits at Expo ’98 in Lisbon. He has co-operated with a travel writer Stipe Božić composing the music score for his documentaries ‘Dubine’ (Depths), ‘Sjeverni Pol’ (North Pole), ‘Dhalaugiri’, and ‘Reticent Wall’ (first prize at the International Film Festival in Trento, Italy). ‘Svete Planine Svijeta‘ (Holy Mountains of the World) and ‘Pustinje Svijeta’ (Deserts of the World) have also received awards. Matej Meštrović is the author of a film score for ‘Dreamscape’ by Tomislav Rukavina, shown at the Expo 2000 in Hannover. He has composed film music for the director Zdravko Mustać continually since 2001. In October 2001 he was presented with a special award at the International Tourism Film Festival in Split, for the film ‘Croatian Dream’, wereas ‘Croatian Dream Dubrovnik’ got an award in 2004. Matej Meštrović received a special recognition from the Mayor of Karlovy Vary (Czech Republic). “Zvuci Velebita” (Sounds of Velebit), an original film music recorded on a CD, sold as a complement along with the National Geographic magazine issues in 45,000 copies. In 2005 Matej Meštrović wins The Best Tourism Film Award in all categories at the International Tourfilm Festival in Poznan. As a composer he develops a project of promotion of Croatian monuments heritage under UNESCO protection; in adition, works on almost all albums of a renowned Croatian crossover pianist Maksim Mrvica. In the year 2009 together with a pianist Kristina Bjelopavlović and a percussionist Borna Šercar he formed Orient Expresto, an ensemble for two pianos and percussion. They have performed with great success in Vienna, Tokyo, Zagreb, Dubrovnik and other Croatian cities. Especially successful for the artist was the year 2010, in which Music Information Center publishes Meštrović’s sheet music for two pianos ‘Twenty fingers’ while he is completing the score for the series ‘Deserts of the World‘; the same year his film ‘Hercegovina – Zemlja Svjetlosti‘ (Herzegovina – The Land of Light) wins the Oktavijan Award at the Days of Croatian Film; and he composes music for the Croatian pavilion at the Expo in Shanghai; Aquarius Records releases his original CD “Deserts of the World”, which was nominated for Porin in 2011; and his film ‘Zagreb Zagreb’ receives the Baldo Čupić Award for the Best National Tourism Film, which included screening in 50 countries. Since the end of 2012 Matej Meštrović is working with the ensemble SUDAR PERCUSSION, not only as a pianist, but also as a composer. Working and giving concerts together proved to be a success, so the tandem recorded album “Eat Suite”. Album contains completely original music written by Matej Meštrović. “Eat Suite” album reviews: “Vibraphone, darabuka, marimba, glockenspiel, xylophone, tubular bells, percussion, tambura… in apt hands of the aforementioned members of the Sudar ensemble “crashed“ with Meštrović who paired the unpairable. In this fusion of all musical genres, united in an incredibly smooth album, one can recognize the genius of legendary classical music composers throughout history, with overt influences of punk, break beat and pop music, so integral and indispensable in the soundtrack of today’s life. This musical circus, this composers’ megalopolis, offers a brand new musical experience that will both excite you and relax you, and it would surely take you to an indefinite and unforgettable journey. The unusual ‘Clash of the Titans’ on the ‘Eat Suite’ CD has created a unique musical album that is almost impossible to describe, with all this ‘Barbecue’, Baklava’s Dance’ , ‘Paprikash’ , ‘Sarma Sarma’ and other gastronomically inspired compositions -a story in itself. Matej Meštrovic is exceptionally gifted pianist, composer, artist. When he met up with this incredible team from the town of Samobor, he discovered his new passion, spicing up this musical menu with his piano parts, thus creating a unique and phenomenal blend of the piano and percussion sounds. Considering that the album was entirely recorded in the castle of Sveti Križ Začretje, and that they paid special attention to the acoustics of each and every instrument, as well as to the sound as a whole, you have no other choice but to taste the specialties of Matej Meštrović and Sudar Percussion. Bon appétit & bon voyage!”Dubravko Jagatić – Rooling Stone ***** An unparalleled artistic evening was held at the Zagreb Komedija theatre when Karpo Media and Interfilm promoted the Matej Meštrović and Sudar Percussion album “Eat Suite”, along with the Arsen Oremović documentary – “the making of” called “Sudar u dvorcu”. Denis Derk – Večernji List ***** “Eat Suite” is an ambitiously conceived album. Its theme is food, and thus it is even packaged in an innovative design: a round paté-like tin can, with each piece of music named after a dish (“Barbecue”, “Baklava’s Dance”, “Paprikash”, “Creme Brulee” “Sarma, Sarma” …). Still, the main course is music, and so “Eat Suite”, produced by Branimir Mihaljevic, offers a mad and free combination of many genres, as dictated by the modern music scene Bible. I personally do not know of any other Croatian classical musician with such good taste and talent, coupled with the willingness to move from genre to genre, without the fear of ‘contaminating the sound’. The end result is miles away from the naive mixing ‘of classical music and rock’ (what damn rock?), as it is the case with the aforementioned cellists, violinists and pianists. Hell, “Eat Suite” is rock’n’roll with balls of steel! Hrvoje Horvat ***** Matej Meštrović, along with the Sudar Percussion ensemble created a miracle combination of tasty, lucid and intriguing ingredients, varying from classical, jazz, rock, pop and folk music. Sense of proportion and a careful dosing of spices and ingredients – despite of eccentricity, hedonism and decadence of its author – are bases of Mestrovic’s imaginative, playful and humorous “suite for gourmets”, that is anything but kitsch, ego-tripping or sinking into the nouveau riche profligacy. Truth be told, Matej as a classical pianist proves with his “Eat Suite” to be cooler than many rockers. Aleksandar Dragaš – Jutarnji List ****

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