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Teacher Spotlight on George Radosavljevic, piano


Teacher Spotlight on George Radosavljevic, piano


Interview by Erin Cano, violin


George joined MIC in 2017 as a Suzuki piano teacher.


What led you to become a Suzuki teacher?


Many friends and respected colleagues have suggested to me that I would find the Suzuki method of teaching to be beneficial. I followed their advice and after very interesting and inspiring training with Ms. Caroline Fraser, I have found that many things resonate strongly with my personal perspective.

 “Every Child Can” is a concept that I believe to be truly important, and in my own way, has always applied to my teaching. Music and art define us and must be a part of all our lives.  In the words of my dear teacher Dmitry Paperno, “Music has room for everyone”.

At the core of the famous “Twinkle Variations” is the goal of teaching a natural, effective, and expressive technique for creating sound on the piano right from the beginning, which is extremely valuable to the development of a young pianist. This provides a sense of achievement and confidence from the start and avoids the frustration (not to mention lost time) of correcting bad habits further down the line.

The focus on group lessons, Festivals, and playing together in general creates a welcome sense of cooperation and camaraderie. This feeling of belonging to a “musical community” can otherwise be missing from piano study, especially in comparison to students in band, orchestra, and chorus which by their nature involve a strong social and team aspect.


Which of your teachers inspired you the most? What aspects of their teaching have you integrated into your own style?


My primary teacher, Dmitry Paperno, has had by far the greatest influence on me. His approach to the piano includes the highest sense of integrity to the intentions of the composer, combined with a sincere respect and love for the music at hand. He told me to have a cool mind and a warm heart when playing (especially when playing music of Liszt!) To this day, when faced with a musical challenge, I ask myself what Paperno would do.


You have performed extensively as a soloist, in chamber ensembles, and in orchestras. What is a memorable performance experience that you’ve had?

My favorite performance took place some years ago. Norman Pellegrini had created a series of live radio broadcasts on WFMT radio called “Composer Live”. In this series, he invited artists to perform a live radio recital based on the works of a single composer. For example, one month was “Beethoven Live”, the next “Schumann Live”, and so on. He invited me to present the “Liszt Live” program, which I considered a great honor. I began the program with the Liszt Sonata in B minor, one of my most loved works in the piano literature.


What’s on your listening list right now?

I love listening to performances by legendary pianists such as Rachmaninoff, Gilels, Richter, Horowitz, Lipatti, and Rubenstein. The list goes on and on…


Do you have any upcoming performances about which you would like to share some information?

I am a board member of the Chicago Chapter of the American Liszt Society. On June 1 at 7:30 in Armerding Recital Hall of Wheaton College we will be presenting another concert in our series of “Piano Encounters”; which are free concerts open to the community with the goal of making classical music a part of everyone’s life. This particular concert will be dedicated to the work of women composers. A number of performers will be taking part, playing music by many amazing composers. I will be playing a fascinating piece by Kaija Saariaho.

Teacher Spotlight on Daniel Hoppe, cello
Teacher Spotlight on Daniel Hoppe, cello

"I love witnessing teachers and students supporting each other’s growth."