The piano has been the midpoint of Nataša Veljković's life ever since she was four years old. After her studies with Arbo Valdma in Belgrade, at the age of fourteen she was accepted to the class taught by Paul Badura-Skoda at the University of Music in Vienna. She continued her formation in artistic consultations with Nikita Magaloff and further studies with Rudolf Firkusny at the Juilliard School in New York and Harry Datyner at the Geneva Conservatory.
Even before she was ten years old Veljković won first prizes at the international youth competitions in Capua and Senigallia – both in Italy. At eleven she celebrated a sensational success in a performance of Maurice Ravel’s Piano Concerto in G major with the Zagreb Philharmonic. Her extraordinary accomplishments as a pianist have also brought her many other distinctions. The list includes the first prize (and only prize) at the Clara Haskil International Competition in Vevey, Switzerland, and the first prize at the World Music Masters in Paris. Many other forms of recognition followed – such as the Orlando Prize for the best concert at the Dubrovnik Festival and the UMUS .
Nataša Veljković's concert career led her throughout Europe. She has cooperated successfully with the Belgrade Strings Dušan Skovran (concert tours through Russia and China; release of a CD on the Belgrade label PGP-RTS), the St. Georges Strings (a live recording – PGP-RTS – in 2004 with three piano concertos by Mozart), and ensembles such as the Orchestre de la Suisse Romande, Zurich Tonhalle Orchestra, Zagreb Soloists, Vienna Chamber Orchestra, Vienna Chamber Philharmonic, Capella Istropolitana, Janáček Philharmonic of Ostrava, RAI Orchestra, Slovenian Philharmonic, Belgrade Philharmonic. For many years she has performed with the Camerata Janáček. Nataša Veljković has worked with many prominent conductors such as David Zinman, Lawrence Foster, Dmitri Kitayenko, Cristian Mandeal, Marcello Viotti, Antoni Wit, David Shalon, Emil Tabakov, Martin Sieghart, Ronald Zollman, Pavle Dešpalj etc.
Born in 1953 in Belgrade, Krstić began to play the violin at the age of seven.Later, he studied with Toškov and Pavlović at the Faculty of Music in Belgrade. Since 1982, Krstić has been the principal concertmaster of the Munich Philharmonic Orchestra, with the great Sergiu Chelibidache as the orchestra’s chief-conductor. As a soloist, Krstić performed with famous conductors such as Sergiu Celibidache, Zubin Mehta, James Levine, Hiroshi Wakasugi, Horst Stein, Vaclav Neumann, Dmitrij Kitajenko. Soloist concerts take him to nearly all of the European countries, as well as to Japan, USA and the ex-USSR. Krstić has made recordings for all the radio and TV-stations in ex-Yugoslavia, Bavarian Radio, West-German Radio, BBC and Greek Radio. Also, for companies such as Thorofon and Arte Nova Classics, amongst others, he has recorded a number of CDs, some as a soloist and others in chamber music.
He has founded the strings trio Gasteig-Trio München in 1985, and has been its member ever since. Since 1996, his work in chamber music intensified – he founded the strings sextet Philharmonische Streichsextett, and, in 1999, the Philharmonische Solisten. In the latter orchestra, Krstić is not only a member but the artistic leader as well. He has also been a member of the Gelius Piano Trio since 1999. He plays a violin from 1760 built by Nicolò Gagliano.
Bavarian Chamber Orchestra (Bayerische Kammerphilharmonie), with the base in the idyllic town of Bad Brückenau (BKO), since its founding in 1979 has achieved a great importance in terms of the projects it develops. The orchestra consists of excellent professional musicians from Central Europe who work on new projects both as an orchestra and as a chamber orchestra. The maintaining of the music tradition of the region, which represents the foundation of their work, is deemed equally important as their unconventional performances of contemporary music and exciting experimental projects. Music education, in collaboration with the local schools and other institutions of education, hold a special place in their programs and schedules.
BKO has worked, and continues to do so, with numerous eminent artists such as Dave Brubeck, Gerhard Polt, Peter Schreier, Mikis Theodorakis, Morton Feldman, Arvo Pärt, Karlheinz Stockhausen and Pierre Boulez. Lately they have shared a stage with Nils Monkemeyer, Albrecht Mayer, Radovan Vlatković, Sergei Nakariakov. Since 2012 Johannes Moesus has been the main conductor of the BKO.
During the career, the orchestra has received the Bavaria Award, the Friedrich Bauer Award, the Siemens Award for Promoting Art and Culture, as well as the Award for Culture of the Lower Franconia County. Aside from their concerts in Bad Brückenau and performances in South Germany, the BKO are also traditionally very dear guests in the concert halls all over Germany and Europe. Radio productions and audio recordings constantly reaffirm the high artistic level of the orchestra, as well as the wide versatility of their repertoire.