Irena Josifoska is the winner of the
2013 ArtLink - Société Générale Most Promising Young Music Artist Award
Irena Josifoska was born on May 31, 1996, into a family of musicians. She started playing the cello at the age of 5 in the “Isidor Bajić” School of Music, in Novi Sad, in the class of her mother, Judit Niederholzer-Josifoska. Irena currently attends the Academy of Arts in Novi Sad, in the class of professor Dejan Božić.
Irena won around 40 international and national awards and recognitions, the most important of these being: 1st prize in an international cello competition in Liezen (Austria), 2006 and 2012; 1st prize and “Laureat” in a republican competition of music and ballet schools in Serbia, in Belgrade in 2004 and 2006; in 2008 and 2010, 1st prize and “Special Award” with an international jury at the same competition; 2nd prize in the international competition “Herann” in Usti nad Orlici (Czech Republic) in 2005 (where she was the youngest contestant) and again in 2011; 2nd prize in the biggest international competition for young cellists “Dotzauer” in Dresden (Germany) in 2009; 1st prize in the international competition “Petar Konjović” in Belgrade, 2009; 1st prize in the international competition “Belgrade Stage of Young Talents” 2009 (in competition with all string, brass, woodwinds instruments and piano); 1st prize and “Laureat” (winner of the whole competition) in several national competitions.
Irena is a recipient of several national recognitions, such as the “Provincial Award” (Autonomous Province of Vojvodina) for young talents, 2005, the “Golden Bell” award for achieved results in 2006, the “St. Sava Award” as the highest recognition being given by the Serbian Ministry of Education of the Republic of Serbia in 2007 and the “Stanojlo Rajičić” award for the most successful concert of the season 2009/2010, held at the Serbian Academy of Arts and Sciences Gallery (“SANU”) in Belgrade, awarded by a professional jury.
She has been awarded several times by the “Fund for Young Talents of Republic of Serbia” for the results achieved and is currently a scholarship holder of the “Fund for Development of Scientific and Artistic Youth”.
Irena has had some 400 public performances. Some 50 have been recitals and solo performances accompanied by eminent orchestras, the most important being: her first solo concert, at the age of 8, performing at the Serbian Royal family’s residence, the “White Palace” in Belgrade; three performances at the “Cello Fest” in Belgrade; at the age of ten as a soloist with “Novi Sad Chamber Orchestra” and in 2008 she performed as a solo performer with the same orchestra on a tour in 10 towns in Vojvodina. In November 2008 Irena performed as a soloist accompanied by “Vojvodina Symphonists”. In the beginning of 2009, she represented Serbia as a soloist with “European CEI Youth Orchestra” on a tour in Italy and the Czech Republic and, in the same year, performed as a solo performer accompanied by an orchestra at the concert marking the 100 years of the “Isidor Bajić” School of Music. In September 2009, she performed accompanied by “Subotica Philharmonic orchestra” and Orchestra “Dušan Skovran”. In 2010 she performed at the concert marking 100 years since the birth of the composer Stanojlo Rajičić and represented Serbia at the first “Balkan Music Festival” in Tivat, Montenegro. In 2011 she toured Vojvodina and Romania as a soloist with the “Zrenjanin Chamber Orchestra”. In 2013 Irena performed as a solo performer accompanied by the “Vojvodina Symphony Orchestra” and the “Banja Luka Philharmonic Orchestra”. Irena took part as the principal cellist in the international orchestra “Triorca”. In August 2013, Irena participated at the international “Music Forum” in Trenta, Slovenia, held by professors from Vienna University, who play in the “Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra”, for which she was selected from a great number of young cellist from around the world.
Irena attended master classes with famous cellists and professors, such as: Marc Coppey (France), Mineo Hayashi (Japan), Istvan Varga (Hungary), Ksenija Jankovic (Germany), Stefan Popov (UK) Aleksandar Knjazev (Russia), David Starkwether (USA), Mark Kosower (USA), Daniel Muller Schott (Germany), Laszlo Mezo (Hungary), Leonid Gorohov (Germany), Vendi Warner (USA), Robert Nagy (Austria) and many others.
Cellist Tibor Hartig, Academician Dejan Despić and composer Svetozar Saša Kovačević dedicated their compositions to Irena.