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International Danube Day – 12th ArtLink festival

Saturday, June 29, 2024 at 7 pm
Residence of Princess Ljubica, Kneza Sime Markovića 8 Street,
Due to unstable weather conditions, instead of at Pobednik, in the Konak of Kneginja Ljubica,
Danube Day
Concert of the String Ensemble
Andrea Nikolić, violin, concert master

On Saturday, June 29, at 7 pm in Princess Ljubica’s Konak, a special concert of the 12th edition of the ArtLink festival will be held on the occasion of International Danube Day, which is celebrated every year in all 14 signatories of the International Convention on the Protection of the Danube, the countries through which this second longest river flows in Europe, and for several years the ArtLink festival has been actively contributing to improving awareness of the necessity of nature conservation.

This year, Austria leads the EU strategy for the Danube region, and the Embassy of Austria in Serbia and the Austrian Cultural Forum together with ArtLink develop cultural activities, cooperation of top artists, education of young artists, exchange of knowledge and concert activities both in Serbia and in Austria.

In the unique space of Princess Ljubica’s Residence, ArtLink festival and artistic director Jovanka Višekruna Janković presents the program On the Beautiful Blue Danube on the occasion of Danube Day, with a guest from Austria, who is also the director of the Vareš Festival from Bosnia and Herzegovina, violinist, concert master and conductor Andrea Nikolić.

Andrea Nikolić will perform with the festival string ensemble Camerata Balcanica. The concert will also feature the artists that Jovanka Višekruna Janković, festival director and initiator of Women ArtLinks, brought together around this interesting women’s initiative, cellist Isabel Vaz (Portugal/Netherlands) and violinist Nataša Grujić (Serbia/Netherlands).

Guest from Vienna, Andrea Nikolić, was born in Sarajevo, grew up in Varaždin, and has been living and working in Vienna for the last 15 years. In addition to her concert activity as a violinist, violist and conductor, Andrea is also the general and artistic director of VaClaF: Vareš Classic Festival in her native Vareš, in Bosnia and Herzegovina, then the Viennese festival for new music and art WISE Rebel!, CRO-ArT Festival Wien, an international ensemble soloist of WISE: Wien – International Soloists Ensemble – of which she is the founder and concert master, as well as the principal of the CIPRA string quartet.

During her few days in Belgrade, in addition to daily rehearsals with the Camerata Balcanica string ensemble, Andrea also held masterclasses with students of the Music Academies in Belgrade and Novi Sad, with a focus on the works of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart and the interpretation of contemporary music.

The concert on the occasion of the International Day of the Danube and the guest appearance of Andrea Nikolić was realized in cooperation with the Embassy of Austria and the Austrian Cultural Forum in Belgrade.

During the summer, the ArtLink festival realizes several guest appearances, and on August 31, the programs in Belgrade continue until the end of September.

violin / viola / artistic direction

Andrea Nikolić has established herself as one of the most exciting and versatile artists of her generation. She is internationally sought-after violinist, violist, artistic director, pedagogue, leader/conductor and a musical activist, tirelessly active as arts and education ambassador, always aspiring to do, create and learn more.

Born in Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina, she grew up in Varaždin, Croatia, and has found her artistic home in the “center of classical music” – Vienna, Austria. Praised for honesty, integrity, versatility, imagination, depth and dedication in her approach to music and her musical interpretations, she is wholeheartedly exploring a diversity of musical languages, styles, genres and ideas to bring the art of music closer to the broader audiences and make it accessible to everyone.

She is a founder, general manager and artistic director of Vareš Classic Festival – International Chamber Music Festival in Bosnia and Herzegovina and a founder, leader, general manager & artistic director of the Vienna – based WISE: Wien – International Soloists Ensemble, as well as president of both institutions. In 2020 she founded WISE Rebel!: CRO-ArT Festival, a new interdisciplinary festival of contemporary music and art in Vienna, as a sign of rebellion towards the horrible situation the culture has found itself in due to the pandemic. She performs as concertmaster of several orchestras in Vienna and is head of the cultural department at the Croatian Cultural Society “Napredak” Vienna.

Violinist & Violist

Andrea’s interest and repertoire include works from early and traditional (world) music to contemporary music, improvisation and jazz. She enjoys long lasting inspiring collaborations with world class artists such as Nataša Veljković, Sanel Redžić, Stipe Bilić, Ivana Nikolić, Petar Krešimir Pustički; composers Margareta Ferek Petrić, Meinhard Rüdenauer, Johanna Doderer, Gabriele Proy, Peter Seabourne; has collaborated with conductors Mark Stringer, Marin Alsop, Sian Edwards, Andres Orozco Estrada, Mladen Tarbuk, Johannes Wildner… And many more!

She is passionately promoting new music and there are a vast number of pieces written and dedicated to her – some of them being published by the Dutch publisher “Donemus” in her own revision. Only in 2022 she premiered two new viola concertos and violin and oboe concerto with symphony orchestras and several other pieces in chamber music settings. For the premiere of the piece “Wirrwarr Song Nr. 3: Impeach the Kitsch!” by Margareta Ferek Petrić she received the Rector Award of the University of Zagreb for an outstanding artistic achievement. A full set of CDs with these works, as well as a new solo CD with both violin and viola is planned for 2023/2024 in collaboration with WISE, ExilArte Center Vienna and VaClaF.

Since 2017 Andrea has been working with a Viennese architect Hessamedin Fana, creating interdisciplinary projects presented in all the WISE concepts as well as in the past six VaClaF editions. She plays a 1879 Samuel Nemessany violin, a 1970 Yury Romanovič Malinovskij viola and her strings of choice are Thomastik Infeld.

Artistic Director & Musical Activist

Determined to make a difference with her work, Andrea founded the VaClaF and WISE projects in 2013. Working enthusiastically and with strong ideals, she developed them both into international artistic movements. Since 2015 VaClaF is a festival of international importance for the state of Bosnia and Herzegovina, 2016 internationally acclaimed as part of the Year of Culture Austria-BH. Bringing together world-renowned interdisciplinary artists, Andrea has created more than 150 original concepts and programs, making them accessible for the broadest audience. Giving a platform to new generations to come, she as well created the international VaClaF Masterclasses and Rising Stars programme. She is collaborating successfully with many international organizations and has been nominated for the Intercultural Achievement Award several times for her work.

With WISE she curates an artistically engaging concert season and a festival of contemporary music CRO-ArT in diverse Viennese locations, such as Bank Austria Salon im Alten Rathaus, Peterskirche, Ankersaal – Kulturhaus Brotfabrik and most recently Wiener Konzerthaus. The ensemble has been touring very successfully too. I.E. with the renowned Arnold Schoenberg Choir and Erwin Ortner in 2017 and in various projects under Andrea´s leadership throughout Europe since 2014. In the last seasons they are collaborating with contemporary composers and the Exil.Arte Centre Vienna, bringing new music to the wider audiences and the music of the composers exiled during the 2nd World War again on stage, as well as recording them live for ORF and Vares Classic Festival.

In 2023 Andrea is preparing several international tours, masterclasses and world premieres, as well as new engagements with her new project – CIPRA String Quartet. CRO-ArT is preparing to see its fourth edition and VaClaF its 11, while the WISE Ensemble is celebrating its 10th concert season in Vienna.

Leader/Conductor & Curious Explorer

andrea-nikolic-violinaInterested in exploring the wide repertoire and disciplines, Andrea appeared as leader/concertmaster with tenths of international orchestras and ensembles and is creating interesting concepts as a versatile and diverse performer. Some of her personal highlights include a performance of a fairly forgotten Classical concerto by J. B. Vanhal in C major (2012), interdisciplinary recital “Wondrous Landscape”, connecting contemporary music and literature (2016); a contemporary improvisational piece “Ul-la” dedicated to her by David Mastikosa (2017) and a debut as a leader, conductor and soloist, in the Golden Hall of the Viennese Musikverein in 2018. In 2022 she had her soloist debut in the Vienna Konzerthaus as well. A very special event was the final concert of the 10th edition of her VaClaF: Vareš Classic Festival in October 2022, where she performed as both violin and viola soloist and as concertmaster with the Sarajevo Philharmonic Orchestra at the historic event for both the orchestra and the festival. She is currently focusing on soloist and chamber music activities, performance on both violin and viola, developing further her conducting and composing engagements and discovering new repertoire.

Teacher & Educator

As a pedagogue, Andrea started her career already in 2009 at the prestigious Pavao Markovac School of Music in Zagreb. Since 2011 she has been leading a private class. In 2015 she was invited as a member of the worldwide international Jury Board at the ENKOR International Music Competition. She was a lecturer at the Superar Summer Camp Vienna – part of the Western Balkans Summit Civil Society Forum 2015 and a violin and chamber music professor at the joint international program of Pinnacle Study Institute Vienna and University of Oregon (USA) 2016 in Vienna, Austria. As a violin/viola professor, she collaborates with the Vienna Music Centre, Academia Musica Vienna and on projects with Wagner Konservatorium Wien. At the MDW – University of Music and Performing Arts Vienna she is working at the Institute for Conducting as concertmaster and soloist of the Pro Arte Orchestra. She teaches at various Masterclasses internationally and is an artistic advisor of the Josip Klima Days Masterclass and Festival in Varazdin, Croatia. Since 2020 Andrea is teaching online as well, through the platform Play with a Pro, while developing her own studio.

Life & Development

Born in Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina, as a five-year-old she moved from Vareš to Varaždin, Croatia, where she began her general and music education as a specially gifted child. She started to play the violin in the Varaždin School of Music with Benjamin Šambar, continued at the Zagreb Music Academy with Maja Dešpalj Begović and University of Music and Performing Arts Graz with Eszter Haffner and Andrej Bielow. Since 2010 she has been living and working in Vienna.

During her studies she won several prizes and scholarships internationally, allowing her to enter the international stages and gather priceless experience in a variety of fields as a performer. Subsequently, many doors opened after her very successful concert debut at the London Handel Festival 2012. Furthermore after being selected as Classical:NEXT Fellow in 2017.

She participated in many prestigious international soloist, chamber music, historically informed and contemporary music performance schools and masterclasses, with Dora Schwarzberg, Hagai Shaham, Catherine Macintosh, Adrian Butterfield, Laurence Cummings, Elisabeth Harnik, Artemis Quartet, Shanghai Quartet, Arditti Quartet and Phillippe Manoury leaving some of the strongest influences. Through years of Aestas Musica she worked with some of the most distinguished experts for early music from Royal College and Royal Academy of Music London. Active collaborations with contemporary composers brought her recent research focus to female art and artists and their wider public presentation, which has significantly influenced her artistic views and concepts.


Andrea’s concert appearances were recorded and broadcasted on various international TV and radio stations and there are many interviews and articles to be found about all of her artistic activities. As of 2021 Andrea is becoming more active as an author, writing essays and articles for international journals in Croatian, English and German. Developing her creative output, she is as well interested in composing, art production and film, and is learning to code. Languages being another of her passions, she is fluent in six of them, as she recently started to learn Farsi.

She is a dedicated speaker and educator, moderating her programmes, concerts and festivals.
In 2018 BRHT produced a documentary called “Music I Call Home” about Andrea and her engaging and diverse activity.