upcoming performances

Ivan Stefanovic

Associate Principal Second Violin

I was born in a country that doesn't exist by that name anymore (Yugoslavia), speaking a language that is also officially no-more (Serbo-Croatian; all three of my kids are fluent in it). I started playing violin at age five and 11 years later at the age of 16, I moved to the United States to study at the Cleveland Institute of Music. At age 21, as I was finishing my Artist Diploma at the Cleveland Institute of Music, I took a Greyhound bus to Baltimore to audition for the BSO, having studied the required excerpts without my instrument in the mountains of Pennsylvania. I'm convinced that this mental practice helped me win the audition.

I met my wife Jennifer in college 22 years ago, and we married across from Severance Hall, home of the Cleveland Orchestra. We now have three sons, ages 15 (Sebastian), 12 (Luka) and 8 (Tristan), two of which are cellists, one a violinist and one a violist. My wife is also a cellist, as well as my older sister, who lives in Madrid, Spain. You could say I'm a closet cellist (I prefer listening to it being practiced at home over the violin). My younger sister is a concert pianist living in Germany.

When I am not in rehearsals or practicing, my boys and I play soccer, ping-pong, ski and sea kayak. I skied throughout my childhood and it is still one of my favorite pastimes. In fact, I have been recently offered ski patrol jobs in both Vermont and Pennsylvania! Skiing is the one thing I'm really good at and passionate about other than violin. I am also an avid kayaker. I once kayaked down the Jones Falls, got in the car soaking wet, parked 25 minutes before the concert by the Meyerhoff Hall, and was ready (and full of adrenalin) for a concert! On a more average day, I like to commute to the Meyerhoff on my bike or scooter. Yes, I guess you could call me a thrill-seeker: skiing, kayaking and performing live in front of 2,443 music-lovers.

I fill the rest of my time teaching violin and chamber music at the Peabody Preparatory and Baltimore School for the Arts, playing in Pro Musical Rara and Principal Second Violin for the Baltimore Chamber Orchestra, and co-coordinating the Chamber Music by Candlelight, a BSO-only music series. I also conduct, teach master classes, and volunteer in Montgomery County schools as part of the BSO on the Go program.

Professional bio