Jelena Očić

Jelena Očić The late Siegfried Palm, great interpreter of contemporary music, wrote of Jelena Očić, “she is one of the leading talents for contemporary music”. Bernard Greenhouse, founding cellist of the Beaux Arts Trio, said “I know no superior female cellist in her generation.” Jelena Očić was born in Zagreb, the capital of Croatia. Having completed her musical studies in her native city with honors at an early age, she took up residence in Germany to further her artistic spectrum under the guidance of esteemed American-born cellist Michael Flaksman at the Musikhochschule in Mannheim, where she is currently the youngest member of the string faculty. Among her students are winners of international competitions and members of major orchestras. Spectacular in temperament and profound in her interpretations of the cello literature from Beethoven to Ginastera and living composers, Jelena Ocic leaves an unforgettable impression on her audiences. Her flaming red hair and dramatic gesture enhance the communicative power of her unique cello tone. Not only Palm and Greenhouse but also Leslie Parnas, Mischa Maisky and Heinrich Schiff, have given inspiration on her way to becoming a unique and powerful musical personality. Yehudi Menuhin Festival, Kronberg, Ascoli Piceno are some of the festivals in which she has appeared as soloist or in chamber music, and she has been featured with leading chamber orchestras such as “Solisti di Zagreb”, the “German Chamber Orchestra”, the “Chamber Orchestra of Padua and the Veneto” and the “Korean Chamber Ensemble”, and with symphony orchestras throughout Europe. Among her chamber music partners have been Konstantin Bogino, Ulrike-Anima Mathé, Vladimir Mendelssohn, Yuri Gandelsman and the recently deceased Greenhouse, to whose memory her most recent Challenge CD (Beethoven’s “Kreutzer Sonata”) is dedicated. Numerous composers (Cornell, Šenderovas, Dott, Sorg, Prohaska, etc.) have dedicated works to her. Her recordings with Federico Lovato for Challenge Classics of Beethoven’s “Kreutzer” transcription, sonatas by Ginastera, Hindemith and Kabalewsky, as well as contemporary works, have been adjudged superb by the critics.

Jelena Očić regularly performs at the Samobor Autumn Music Festival, mostly colaborating with esteemed soloists and chamber musicians. Despite the rich concert schedule throughout the season, she gladly responded to our invitation and will hold a cello masterclass in August 2022, for the first time ever at Youngmasters.