Mr. Nihad Hrustanbegovic was born on 7th June 1973 in Bijeljina, a city some 180 kilometers from Bosnia Herzegovina’s (BiH) capital Sarajevo. A composer, concert artist, classical accordionist, pianist and music teacher.
He has been living in The Netherlands since 1994 and lived in France between 2007 and 2015. Mr. Hrustanbegovic have played classical accordion solo concerts in many countries across Europe and played also with pop, jazz and world music artist such as Grace Jones in Paradiso Amsterdam, Al Di Meola in Metropol, Jazz Orchestra of the Concertgebouw, Flairck in Royal Theatre Carré in Amsterdam, 2 times at Hall of Knights in the Hague, in the presence of the former Queen of Netherlands Prinses van Oranje-Nassau Beatrix. As a composer he made several music works for accordion, piano and orchestra including Wereldpromenade (Stork suite) for the Heineken Extra Cold TV Commercial (2007), Balkan Sorrow for the Swiss short movie “Zimmer 606” (Winner of the international film awards in 2012) by Peter Volkart, Tango Village for Dutch documentary film Natural Born Farmers of Jack Janssen (2016) and Sevdah for Petronella for Wounded Gold of Mustafa HadziIbrahimovic made in Netherlands and presented at Sarajevo Film Festival in 2017.
“I made 9 solo albums since 2007, the Best of Concert Accordion (2007), Opus 7 The Cross over (2010), Live In Concertgebouw Amsterdam (2011), Sevdah for Petronella (2013 piano solo album) Black Orpheus (2013) , Vivaldi The Four Seasons (2015) , Une belle journée (2016) and In the Valley of Love and Peace (2016 piano solo album) and Between Sunrise and Sunset Opus Magnum XII (2017 piano solo album),” Hrustanbegovic adds.
Some people say that he is Maestro, perhaps because that includes to be soloist and dirigent at the same time. Hrustanbegovic continues by explaining what Maestro means and says that 4 Seasons Vivaldi concert is one example of that.
ST: In the last two decades, you gave more than 1000 concerts and solo recitals including 7 times in the Concertgebouw Amsterdam and France at La Cathedrale Notre Dame Le Puy en Valley. Since when are you into music and how that love started?
I started with music lessons since 1980 and I am into the music since 1984. I guess I am inspired by music, culture and history, and colours of sound made by Debussy, Bach, Mozart, Vivaldi, Chopin, Serge Gainsbourg, Enaudi, Hans Zimmer, and music played by Paco de Lucia, Ivo Pogorelich, Yann Tiersen, Miles Davis, Cold Play, Jim Morisson, Amy Winehouse, Adele and Beyoncé.
ST: You are a Bosnian Dutch Maestro, an international musician. Can you tell us how do people react when you say them you are of Bosnian origin?
Many countries and many people around the world love Bosnia Herzegovina. They found the nature beautiful and historical heritage very interesting.
ST: On March 22nd, 23rd and 24th you performed 3 concerts on the classical accordion and piano. Can you tell ST readers more about the concerts?
On 22nd, 23rd and 24th March I had concerts in Mostar Stjepan Kosaca Concert Hall, Banja Luka Concert Hall Banski dvor and Sarajevo Bosnjacki Institut. Program of the accordion and piano concerts has been latest album Between Sunrise and Sunset with my own 12 compositions on the piano and 4 Seasons Vivaldi on Classical accordion. I also made and played one new work Flowers for Mama and is dedicated to my mother because she passed away on 10th February this year. I have seen that there are also people in BiH who really love classical music on the accordion and also happy to hear my new compositions on the piano.
ST: Do you have any plans for the next concert? Is there a special place where you had never held a concert and you would like it to do?
My plans for this year are to compose new works for cinema and concerts across the Europe and I will start with Dubrovnik, Venice, Alhambra – Granada, Avignon, and Eglise de la Madeleine in Paris. Moreover, I will also teach again young people with the master classes for accordion in France and some other countries in Europe.
Interview by Zejna SY