BIOGRAPHY

Already from her first debut in the performance of Henry Purcell's, Dido and Aeneas, Klasja Modrušan won praise from fans and critics for her sincere, inspiring musical expression, interpretation, and the beauty of her voice: “The role of Belinda was performed by  Klasja Modrušan. The success in the full audience was great” (Nenad Turkalj, Vjesnik, Zagreb). This Croatian soprano has attracted the attention of the media herself at the same time stylish thoughtful and carefully crafted aesthetic performances of compositions of the Baroque Oratorio as well as classical Haydn's, Mozart's and Schubert's repertoire. “In Vivaldi's Cantata, soprano Klasja Modrušan's elegant coloratura shined” (Walther Neumann, Kleine Zeitung, Graz).

 

 

“In the vocal quartet of The Coronation Mass, even the most discerning listener would be enthralled by the beautifully homogenous voice of soprano Klasja Modrušan” (Jagoda Martinčević, Vjesnik, Zagreb). After chamber concerts in the Viennese castle in Pötzleinsdorf, in Graz, and in Klagenfurt, she performed with the Symphony Orchestra of Croatian Radio and Television at a charity concert entitled Children of Croatia in the full Max-Joseph Saal auditorium in Munich before a representative portion of the Bavarian Landestag. Soloing with the same orchestra at the Lisinski Concert Hall in Zagreb, she recorded the world premiere of the Oratorio per il santo Natale by the Baroque composer Leonardo Leo and produced by Croatian Radio and Television.

 

After a relatively long-term engagement as a symphony cellist she has permanently acquired "the lyric color of voice, expressive style and interpretive concentration are naturally combined with the vocal romantic lyricism and its specific demands which show this young musician in the new light of her post-graduate studies" Sanja Raca, Croatian Radio), which she has placed at the top of her artistic priorities. Klasja Modrušan made her debut on the stage of the Croatian National Theatre in Zagreb in late 2005 "with her cultivated and clear soprano, played a beautiful role of Pamina" (Branimir Pofuk, Vecernji list).

 

She has made appearances in opera productions of The Magic Flute (Pamina, Papageno), Don Giovanni (Donna Anna), Don Carlos (Tebaldo), Rigoletto (Giovanna), Hansel and Gretel (Sandmann/Taumann), Carmen (Micaela) and Croatian operas Mirjana (Mirjana) by Joseph Mandić and Adel and Mara of Joseph Hatze. In 2006, she was awarded the August A. Klein Distinguished Artist Award by the International Music Center of America after a tour of the United States performing in recitals and leading master classes at Andrews University, Kalamazoo College, Temple University, and the Croatian Embassy in Washington, D.C. Croatia vocal lyricism merged in a two-CD set entitled Snoviđenja published by label Cantus (Zagreb, 2011): “This double CD, which transcends ordinary discographic editions, would be difficult to surpass for its intelligence, beauty, and creativity. Such a lofty voice is a luxury in Central Europe. To nourish it requires great sacrifice and the freedom that is born of this sacrifice”  (Đurđa Otržan, Cantus).

 

In April 2014, she performed in Russia at an opera gala concert in the Beloselsky-Belozersky palace with the St. Petersburg State Academic Symphony Orchestra. She has worked with conductors such as Pavle Dešpalj, Nikša Bareza, Zoran Juranić, Mladen Tarbuk, Ivan Repušić, Tonči Bilić, Luka Vukšić, Miran Vaupotić, Frank Shipway, Daniel Lipton, Klaus Arp, Johannes Wildner, Michael Helmrath, Mihael Sinkevič, among others.                                                                                                 

 

Croatian soprano Klasja Modrušan graduated cello under Professor Ksenija Janković, then solo singing, later specializing in Lied and oratorio under professor Zdenka Žabčić-Hesky at the Academy of Music in Zagreb. She began playing cello at the age of 6 years, and won several prizes, including first prize at a cello competition in Ljubljana, Slovenia, with a piano trio and special award performance in Stockholm. She completed her studies of cello with Prof. Ksenija Janković. She continued her vocal training in 2002 with Eva Blahova in Bratislava, then with the celebrated Croatian mezzo-soprano Ruža Pospiš-Baldani.

 

As a vocal soloist she has worked with orchestras and chamber ensembles in Croatia, Austria, Slovenia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Slovakia, Germany, Russia, and the United States. In Austria, she performed with the cello octet Cellomania under the artistic leadership of Croatian cellist Valter Dešpalj, on this occasion critic in the Grazer Zeitung, Walther Neumann wrote: “After the break [the cello ensemble] presented “Bachiana Brasileira no. 5 (Hector Villa-Lobos), which includes an obbligato soprano in the original scoring, found an ideal interpreter in Klasja Modrušan.” At the Tvrđa castle in Osijek, the Church of Saints Philip and James in Vukovar, and the Primacial palace in Bratislava, Klasja performed with the renowned European ensemble Cappella Istropolitana. Music critics in Osijek commented on the performance: “The appearance of the Slovak The appearance of the Slovakian "Cappella Istropolitana" under the direction of Robert Mareček brought the concert festival called the Osijek Days of Baroque... Visitors, who completely filled the Church of St. Michael in Osijek's Tvrđa castle, could enjoy her great technical artistry, high-quality sound, and the faultless interpretation [arias from Ignaz Pleyel’s opera Iphigenia in Aulide].”


She has collaborated with renowned Croatian chamber ensembles such as the Zagreb Soloists, the Sebastian String Quartet, the Rucner String Quartet, the Zagreb Guitar Quartet, and the Syrinx Flute Quartet. Music festivals in which she has performed include the Dubrovnik Summer Festival, the Varaždin Baroque Evenings, the Music Evenings in the Church of Saint Donat, the Osor Music Festival, the Festival of Croatian Music in Vienna, the Piran Musical Evenings. She has also performed in concert seasons with orchestras such as the Zagreb Philharmonic Orchestra, the Sarajevo Philharmonic Orchestra, the Dubrovnik Symphony Orchestra, the Croatian Chamber Orchestra, and the Croatian Chamber Philharmonic.

 

On the occasion of the arrival of Pope John Paul II in Croatia in 1988, Klasja Modrušan recorded a CD of Christian music with Zagreb Ensemble of Sacred Music entitled Jewels of Croatian Sacred Music, published by Croatian Catholic Radio and the Croatia Records label. For the library of Croatian Radio, she recorded the song cycle Liederkreis, Op. 39 by Robert Schumann with pianist Branko Sepčić, as well as a large number of songs and arrangements by Croatian composers, such as Dora Pejačević, Josip Hatze, Jakov Gotovac, Ivana Lang, Boris Papandopulo, Mladen Tarbuk, Anđelko Klobučar, Emil Cossetto, Tomislav Uhlik, Ivo Josipović, Davor Bobić, and Pavle Dešpalj, among others.

 

She recorded Croatia’s vocal lyricism in 2011 on a double CD entitled Snoviđenja, published by the Cantus Ltd. label in Zagreb. “This double CD transcends ordinary discographic editions and it is difficult to surpass for intelligence, beauty, and creativity. A lofty voice is prized Central Europe, for requires great sacrifice and the freedom arising from that scacrifice”, (Đurđa Otržan, Cantus, no. 171/172, December 2011).

 

Klasja Modrušan is a professor of singing at the Blagoje Bersa Music School in Zagreb.

  

 

 

 

 

TUNES