Milan Paľa

MMilan Pala (born 1982), a violinist of Slovak origin, is one of the most distinctive personalities on
the current music scene. His unique style of playing is unmistakable and experts justifiably rank him
among the world’s top performers of the younger generation. During his studies at the Ján Levoslav
Bella Conservatory in Banská Bystrica, at the University of Music and Performing Arts in Vienna
and the Janáček Academy of Music and Performing Arts in Brno, Milan Pala won numerous
awards and attracted international attention in European competitions. At that time he also took
international master classes in Zurich (with Vladimir Spivakov and Jean Guillou) and, in a private
class with Semyon Yaroshevich, became acquainted with the legendary Russian school of David
Oistrakh. However, it was his cooperation with composers that, according to Milan, profoundly
influenced his musical expression.
A close relationship and creative collaboration with such composers as Jean Guillou, Evgeny Irshai
and František Gregor Emmert resulted in a string of works “made-to-measure” for the young
violinist, who at the same time expanded his performance skills to a point far beyond the limits of
the ordinary.
A violinist who is also a virtuoso of the viola, Milan Pala is in demand for first performances of new
works, and he has premiered a large number by such composers as Jean Guillou, Evgeny Irshai,
František Gregor Emmert, Marian Lejava, Christophe Sirodeau, Erkki-Sven Tüür, Tõnu Kõrvits,
Ivan Josip Skender, Ante Knešaurek, Adrián Demoč, Daniel Matej, Ádám Kondor and József Sári.
In recent years he has performed for audiences at several prestigious events showcasing new music,
of which the most important included the ISCM World New Music Days 2013, the 28th and 29th
Music Biennale Zagreb (2015, 2017), Arcus Temporum (Pannonhalma, Hungary), the Melos-Ethos
International Festival of Contemporary Music (Bratislava, Slovakia) and the Hradec Králové Music
Forum (Czech Republic), where he played the Esa-Pekka Salonen’s Violin Concerto (2013) and Pascal
Dusapin’s violin concerto ‘Aufgang’ (2018).
A very busy concert artist, Milan Pala commands a broad concert repertoire. His career as a soloist
has led him to cooperation with conductors such as Theodor Guschlbauer, Howard Arman,
Alexander Cernusenko, Pierre-André Valade, Andreas Sebastian Weiser, Peter Gribanov, Jakub
Hrůša, James Feddeck, Case Scaglione, Ondrej Lenárd and Marian Lejava.
A major project of the ‘enfant terrible of the solo violin’, as Milan Pala was once described in an
interview, has been to record the complete works for solo violin by Slovak composers, entitled Violin
Solo 1-5. For this momentous undertaking he received multiple awards, including the Prize of the
Minister of Culture of the Slovak Republic (2014), the Frico Kafenda Prize (2015) and the Ľudovít
Rajter Prize (2009). The last award for young Slovak musicians has so far been given to only three
performers. Milan Pala was the second laureate, and received the award not just for his exceptional
performing skills but also for his unique approach to Slovak music. In 2014 he was awarded the
Tatra Banka Foundation Prize for his recording of Slovak Violin Concertos with the Slovak Radio
Symphony Orchestra conducted by Mário Košík.
Milan Pala’s continuously expanding discography contains many works of the world’s violin
repertoire. A significant place belongs to the recording of Bach’s Sonatas and Partitas for Solo Violin,
BWV 1001–1006 (2018), which is a first recording by Slovak violinist in history. With pianist
Ladislav Fanzowitz, he is committed to recording the complete sonatas for violin and piano by
major composers, with works by Johannes Brahms, Ludwig van Beethoven, Eugen Suchoň, Edvard
Grieg, Dmitri Shostakovich and Béla Bartók having been published so far. A result of the inspiring
cooperation of many years between Milan Pala and the conductor and composer Marian Lejava is
their critically acclaimed recording of violin concertos by Alban Berg and Karol Szymanowski with
the Slovak Radio Symphony Orchestra. The recording, which received the Radio Head Award in
2016, has met with favourable response internationally.
A new, unique instrument – a five-string violin – occupies a special place in Milan Pala’s creative
output. Dubbed ‘milanolo’, it is a concert instrument that brings a lower, viola register to the violin,
and is the first of its kind. It was created in 2013 at the workshop of the Bursík family of
violinmakers in Brno, and bears the name of the performer for whom it was conceived. A special
CD presenting the instrument in works by European composers created specifically for the occasion
has been issued under the title ‘Milanolo’ (2016). The newest title featuring the five-stringed violin
consists of premiere recordings of four concertos for milanolo and strings composed by Slovak
composers after Milan Pala’s commission. This recording entitled ‘4 Milanolo Concertos’ was released
in 2018.

milanpala.com


Photogallery

 

Festival Partners

30 years since the Velvet Revolution – 30 years of freedom