Aleš Kacjan – FLUTE
I prefer to view my instrument from a completely pragmatic point of view. It is only that which the word means: an ‘instrument’ with which I express and articulate the feelings that arise in me based on some musical (or perhaps also non-musical) impulse or suggestion. I would like to emphasise that I am certainly not, and do not want to be, the prisoner of the fetish known as the beauty of the flute tone, or something similar. I regard the sound of the flute as a physical category and I am primarily interested in that which I think or feel the composer, or somebody, wanted to say when he had the flute in mind. Of course, I treat the flute in the same way I treat all of my toys or tools – with the greatest possible care.”
Music has been a companion of Aleš since his youth. To some extent this was thanks to his mother, an opera singer, but he himself decided on the flute as young boy. Then followed high school, graduation from the Ljubljana Academy of Music in the class of Boris Čampa, a Student Prešeren Prize and the search for additional knowledge in London with Michie Bennett and in Salzburg with Irena Grafenauer, the latter of whom even today remains his role model, his musical companion, and above all a faithful friend.
“All of the inhabitants of Ljubljana know Aleš as likeable, cheerful, self-confident, somewhat “selfimportant”, which is actually more an image than a reflection of his inner self.”
In 1986, Aleš won the Yugoslav Musicians Competition in Zagreb, and he jokingly remembers that for a prize he bought a tennis racket from Bojan Gorišek – second hand, of course. A year before that he had become the first flutist of the Slovenian Philharmonic Orchestra, and appeared frequently as a member of various chamber ensembles. His performances are recorded on the numerous CDs that came about as SQ productions. On two of these CDs he appeared as a soloist together with pianist Bojan Gorišek and guitarist Jerko Novak respectively, and he also performed on CDs by a number of Slovene composers.
For his excellent performance of Krzysztof Penderecki’s Concerto for Flute at three concerts of the Slovenian Philharmonic Orchestra, and for outstanding artistic achievements, Aleš was nominated for the 2005 Prešeren Fund Prize. “I am happy that my work from the last two years has received this kind of recognition. The energy consistently invested in each and every note on various stages in various ensembles has presumably culminated in the performance of the Penderecki concerto…”
“Numerous other of Kacjan’s appearances have been subject to extraordinary critical acclaim. In Sciarrino’s Faune, who whistles to a blackbird, he enthused listeners with his dazzling, luminous tone and his pianissimo dynamic shaping. Critics dubbed his performance in Lebič’s Aprilske vinjete (April Vignettes) as great, and his rendering of the duet for flute and soprano from Händel’s oratorio L’Allegro il Pensieroso ed il Moderato was designated the high point of the entire concert by one of Slovenia’s leading newspapers. His extraordinary performance of the solo flute part from Shostakovich’s Fifth Symphony was an important contributing factor to one critic’s appraisal of the concert as “painfully good music”. (From the nomination for the Prešeren Fund Prize)
In numerous years of wandering stages both at home and aboard, Aleš has collaborated with many of the great names: “Amongst the names with whom I have had the honour to collaborate as a soloist or as a member of various orchestras and chamber ensembles, I would like to mention: Carlos Kleiber, Lorin Maazel, Riccardo Muti, Heinz Holliger, Jacek Kaspszyk, Vinko Globokar, Aleksander Madžar, Arvid Engegård, Hans Graf and Rudolf Baršaj.”
Nor is pedagogical work foreign to Aleš. He teaches chamber music at the Ljubljana Academy of Music and has for many years taught at the International Summer School in Piran.