Matej Šarc- OBOE

Matej, the president, the conceptual leader, the driving force and so on…
These are the titles that he has earned through years of incessant efforts to establish meaningful concert seasons for the Slowind Wind Quintet.

The accordion was the first instrument from which Matej enticed pleasing melodies. His first steps in the musical world were accompanied by pianist Pavle Kosec, who later kindly advised the talented teenager to choose another instrument to learn. The oboe or the bassoon? If you are familiar with neither one instrument nor the other the decision is not exactly easy, but with the help of his father he chose the oboe.

Matej admits that at the beginning he was not exactly the model learner in terms of the amount he practised, which, of course, one can hear from a mile off when it comes to an instrument like the oboe. However, with time the oboe became his faithful friend: “The oboe is actually an extremely unkind instrument, and playing it is not an enviable pleasure. Behind it are drawn real battles: hours and hours of practice, adaptation, trials, making mouthpieces, eliminating and avoiding mistakes… but that is why the satisfaction of success is even greater. Following a particular path can only be a challenge if you know that the path actually leads somewhere.”

Matej studied with Božo Rogelja at the Ljubljana Academy of Music, while at the same time playing first oboe in the RTV Slovenia Symphony Orchestra. In 1985, however, in the middle of his second year, he passed the entrance exam for the Music High School in Freiburg. Years of study with the celebrated oboist Heinz Holliger were capped with appearances with the Orchestra of Soloists, first rate musicians with whom Matej performed as an oboist at the Bach Weeks in the city of Ansbach. Another special challenge was cooperating in the Institute for New Music of the Freiburg School, where numerous works by contemporary composers were performed, such as those by Klaus Huber and Brian
 Ferneyhough. Contemporary music still holds a special place for Matej.

Matej was an oboist with the German Youth Orchestra, and after completing his studies he also played for the Freiburg Philharmonic as a solo oboist and on cor anglais. At concerts he had an opportunity to perform under the baton of some of the most celebrated conductors of the time, including Donald Runnicles, Cristóbal Halffter and John Carewe.

Since 1994, Matej has been the solo oboist with the Slovenian Philharmonic Orchestra. His work with the orchestra still presents a certain challenge for him, although he also feels at home in the role of chamber musician or soloist, as chamber music making enables individual expression and contact with various musicians – amateur and professional – from all corners of the globe. For Matej musical communication with these musicians is a way of researching ever new paths in music. As a soloist and chamber musician he has performed on numerous concert stages in Europe, Australia, China, Mongolia, Japan and both North and South America.

“With a changed complete oboe tone register, Šarc returned to the regular oboe tone achievements of the orchestra. He additionally refined this with a homogeneity in the upper and lower registers, and “spiced” the solo part with unimagined technical bravura, especially in all three of his cadenzas, but in so doing was not obtrusive. At the first of the two concerts, the Thursday premiere, he surprised the audience by playing from memory. We were all satisfied with just one concert, which in similar evening-long appearances of wind and brass players is the exception rather than the rule. He left the Ljubljana stage as a victor, with nothing to add. With this Mozart “come back” Šarc has dispatched
everything that came before him in Ljubljana, and everything that is current now that he performs regularly as a soloist in the Slovenian Philharmonic Orchestra.”

(Franc Križnar: Classical, Peaceful Beginning, VEČER, 30.09.1997)

Matej has recorded numerous chamber and solo works for oboe for a range of European radio stations, including Radio France, WDR Köln, Bayerischer Rundfunk, Icelandic Radio and Radio Slovenia. His recordings have been released by Slovene and international publishers, such as Naxos (Luciano Berio, Sequenza VII for solo oboe), Agora Music (Carlo Paessler, Concerto for Clarinet, Oboe and Orchestra), Da Camera Magna (Georg Philipp Telemann, Concertos for oboe d’amore; Tomaso Giovanni Albinoni, Concertos in C Major and D Major for Oboe, Strings and Continuo), Auvidis (Klaus Huber, Cantiones de Circulo Gyrante), and the Slovenian Philharmonic Orchestra (Romantic Concertos for

Matej also whole heartedly devotes himself to the pedagogical profession. He has taught at the Pedagogical High School in Freiburg and has collaborated at masterclasses in Piran, Musical July at the Coast. He teaches at courses in Deutschlandsberg, Cividale and Wetzlar, as well as at the Ljubljana Music and Ballet High School and the Ljubljana Academy of Music, where he also teaches chamber music. For Matej, working with young people represents a special challenge, as they engage with musicalobstacles with curiosity, unbridled enthusiasm, initiative and a thirst for new knowledge.

”In the continuation, oboist Matej Šarc again demonstrated his mastery of playing the greatest possible variety of multiphonics, sounds and reverberations, flutter tonguing, quarter tones (with a whistle), often also in conjunction with the use of the voice and the articulation of vowels, consonants and syllables, sounds of breathing, etc., in the composition Atemstudie for solo oboe by Vinko Globokar, the work with the greatest sonic-technical demands of all at the festival.”
(Zequirja Ballata: Successful Contemporaneity, Good Innovations, VEČER, 11.10.2001)