Vid Veljak


Vid Veljak (1996) rose to prominence on the Croatian and international scene as one of the youngest and most gifted cellist specializing in contemporary music. He began learning cello when he was three years old under the tutelage of Tatjana Skljarenko, and soon afterwards under the tutelage of Mauro Šestan in Rijeka.


Valter Dešpalj noticed his talent early on and invited him into his class at the Music Academy in Zagreb, where he successfully passed the entrance exam at the age of 14 and graduated in 2017. From 2012 to 2015, he parallelly studied at the International Music Academy of the Principality of Liechtenstein in the class of Jens Peter Maintz. He also studied in the class of Romain
Garioud in Paris from 2016 to 2018. He attended master classes of eminent cellists such as Monika Leskovar, Giovanni Sollima, Enrico Bronzi, Laszlo Fenyö, Miklós Perényi, Gustavo Tavares, Enrico Bronzi, Michael Flaxman, Xenia Janković, among others.


He won numerous competitions, including the Antonio Janigro International Competition in Poreč and Distant Chords in Split, and was the finalist of the prestigious Guilhermina Suggia Cello Competition in Portugal in 2015. He has performed as a soloist with the Stuttgart Chamber Orchestra, Zagreb Soloists, Rijeka Chamber Orchestra, Croatian Radiotelevision Symphony Orchestra, Zagreb Philharmonic, Dubrovnik Symphony Orchestra and Cantus Ensemble. He has performed in Italy, Slovenia, Austria, Liechtenstein, France, Germany, Switzerland, Sweden, Portugal and the People’s Republic of China.


He is the founder and a member of the Rijeka Piano Trio along with pianist Filip Fak and violinist Krunoslav Marić. He collaborates frequently with the Synchronos Ensemble for contemporary music. During his studies, he concentrated on performing the contemporary cello repertoire, focusing especially on the premieres of pieces by Croatian composers, many of whom dedicated their pieces to him (like concerto for cello and chamber orchestra Asterión by Tomislav Oliver and concerto for cello and symphony orchestra by Davor Bobić). He is
one of the founders of the NAE collective, which gathers excellent young musicians (Filip Merčep, Tomislav Oliver, Branimir Norac, Ana Kovačić and others) and multimedia artists (Tin Dožić, Goran Nježić) in the desire to promote contemporary electroacoustic music and multimedia. He excelled in solo recitals performing some of the most complex works for cello and electronics at the Music Tribune in Opatija in 2018 and at the Music Biennale Zagreb in 2021, for its needs an online recital was recorded.


He has been the cello section leader in the Dubrovnik Symphony Orchestra since March 2019, with which he regularly performs as a soloist. From 2019, he started the project Resonance(s) dedicated to recording the pieces for cello solo (and electronics) by Croatian composers, which aims to promote compositions of the 20th and 21st century and encourage the creation of new works. With this project he has published two albums. In 2022, the album Resonance(s) II won the Porin discography award (and was nominated in 4 serious music categories).


From June 2022, he was selected as a member of the Zagreb Soloists ensemble and from July 2022 he became the cello section leader in the Croatian National Theatre orchestra in Zagreb.


In November 2022, he participated in the ensemble tour as part of the international Hans Zender Akademie under the mentorship of the members of the Ensemble Modern. Since 2022, he has been working as a cello professor at the Academy of Arts in Split, where he
holds the title of assistant professor (docent).


Vid Veljak, cello

Vid Veljak, cello