"Ivana Alkovic is a true artist-musician. Her dedication, depth of musical expression and technical abilities make up a strong personality... Enjoy listening to her!" -Paul Gulda Serbian born pianist Ivana Alkovic has displayed her virtuosity and musical maturity at concerts and international festivals throughout Europe and the USA. "Ivana Alkovic is a very talented pianist and musician. Her playing shows a sensitive feeling for the expression of musical works, an ability to command a variety of touches at the piano and to bring out a brilliant sound, analytic understanding, warm emotion, liveliness and virtuosity." -Professor Roland Keller, Universität fürMusikVienna Ivana Alkovic has won prizesat many national and international competitions such as theKawai competition in Tortona, the Young Pianistsaward in Belgrade, the Nikolai Rubinstein competition in Paris, the IgnazPleyelcompetition in Vienna, the Villa de Capdeperacompetition in Mallorca and the PetarKonjoviccompetition in Belgrade.At the prestigious Sergei Rachmaninov Piano Competition in Morcone, Italy, she received distinctive honours for her extensive Rachmaninov repertoire and her intense emotionally-charged interpretation in the final round, for which she was awarded a special prize for best virtuoso performance. Her talent has been fostered by the support of numerous scholarships: State grants for musical talent in Serbia, and the Tokyo Foundation and Dr. Martha Sobotka-Charlotte Janaczek Foundationin Vienna. She also received a full scholarship as a pianist (after successfully competing and reaching the top 11 out of 150 finalists) at the Music Academy of the West in Santa Barbara, California, where she had the opportunity to work with professors of the prestigious Juilliard School of Music. During the eight-week music festival, she played many concerts and was rewarded with standing ovations. Another full scholarshipenabled her to spend two weeks in New York and participate in the International Keyboard Institute and Festival. "Miss Alkovic's great talent, supported by her powerful performance spirit and firm pianism, together with her ability to communicate with the audience in a very suggestive manner, imply a new artist, fresh and persuasive." - Ljubisa Petrosevski, Dean of Belgrade Music Faculty During her university music studies, she has also worked with many internationally renowned professors such as: Paul Gulda, P. Nersesyan, Florent Boffard, Jerome Lowenthal, Joseph Kalichstein, Gilbert Kalish, Jerome Rose, EduardZilberkantand Alon Goldstein. Besides her work as a soloist, miss Alkovicalso enjoys playing chamber music. Together with her husband, Dutch pianist Maarten den Hengst,she formspianoduo Amacord. Ivana performs as well on a regular basis with Leyster Piano Trio.
As a student of Professor JokutMihailovicmiss Alkovicreceived her Bachelor's degree with honours from the University of Music in Belgrade. After hearing Ivana's playing, famous pianist Paul Gulda invited her to continue her studies at the University of Music and Performing Arts in Vienna, where she received her Bachelor's and Master's degree under the tutelage of Professor Roland Keller and followeda Postgraduatecourse in the class of Professor Noel Flores. Currently miss Alkovic lives and works in Amsterdam as a pianist and piano teacher.
"The audience was so impressed with the excellent playing by Dutch pianist Maarten den Hengst that the applause grewinto a roar of approval" -Dutch newspaper Telegraaf Besides his love for the solo piano repertoire, pianist Maarten den Hengst is a sought-after chamber musician in all possible occupations and repertoire as well. He took part inmany national and international festivals and performed for radio and television in Holland and abroad.He has given concerts in Germany, Belgium, Georgia, Austria, Costa Rica, Portugal, Serbia and Great Britain. He has won prizes at national and international competitions such as the Princes Christina Competition, the YPF Piano Competition, the VriendenkransConcertgebouw Competition, the GrachtenfestivalCompetition (alongside vioilinistSanneHunfeld) and the Tbilisi International Piano Competition in Georgia. "Soloist Maarten den Hengstcomfortably and with a bright, clear sound played through the fast passages without turning his virtuosity into show ...." -Dutch newspaper Trouw
Over the years he has worked closely with contemporary composers like Willem Jeths, Hans Kox, Karl Fiorini, Genevieve Murphy, Willem Wander van Nieuwkerk and MarlijnHelder. As a soloist he worked together with conductors such asJürgen Kussmaul, Jurjen Hempel, Ernst van Tiel,FokkoOldenhuis, Coen Stuit and LoesVisser. In 2017 Maarten performed 2 concertos by L.V.Beethoven: 3rd Piano Concerto with Sinfonia Orchestra Hoorn and Triple Concerto with Floor Le Coultre (violin), Pamela Smits (cello) and Britten Jeugd Strijkorkest. Between 2012 and 2017 he was the artistic director of the concert series Vriendenconcerten in de Zuiderkerk inAmsterdam, together with cellist Pamela Smits, organizing concerts, workshops and masterclasses. He is also a memberof the renowned Pentachord Ensemble, and together with his wife Ivana Alkovic he forms pianoduoAmacord. He performed in the very successfultheater piece for children ''The Suleika's and the mystery of the sensitive string'' in co-operation with theater companyOorkaan and piano trioSuleika. Maarten den Hengst studied at the Sweelinck Conservatory of Amsterdam with Mila Balawskaja andJan Wijn, and at the Universität fürMusik und Darstellende Kunst in Vienna with ProfessorNoel Flores. He has also attended masterclasses with Irina Zaritskajaand TatjanaZelikman, Vladimir Viardo, Philip Entremont, JaquesRouvier, Boris Berman, Igor Roma, MenahemPresslerand many others.