Nikolaj Sajko

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Nikolaj Sajko first studied cello with professor Vladimir Kovačič at the Maribor music school and later as a student at the Secondary Music and Ballet School in Maribor, Slovenia (today called Conservatory of Music and Ballet Maribor). Alongside the Conservatory course he also graduated with golden honours at the Second Gymnasium (non-artistic high school) in Maribor. He continued his studies at the Academy of Music in Ljubljana, Slovenia in the class of professor Ciril Škerjanec, where he graduated with honors in 2005. As a soloist he perfected his performance further with postgraduate studies in Austria at the University of Arts in Graz, and Anton Bruckner Private University in Linz.

During his studies he regularly took part in several international soloist masterclasses with prominent professors such as Igor Gavriš, Eleonore Schoenfeld, Arto Noras, Csaba Onczay and Tobias Kühne. Nikolaj also perfected his chamber playing in masterclasses with Alberto Miodini, Ivan Rabaglia and Enrico Bronzi (Trio di Parma), as well as Rocco Filippini (Trio di Milano).

He gained additional knowledge outside the frame of classical music in seminars on jazz composition and arranging in Novo mesto and music production in London. Since 2010 he regularly attends master classes for orchestral conducting under at Sherborne School of Music and Royal Academy of Music in London, which were led by Rodolfo Saglimbeni, Denise Ham, Robert Houlihan and the late George Hurst.

Nikolaj was a member of the Gustav Mahler Youth Orchestra, under the artistic direction of Claudio Abbado, and a member of the World Youth Orchestra. As a soloist he has performed with the Maribor Philharmonic Orchestra, the Gaudeamus Chamber Orchestra, the Amadeus Chamber Orchestra and Youth String Orchestra of Maribor.

Nikolaj was awarded the Klasinc diploma and Antonio Tarsia prize; other important achievements came from national and international competitions for young musicians in Gorizia, Linz, Zagreb and Ljubljana. He appeared independently in numerous solo recitals, played in various chamber concerts and participated in the acclaimed musical projects, both nationally and internationally.

Even as a high-school student he was playing as a substitute in the Maribor Philharmonic Orchestra. While studying in Ljubljana he was playing as a substitute in the Slovenian Philharmonic and the Symphony Orchestra of Slovenian Radio-Television. He worked as the cello section leader with Amadeus Chamber Orchestra, Gaudeamus Chamber Orchestra, Youth Bruckner Philharmonic and Camerata Enns. He participated in various chamber ensembles playing classical music (piano trio of the Ljubljana Academy of Music, Quintet Forellius, Maribor Philharmonic Septet, Lento Quartet), as well as other types of music (Crossperiment Duo with jazz guitarist Matjaž Ferk, Spring Orchestra with jazz saxophonist Črt Remic, projects with renowned jazz drummer Zlatko Kaučič and recently jazz saxophone player Igor Lumpert).

Since 2009 Nikolaj regularly performed at Maribor Festival as a member of the festival orchestra under the direction of Richard Tognetti and since 2011 as well as a chamber musician.

Since 2006 he has been employed as a deputy leader in the Symphony Orchestra of Slovene national Theater in Maribor, from 2009 he also teaches at the Conservatory of Music and Ballet in Maribor.

In 2009 he completed a scientific postgraduate course at the Academy of Music in Ljubljana and was awarded the title Master of Science. His field of research was articulation and phrasing in orchestral playing. Currently he is preparing his PhD on synchronization between members of the orchestra. His first independent scientific paper was published in 2011.

Nikolaj plays a cello made by Florian Geyer, the instrument was honored at an international luthier competition in Mittenwald in 2001.

Nikolaj Sajko Nikolaj Sajko


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