May 8, 2024

Love Clavi in the World of Film Music

The first weekend of May in Samobor hosted the 6th LOVE CLAVI competition for soloists and ensembles. A special feature of this year’s edition was the collaboration with the International Sound & Film Music Festival, which shaped the thematic character of the event.

Young musicians aged 7 to 19 performed in small vocal-instrumental groups and presented a total of 19 songs composed for films. The repertoire included genre-diverse songs, with a focus on music from films nominated and and awarded at the International Sound & Film Music Festival: songs from Frankelda’s Book of Spooks, songs from Manou The Swift, Wider Than The Sky, Jazzy June and The Eight Mountains. The large selection of music from European films enriched the audience with new musical insights and encouraged them to explore new cinematic experiences. In addition, a number of well-known favorite songs like soundtracks from Titanic, The Sound of Music, The Wizard of Oz… were also performed. The interdisciplinary character of the event was complemented by the projection of visuals from the films during the musical performance.

Among the performers were twenty-three vocalists and 22 instrumentalists on piano, synthesizer, Hammond organ, harmonica, guitar, cello, trumpet, bassoon, flute, saxophone, and percussion, with voice and keyboard instruments featured in every ensemble. Among them were the youngest musicians just stepping into the world of music, as well as experienced older colleagues who have already achieved significant musical recognition. The versatility and talent of these young musicians were evidenced by many performing in a variety of different ensembles. Some stood out as both singers and instrumentalists, while others demonstrated skill in adapting to different ensembles, genres, and instruments. For young performers, this was an excellent opportunity for skill application, collaboration, and making friendships. The event’s concept was inspired by the personal affinities of the artistic director Marija Šerić Dudjak, who put emphasis on the pieces presented at the ISFMF. For this occasion, she prepared 15 ensembles, carefully working on vocal and instrumental performances. Training of other numbers, with an emphasis on the stage performance, is the work of vocal pedagogue Ana Zebić Kostel, while Leandro Havliček is responsible for training the pianists and arranging.

The members of the judging panel were prominent musicians: Ozren K. Glaser, a composer and artistic director of ISFMF, Marija Husar Rimac, a pop and spiritual music singer, and jazz musicians Lela and Joe Kaplowitz. In addition to scoring, each performance was also assessed with verbal feedback immediately after the performance. This added an educational element to the competition and created a closer connection between the performers, the audience, and the members of the judging panel. Previous experience has shown that such a format contributes to the confidence of young performers and the joy of public performance. The overall winner of the competition was one of the youngest vocalists, eight-year-old Anja Ajayi. With excellent piano accompaniment by Laura Konosić, she thrilled the audience and the jury with her presentation and complete stage performance. The most impressive interpretation of a song from ISFMF was selected: Tamara Kušer, voice, and Mirna Glavinić, piano, captivated the jury with their sophisticated performance and were awarded a performance at the next International Sound & Film Music Festival in October 2024.

A series of special awards were also given: Emma Horvat won a masterclass with Marija Husar Rimac, and Laura Nevistić won a masterclass with Lela Kaplowitz. Special awards were also deserved by instrumentalists: Antonio Brajdić was selected as the best pianist, winning a masterclass with Joe Kaplowitz, and Val Omelić was declared the best guitarist. Distinguished instrumentalists were also awarded invitations to the Youngmasters – International Young Musicians’ Summer Class, and all performers received a gift voucher from Music Max store.

The audience’s enthusiasm was evident in every performance, and the young musicians undoubtedly deserved a thunderous applause for their extraordinary versatility and dedication. This competition is not only an opportunity for young musicians to create music together but also for merging music schools with informal education, and for meeting colleagues from other schools. The event also enriches the community’s musical scene and promotes audience development by introducing European cinematic works. LOVE CLAVI in the world of film music has shown that young talents have the power to inspire and enchant the audience with their performances, and that the future of music and film is certainly bright.