Denis Azabagic, Guitar
Internationally acclaimed, Denis Azabagic (Bosnia and Herzegovina) captivates audiences worldwide with his remarkable guitar performances. Renowned for his elegant musical approach and unique ability to connect with audiences on a profound level, Azabagic has received praise from critics around the globe.
"Denis Azabagic demonstrated his unbelievable guitar playing skills, sincere love for music, professionalism, and passion..."
“He is a virtuoso artist of timbres, who masters, as it seems, easily all kind of expressions: from enchanting softness to passion, from deep emotions to enormous joy”
—Kolnische Zeitung, Germany
Azabagic's exceptional talent has earned him twenty-four prizes in international competitions, and Mel Bay has published a book based on his valuable experience and insights into the world of competitions.
With a discography comprising 15 CDs released by prestigious international labels such as Naxos, Cedille, Opera Tres, Bridge Records, Neos, Acis, and Orobroy, along with two DVDs for the Mel Bay Company, Azabagic's recorded works showcase the depth of his musical prowess. As a guest instrumentalist and soloist, he has graced the stage with renowned orchestras including the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, Chicago Sinfonietta, Tallahassee Symphony Orchestra, Illinois Symphony Orchestra, Sacramento Chamber Orchestra, Madrid Symphony, Traverse Symphony, Monterrey Symphony, L’Orchestre Royal de Chambre de Mons, and many others. His collaborations extend to esteemed chamber ensembles such as the Casals Quartet, Avalon Quartet, Chicago Chamber Musicians, Civitas Ensemble, and MusicNow.
Azabagic's performances have illuminated prestigious venues worldwide, including Chicago’s Symphony Center, the Royal Concertgebouw in Amsterdam, Tchaikovsky Hall in Moscow, Radio France in Paris, Aix-en-Provence Festival in France, El Palau de la Musica in Valencia, Spain, Savannah on Stage, Omni Foundation in San Francisco, Ravinia Festival, National Chang Kai Shek Cultural Center in Taiwan, and The National Center for the Performing Arts in Beijing, China, as well as the National Art Gallery in Washington, D.C. His live performances have been broadcast on NPR and WFMT radio, and on television in Asia, Europe, and the United States.
In addition to his solo repertoire spanning from the Baroque era to the present, Azabagic, as a member of the Cavatina Duo, is committed to innovation evident in their extensive recording projects. From "The Balkan Project" to "Cavatina at the Opera," and "Sephardic Journey" to "Folias and Fantasias" (where they commissioned composer Alan Thomas to reimagine George Telemann's monumental 12 Fantasias for Solo Flute into mesmerizing flute and guitar pieces), each album explores new musical territories, expanding the flute and guitar repertoire in collaboration with renowned composers.
Looking ahead to 2025, Cavatina is poised to release the groundbreaking album "River of Fire" in collaboration with the GRAMMY-winning Pacifica Quartet. Featuring commissioned works inspired by Gypsy music by Clarice and Sérgio Assad, Stacey Garrop, and other composers, this album promises to be a significant addition to their discography. Another album featuring the music of Rami Levin on Acis Records is also in the works.
Highlights of Azabagic's 2023-24 season include recitals and masterclasses in Europe, the USA, and Asia, a concert tour in Taiwan featuring solo concertos including Rodrigo’s "Fantasía para un Gentilhombre" for Guitar and Orchestra. Additionally, he is set to appear at the Guitar Foundation of America's annual conference in NYC, with other engagements including appearances at the Hawai'i Concert Society, Chicago's Columbia Club, St. Martin’s Abbey, and the Coria Festival.
Beyond his compelling performing career, Denis Azabagic serves as a teaching associate at the University of Illinois at Chicago and holds the role of artistic director for festivals in the USA and Europe. Notably, he is the artistic director of the Festival Juan Gual Esteve in Spain and the Chicago Guitar Festival. In 2018, Azabagic was appointed Director of Lead Guitar in Chicago, a not-for-profit organization dedicated to establishing free, sustainable classical guitar programs in schools with low arts access. This aligns with his mission to bring classical music to communities often neglected and sidelined.
A founding member of the Fandango Ensemble, an exciting and cosmopolitan ensemble comprising flute, guitar, violin, and cello.
January 2024 - Please do not edit without permission.