Besides his numerous prizes at many International guitar competitions, Stevan believes that the most precious award he has received is the ability, through his music, to express the emotions which words cannot say. He was born in the small town of Šabac in the hills of the Balkans in Serbia (former Yugoslavia). Stevan grew up in a family of musicians, and was surrounded with guitars that his father and his uncles played. During this period he was studying and playing classical music while still absorbing various musical styles including traditional Balkan folklore and Gypsy musical tradition.
Stevan completed his undergraduate studies at the University of Novi Sad in Serbia under the guidance of eminent guitar professor, Zoran Krajišnik. By the end of his studies in Novi Sad, Stevan was voted the most successful student of the Music Department by a unanimous decision of all Faculty of Academy of Arts and received an award for extraordinary artistic achievements from the Switzerland foundation “The Little Prince”. Upon graduation in 2009, he was granted a full scholarship for Masters studies in the United States at Indiana University’s Jacobs School of Music in the studio of EMI recording artist Ernesto Bitetti. He also holds a Performer Diploma degree from IU Jacobs School of Music. Stevan took lessons and worked on early music performance, specifically on singing with Oxford University graduate Paul Elliot, and viola da gamba with the president of the Viola da Gamba Society of America – Wendy Gillespie.
Stevan is an active performer. He plays concerts in Serbia, Europe and the United States. He plays as a soloist, and in a guitar duo with his wife Evita Jović. He is a member of NS Guitar Quartet, ensemble formed with his former guitar teacher, Zoran Krajišnik, full time professor at the Academy of Arts, University of Novi Sad, Petar Popović and Luka Jezdić. He also plays in a violin/guitar duo, with the University professor, violinist Robert Lakatoš. Stevan’s latest concerts include performance of Tedesco’s guitar Concerto at Vojvodina Guitar Fest 2015 at the City Hall of Novi Sad, solo recitals at the VArt Guitar Festival 2016 and Classic Art Festival 2016 in Šabac, String Festival Šabac 2016 with the violinist Robert Lakatoš, solo performance at the President’s Palace in Valletta (Malta) in 2017, and a concert with NS Guitar Quartet at the City Hall of Novi Sad organized in 2017 by Novi Sad Cultural Center.
Stevan’s passion for music also allowed him to maintain a successful teaching career both in Europe and the United States. From 2009 – 2012 Stevan was appointed Associate Instructor for Guitar at Indiana University Jacobs School of Music. In 2013 he was invited to teach classical guitar at Interlochen Summer Arts Camp where he worked with talented students from all over the world. Since 2013, Stevan resides and works in Serbia as a guitar professor at Music High School „Mihailo Vukdragović“. His students achieved noticeable results as soloists or in chamber music groups. So far they have won 32 awards at the guitar competitions. As a jury member, Stevan participated at Vojvodina Guitar Festival (Serbia), ZGuitar Festival (Bosnia), Guitar United Festival in Sarajevo (Bosnia), and renowned 61. National Festival and Competition of Music and Ballet Schools of Serbia.
It was the passion for teaching that brought about the idea for Practice-Right, an invention Stevan designed and developed to address one of the trickiest parts in the process of studying classical guitar – Right Hand Posture. Practice-Right has received wide acceptance among the top performers and pedagogues including Alice Artzt, Joanne Castellani, Ana Vidovic and Artyom Dervoed. (click for more: http://practice-right.com/)
Stevan is a founder of CLASSIC ART guitar festival and competition in Šabac. In 2017, Evita and Stevan published their guitar history book, Guitar Through the Centuries.
AWARDS AT NATIONAL AND INTERNATIONAL GUITAR COMPETITIONS
– First Prize, college division – International Competition ” Indianapolis Matinee Musicale”, (USA, 2010)
– First Prize, no age limit category – International Competition ” Festival ille de Re”, (France, 2009)
– First Prize, no age limit category – International Competition ” Guitar Festival Murska Sobota”, (Slovenia, 2008)
– Third Prize, college division ‑ International Competition ” Music Academy of North Carolina”, (USA, 2009)
– Third Prize, category up to 35 years of age – International Competition ” Guitar Art Festival in Belgrade”, (Serbia, 2008)
– Second Prize, college division – International Competition ” Guitar Fest Banja Luka”, (Bosnia and Herzegovina, 2007)
– First Prize, high school division – National Competition “ Music School of Šabac competition”, (Serbia, 2005)
– First Prize, high school division – National Competition “ Spring Festival Leskovac”, (Serbia, 2003)
– Second Prize, high school division – National Competition “ Competition of Music and Ballet schools of Serbia”, (Serbia, 2002)
ACADEMIC AWARDS, RECOGNITIONS, AND SCHOLARSHIPS
– Honorary Award from the City of Sabac Cultural Center for contribution of artistry. (2013)
– First Prize for invention Practice-Right – Innovations Developed for Entrepreneurial Action, “Kelley School of Business IDEA 2012 Competition”, (USA, 2012)
– Honorary Member of the Hoosier Hatchery – IU Innovation Center at Indiana University. (2012)
– Ilknur P. Ralston Memorial Award – NSAL Instrumental Competition for all instruments, Indiana University – Jacobs School of Music, (USA, 2011)
– Indiana University Jacobs School of Music Graduate Assistantship. (2009-2011)
– Award “The Little Prince”. By unanimous decision of all departments of the Faculty of Music – Academy of Arts, Stevan was voted the best student of the generation and received an award for extraordinary artistic achievements from the Switzerland foundation. (2009)
– The Foundation for Young Talents of Republic of Serbia granted him with a scholarship “The best student of the academic year 2008/2009” – for extraordinary results achieved throughout his studies. (2009)
– University of Novi Sad honored him with the Outstanding Achievement Award. (2008)
– Guitar Society of Bačka Palanka (Municipality of the city of Novi Sad) honored him with the Contribution Award for helping the development of classical guitar in the community. (2008)
– Stevan participated at the renowned European festival in Germany – Junger Künstler Bayreuth (Young Artists Bayreuth), and was invited to work for the festival’s prestigious office – Künstlerisches Betriebsbüro (Artistic Administration). (2007)
– Award for extraordinary achievements in musical and cultural creativity from the municipality of the city of Šabac. (2007)
– Outstanding Achievement Award recognizing him as one of the most prominent students at the Academy of Arts in Novi Sad. (2006)