Musicians from the four Corners of Yugoslavia:

Milica Pap was born in Sarajevo,Yugoslavia, December 14, 1973. She is a classical pianist of Bosnian-Herzegovinian, serbian and croatian descent.

The Balkan pianist and music teacher, Milica Pap,who has recently started to build a global reputation, comes from a strong musical background.

Her father Ljudevit Pap (or Layos Papp to use the alternative Magyar spelling) was a well-known croatian violinist from hungarian origin, and professor of music at the University of Belgrade.

He was a founder member of the Association of Serbian Musicians as well as being first violinist and leader of the Belgrade Symphony Orchestra and the Sarajevo Radio and Opera Orchestra. He is also credited with forming the first professional string quartet in Sarajevo.

His contribution to the world of Arts earned for him an entry in the who’s who of Yugoslavia, not least because he spoke and worked in seven languages: German, Hungarian, Polish, Russian, Italian, Serbo-Croat and French.

Her mother is the Serbian-Montenegran pianist Angelina Bojović who still teaches at the High Music School in Sarajevo. Her many talented pupils from around the world include the pianists M. Karačić (USA), B. Hrovat (Canada), M. Olenjuk (Germany) and S. Kulenović (Slovenia). Her uncle is a violinist and conductor in Luxembourg and her cousin the Serbian percussionist.

Milica’s parents settled in Sarajevo in 1970, where she was born.

A Child Prodigy destined for a great international Career…

By the age of 10 Milica could play works by nearly all the leading composers and gave her first public recital when she was just 14.

The Bosnian-Herzgovinian authorities awarded her a scholarship to the Faculty of Music at Belgrade University in 1991, when she came first in the entrance exams that year at the age of 17.

While there she won numerous prizes and competitions notably the « Olga Mihajlović » prize for best pianist in the university and the « Radmila Đorđević » prize for best piano accompanist. She also won several competitions and prizes during this time of which the « Petar Konjović » prize pleased her most.

Milica was fortunate to study under a series of leading pianists and teachers including A.Valdma, N. LJ. Starkman, S. Bogino, V. Ogarkov, S. Dorensky, L. Istvan, I. Khudolei, Y. Kot, I. Alekseyhuk, R. Kehrer, D. Anderson, P. Scheyder, L. Pogorelich and D. Protopopescu. This lead to her being given a teaching post as an Teaching assistant at the university at the age of 21 in Belgrade.

Stopped in her tracks by the War:

Unfortunately it was at this point in her life that civil war engulfed her world and, like so many Yugoslavians born before the Balkan conflicts of the last decade, her career was hampered and her life scarred by the misfortunes of war. For four years when she was in Belgrade she never set eyes on her mother and was basically a stateless person with no passport who could not travel anywhere. These were the years when most young virtuoso would be making their mark on the world stage.

A New Birth in Sarajevo:

After the war, she returned to Sarajevo in 1997 and became a professor of music there specialising in piano, chamber music and accompniment. By the year 2000 she also held the lectures as an adjunct professor  at the Sarajevo Music Academy.

In a country suffering from the division of the post-war years, Milica who was half-Serbian, half-Croatian and a Bosnian citizen used her art as a message of tolerance and love. She embraced the philosophy of Antoine de Saint-Exupéry “If you differ from me, my brother, far from hurting me, you make me richer”.

In 1998 she tried, with help from UNESCO, to start a project called "Music without Frontiers" to unite the Balkan peoples, but so far it has proved politically impractical. However it is still an ambition she wants to fulfill someday.

While she taught in Sarajevo, Milica travelled regularly to Belgrade, where she finished her masters degree and presented a thesis on the subject of realism in the music of the Russian composers, who feature strongly in her performing repertoire especially Mussorgsky, Scriabin, Rachmaninov and Prokofiev .

Indeed, in 2003 at the meeting of the EPTA (European piano teachers association) she was invited to play Rachmaninov's second concerto with the Belgrade Symphony Orchestra.

Her first travels and recognition by her peers:

This led to a scholarship offer at the Luxembourg Conservatoire for one year which she took up and during which she was awarded the «Victor Fenigstein » prize for outstanding talent.

She graduated there with a Diplôme Supérieur de Piano studying under professor S. Bausch and gained first prize for harmony, counterpoint, fugue and composition under professor A. Mullenbach.

By this time Milica Pap was playing in several countries, Croatia, Serbia, Montenegro, Slovenia, Macedonia, Hungary, Luxembourg, Morocco and Bosnia-Herzegovina and many music festivals (“Sarajevo Winter Festival”, ”Bourlingster festival”-Luxembourg, ”LEMEK”and “NOMUS”-Serbia, “The Varazdin nights”-Croatia).

But her musical talents did not stop with the piano. Her mastery of accompaniment led her to be invited to join the Sarajevo Opera as a voice and lyric coach in which role she helped in productions of Die Fledermaus, Rigoletto, and La Boheme as well as some Slavonic Operas including Ero s onoga svijeta, Hasanaginica.

As her reputation grew Milica served as head of the piano department at the Sarajevo Music Academy (2005/06) and was given the title of resident assistant professor-Docent at Sarajevo University in 2006. In 2007 she was in charge of the Bologna Project, a European reform of education project, at her university.

Discovery of a talent hidden for far too long

Since September 2008 she has lived in France sharing her time between Nantes and Paris. In the former city she has already built a reputation as a teacher and vocal accompanist while also giving recitals. In Paris her work has centred round her ambition to study the work of the Department of Accompaniment and Chamber Music and set up of the world famous Paris Conservatoire with the hope of one day establishing a similar institution in Sarajevo. French musicians and musicologists have received her enthusiastically and admire her plans.

Early in 2009 Milica gave more recitals and played concertos in France and Sarajevo and also recorded her first CD “Récital du Printemps” which was enthusiastically received. It left many critics wondering both why they had never heard her before and when she would record more so they could hear her again.

Since september 2010, she is living in Ekaterinburg (Russia) where she started to give concerts in cooperation with the Ural symphonic orchestra (diplomatic circle of Ekaterinburg, young orchestra of Ural)