CHRISTMAS OFFER Subscribe to Cotswold Life today CLICK HERE

Q&A: Classical guitarist Miloš Karadaglić

PUBLISHED: 17:19 24 June 2015 | UPDATED: 17:19 24 June 2015

Miloš Karadaglic | Photo: Lars Borges

Miloš Karadaglic | Photo: Lars Borges

Archant

Katie Jarvis speaks to Miloš Karadaglić about his forthcoming appearance at Bristol Proms

Miloš Karadaglic | Photo: Lars BorgesMiloš Karadaglic | Photo: Lars Borges

Miloš Karadaglić, the award-winning classical guitarist from Montenegro, is better known simply as Miloš. That combination of breath-taking ability, coupled with informality, is the perfect fit for Bristol Proms, which presents world-class artists in the intimacy of the Old Vic theatre.

“I love the idea of Bristol Proms: of trying out something different; of appealing to a wider crowd,” Miloš says. “I also approach music in this way, using the guitar as a vehicle to bridge the gap between what is classical and what is main-stream. Instead of fighting against each other, with this instrument you can unite them.”

Bristol Proms, now in its third year, runs from July 27-August 1.

Q: Miloš, you come from a family of economists, not musicians. In fact, it was almost by accident that you began playing the guitar…

I always say that I didn’t find guitar; guitar found me, in the most unusual circumstances. I grew up in Montenegro, where the traditional of classical guitar is really not that strong, in a family of the most supportive, amazing parents, with whom I am so close - wherever I am in the world, I have to speak to them once a day. But they didn’t particularly enjoy classical music. At the same time, there was an old guitar at home that no one played: it was the guitar of my father’s youth, because everyone likes to play guitar at some point in their lives! I picked it up and I absolutely loved how it made me feel. I started strumming; I wanted to sing songs; and that’s how it all began – completely out of nothing.

Q: So how did the guitar make you feel?

Miloš Karadaglic | Photo: Lars BorgesMiloš Karadaglic | Photo: Lars Borges

It made me feel complete, in a way. I don’t know… it felt natural in my arms. I will never forget the time when I got it down from the cupboard; when I took it in my hands and I strummed the chords. It just was the coolest thing ever.

Q: You’ve often spoken of your grandmother as being a particular inspiration.

None of my family were musicians but they did have a very strong sense for music: they all have nice voices, which is a sign to me that I was probably the only generation who had a chance to take that further. Particularly my grandmother - maybe in her next life she will be a singer! She was so special and passed on that amazing passion and emotion that you can feel through music and through no other means.

Q: Most youngsters would rather be Jimi Hendrix than John Williams!

I did want to be Jimi Hendrix and not John Williams, until I decided to give up. That’s when my father played me a record of Segovia; that’s when I heard what classical guitar sounds like, and I never ever looked back. I just thought it was magic to do something like that with just six strings and two hands.

Miloš Karadaglic | Photo: Lars BorgesMiloš Karadaglic | Photo: Lars Borges

Q: You came to London to study at the Royal Academy of Music when you were only 17. Wasn’t that scary? Wasn’t it a culture shock?

I was one of the youngest in London - there were ‘wonderkids’ from around the world on other instruments but I was the youngest guitar player. And to come from Montenegro to London at that time was like wanting to jump onto the moon. It was really an impossible task. But here I was, studying in this wonderful place, suddenly surrounded by the experts and the best teachers. It was a huge change; but what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger.

Q: It must have been equally hard for your parents to let you – still really a child – study so far from home?

But my parents always treated me like an adult. They always had a huge sense of confidence in me because I was always a mature child. I was always a friend of my parents; they didn’t need to parent me as much as is maybe normal because, very early on, I found a purpose. When I decided that music was, indeed, going to be my life at the age of 14, they were very supportive. But the one thing they said was, “With music, you have to make sure that you are the best you can possibly be because, otherwise, it would not be an easy life.”

Q: You’re making your Bristol Proms debut. And you’re doing it with a programme that combines Bach, with Spanish classics, and even the Beatles. Why that eclecticism?

I love the idea of Bristol Proms: of trying something different; of appealing to a wider crowd of people. That’s a sentence which is so overused and misused these days! But I think that Bristol Proms is on the right track. From the very beginning of my ‘international career’, I approached it in such a way, also – I wanted to use the guitar as a vehicle to bridge the gap between what is classical and what is mainstream. The guitar is right in the middle of those two worlds: instead of fighting against each other, with this instrument you can unite them. And I thought that certain things which happened in my professional life so far - like my big concert at the Albert Hall - would happen at the end of my career, when I’d worked for years and years and years. And when I had collected so much audience behind me to justify something like that. Those things confirmed to me the power of guitar.

Q: You’re not afraid to embrace the popular in terms of looks, image and repertoire. That must be both a positive and a negative for you.

It’s not really a negative. Because, when I come out to play on stage, it doesn’t matter. I play with the best of my ability and without compromise. All those other things are simply part of my life, because I am a young person; I love life; I love the world I live in; and I like to embrace it with everything that I’ve got. I’m very grateful to everything and everyone around me for giving the opportunity to show myself in all of those different sides. I’m so thrilled when people come to me after a concert and say, “We have never been to a classical concert before, but we came to your concert and I think that we will continue to go - not just to your concerts, but to others as well.”

Q: Andrew Lloyd Webber said that you seem to have not two but five hands! You do bring something different to music. Can you define what that is?

You know, if I knew what that something was, I don’t think I would exist any more! It comes out of this obsession with what I do and this love for what I do. But, at the same time, I’m going to take that role as an ambassador for classical guitar very seriously, because we need that. We need it for the sake of all classical guitarists out there, and for the sake of new repertoire and for the development. I play an instrument which doesn’t have the tradition of violin or piano or cello. It’s a very young instrument and we just need to make it as exciting as we possibly can.

Q: How does your nationality affect your playing? The fact that you’re from a small place, surrounded by conflict; that you were unusual in your country for being a classical guitarist.

I always say that, if I hadn’t grow up in Montenegro and if I hadn’t had those experiences so early in my life, I would definitely not be the musician that I am today… I would quite possibly not be a musician at all because: at a time of conflict; at a time of things not being as rosy as they were everywhere else, I discovered music. It made me create a very beautiful bubble around me, with the power to invite as many people as I wanted into that bubble. Subconsciously, I learned the power of music through that. And, if I had grown up in a country where music-education was on a very high level; where it was very competitive from the start; where you became judged and criticised even before you had begun, I think my confidence would simply not be the same. It kills the love for what you do.

Q: As you have said, you’ve fulfilled dreams way before you ever expected to. What’s the next dream?

Well, it’s not really true that I didn’t expect to fulfil my dreams at this age. A lot of things that happen seem to be happening for the second time, not the first time, because I’ve already lived through them in my crazy head. But what is next? I just want to continue to enjoy what I do. I feel as if I am riding another wave in this whole process because, when it all began, I embraced it with all I’ve got; but it was quite difficult to get used to the lifestyle. To travelling and playing 100 concerts every year - and these are not concerts in local churches. They are concerts in the most important concert halls in the world, where there is pressure.

So I’ve now learned to enjoy it more than ever just by doing it all the time; and this is something that is waking up a different quality in my playing, in the music that I make, and in everything that I do. There is a wonderful sense of freedom, and that makes me so, so, so happy. I just want to continue to explore that further, and every day to grow as a person and as a musician. You can never achieve any other perfection than being able to just simply better yourself… And that’s the hardest thing to do.

-------------------------------

• Miloš Karadaglić makes his Bristol Proms debut on Friday, July 31 with From Bach To The Beatles, an intimate insight into the world’s most charismatic classical guitarist with a programme including a Bach Chaconne, Spanish classics, cool Latin music and brand new Beatles arrangements.

• For more on Bristol Proms, including tickets from £5, log onto www.bristololdvic.org.uk/proms2015.html or call the box office on 0117 987 7877

0 comments

Welcome , please leave your message below.

Optional - JPG files only
Optional - MP3 files only
Optional - 3GP, AVI, MOV, MPG or WMV files
Comments

Please log in to leave a comment and share your views with other Cotswold Life visitors.

We enable people to post comments with the aim of encouraging open debate.

Only people who register and sign up to our terms and conditions can post comments. These terms and conditions explain our house rules and legal guidelines.

Comments are not edited by Cotswold Life staff prior to publication but may be automatically filtered.

If you have a complaint about a comment please contact us by clicking on the Report This Comment button next to the comment.

Not a member yet?

Register to create your own unique Cotswold Life account for free.

Signing up is free, quick and easy and offers you the chance to add comments, personalise the site with local information picked just for you, and more.

Sign up now

More from Out & about

Yesterday, 15:25

Chipping Campden – once the meeting place for a council of Saxon kings – now offers the warmest of welcomes to all its visitors, from the humble shopper to the seasonal shin-kicker

Read more
Yesterday, 14:39

Taking the classroom outdoors is fun, inspires fresh ideas, broadens horizons – and encourages a new generation to enjoy and care for the Cotswolds

Read more
Thursday, November 15, 2018

As well as three days of action-packed racing and tradition, there’s plenty to do away from the course at this year’s November Meeting. Neil Phillips, The Wine Tipster, shares his 14 suggestions on how to make the most of your time at Cheltenham Racecourse

Read more
Tuesday, November 13, 2018

The Warwickshire town of Alcester is considered one of the best understood Roman settlements in the country. Tracy Spiers digs below the surface to discover its hidden jewels

Read more

Thanks to the impact of ground-breaking comedy This Country, the quiet market town of Northleach has become one of the Cotswolds’ hottest film locations. Katie Jarvis is sent to investigate

Read more
Tuesday, November 6, 2018

Stephen Roberts walks in the footsteps of the Oxford scholar who enjoyed attending parties dressed as a polar bear, and once chased a neighbour while dressed as an axe-wielding Anglo-Saxon

Read more
Tuesday, November 6, 2018

I send this postcard from Cirencester, complete with the discoveries and viewpoints from four members of my family – both the young and not so young

Read more
Tuesday, November 6, 2018

If you’re looking for things to do in the Cotswolds this month, we have gathered plenty of events for you to pop in your diary

Read more
Tuesday, November 6, 2018

One hundred years ago this month the guns fell silent, marking the end of what was to become known as The Great War. Stephen Roberts remembers the impact the war had on Cotswold lives from 1914-1918

Read more
Wednesday, October 31, 2018

Being a region so steeped in history, there are plenty of locations in the Cotswolds with spooky stories from over the years. From bloody executions, eerie apparitions and headless horsemen, we pick 23 of the most haunted locations throughout the Cotswolds to visit if you dare

Read more
Tuesday, October 30, 2018

New bat cams installed at Woodchester Mansion help study protected breeds while also becoming an added attraction for visitors. Jo Barber looks at the work of one of the UK’s foremost bat experts and the mansion’s valued volunteers

Read more
Tuesday, October 30, 2018

From an all-boy, all boarding prep school for just 30 pupils, to the quietly trailblazing yet still traditional school it is today – here is a snapshot of Beaudesert over its 110-year history

Read more
Tuesday, October 23, 2018

Of all the castles in the region, none have seen as much war, romance and royalty as Sudeley over its dramatic 1,000-year history. And with such a colourful and eventful past, it is easy to see why some people believe there could be spirits from bygone eras which still wander the halls and corridors to this day

Read more
Tuesday, October 23, 2018

Following a record year for ‘visitor giving’ donations via local businesses, applications are invited to fund conservation projects

Read more

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to the following newsletters:

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Our Privacy Policy

Topics of Interest

Food and Drink Directory A+ Education

Subscribe or buy a mag today

subscription ad

Local Business Directory

Property Search