By: Shannon Witter October 3, 2007 Wheaton Wire

The Wheaton community was treated to the musical talents of classical guitarist, Petar Jankovic, on Thursday, September 27. The performance was held in Mary Lyon Hall, an intimate setting in which nearly forty guests, encompassing a range of ages, had the opportunity to form a close connection with the artist. The tiny room, complete with couches and paintings, was the perfect setting for such a recital; every note reverberated off the walls with melodic entirety, ringing long after a piece was completed.

Jankovic played an array of traditional classical guitar selections, often pausing in between numbers to tune his guitar amongst the echoes of the room. Throughout the performance, Jankovic remained completely immersed in his music, captivating the audience with his intricate finger work and remarkable grasp of rhythm.

The most extraordinary aspect of the performance was how, by paying careful attention to the volume and speed of each piece, Jankovic was able to convey a wide spectrum of emotion through his music. Some songs were upbeat and celebratory, with a Spanish sound and deep staccato rhythms, whereas other songs were rather supernatural, an effect Jankovic achieved by vibrating his hand over the neck of the guitar.

Many of these pieces were like soothing lullabies that gently assisted the audience in escaping from a hectic day. One selection entitled “Libra Sonatine,” by Roland Dyens, was Jankovic’s most modern piece, and was composed in 1986. Dedicated to Dyen’s heart surgeon, the song follows the course of the composer’s surgery after suffering a heart attack. It begins slow and melancholy, as the patient slips under anesthesia, and then suddenly becomes intense as the first incision is made. The last movement, “Fuoco,” meaning “Fighter,” is characterized by melodic pulses signifying the beating of a heart and blood throbbing through veins.

Jankovic, who is originally from Yugoslavia, began his guitar studies at age eight. He graduated from the renowned Music Academy in Belgrade and pursued a prestigious Artist Diploma Degree at the Indiana University School of Music, where he is currently a faculty member. Since the beginning of his professional music career, Jankovic has been honored with many esteemed awards, including two gold medals from the National Music Competition and an Indiana University Graduate Top Strings Award. He now plays over thirty concerts a season and has received global acclaim for his talents. Those who attented Jankovic’s performance were sure to feel truly lucky that they had the oppourtunity to partake in this musical show.

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