Petar Jankovic, guitarist performs at Max Noah

By: Ryan Del Campo

From the first sweet sounding melody his guitar played in the Max Noah Recital Hall, he instantly engaged his audience. He then had them hooked until the last note reverberated through the room.
Petar Jankovic, a professor at Indiana University’s Jacobs School of Music, truly puts his soul into music. He displayed his mastery of the classical guitar with a performance of several compositions for GCSU music students, teachers and enthusiasts last Thursday.
The sweet melodic tones he played expressed a broad range of emotions. Each melody had its own story, much like Jankovic.
He began playing guitar at an early age.
“I found my first guitar under the Christmas tree when I was about seven years old,” he said. “It was really only a toy.”
But this toy began his path to study and master many forms of the classical guitar.
“I heard the guitar somewhere and knew that I wanted to study it,” Jankovic said.
Jankovic began his studies at the renowned Music Academy in his home town of Belgrade, Yugoslavia. He earned several awards for his performances, and eventually began to take the first step towards a teaching career when asked to share his musical mastery with other students.
He left Yugoslavia to pursue further education at the Indiana University where he earned an Artist Diploma Degree. He then continued there to teach and has happily stayed at IU while recording and performing.
In his performance at GCSU, Jankovic played a beautiful six-stringed golden Spanish guitar. When asked about how much a similar guitar would cost, he compared it to that of a fine imported car.
Like his guitar, many of the pieces he performed originated from Spanish and Latin culture. These pieces varied from slow sonatas to quick-paced tangos, just as the intensity of sound in each fluctuated.
Jankovic described the fascinating history of one piece, “Libra Sonatine.” He told the audience it was dedicated to the composer’s heart surgeon, and that each of the three movements respectfully represented the time before, during and after surgery. The melodies indeed did have the feel of a heart beating, the sharp sting of the surgery and the return to normalcy.
Freshman Natalie Ricker attended Jankovic’s recital.
“He is a very talented guitarist,” said Ricker. “The style of his music surprised me, but I connected to it because it was unlike anything I had ever heard before.”
During Mr. Jankovic’s performance, the audience’s eyes remained focused on his passionate expressions and his talented hands. Each listener, despite their musical background, understood the depth of his love for music. His dedication should serve as inspiration to students and teachers of music alike.

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