Shkodran Tolaj, Tenor and Shkelzen Baftiari, Piano with Guest Besiana Mehmedi

Program

Christmas Compositions

  1. Cohen –Haleluja, Shkelzen Baftiari piano
  2. Giordani Caro mio ben –Shkodran Tolaj- tenor
  3. Cesar Franck-Panis angelicus- Shkodran Tolaj
  4. Franz Gruber – Silent night- Besiana Mehmedi- meezzosoprano
  5. F. Handel Ombra mai fu – Shkodran Tolaj- tenor
  6. Schubert Ave Maria-Besiana Mehmedi- mezzosoprano

World composition

  1. Puccini “Nesun Dorma” –“Turandot”- Shkodran Tolaj
  2. Chopin “Scherzo no 3” Shkelzen Baftiari
  3. Strauss II “Als floter Geist” –“ Der Zigeunerbaron” Shkodran Tolaj
  4. Bizet “Seguidila” –“Carmen” Besiana Mehmedi
  5. Klamman “Grüss mein wien” – “Gräfin Mariz” Shkodran Tolaj
  6. Lehar “Volgalied” “Der Zarevitsch” Shkodran Tolaj

 

Albanian composition

  1. Gjoni “Lulebore” Shkodran Tolaj, Besiana Mehmedi
  2. arbereshe “Moj e bukura More” Shkodran Tolaj, Besiana Mehmedi
  3. Jakova “Margjelo” Besiana Mehmedi, Shkodran Tolaj

Shkodran Tolaj is an Albanian classical music singer who has performed in the German musical and arts scene for more than a decade. His latest vocal specialization was with the world-famous Mexican music professor Francisco Araiza. During his collaboration with Mr. Araiza, Mr. Tolaj performed the roles of Puccini. He also played the roles of Rodolfo and Pinkerton at the “La Boehme” and “Madam Butterfly” operas respectively. He has also collaborated with the “Orso” Philharmonic Orchestra when he played the role of Barinkay in the operetta “Zigeunbaron” of J. Strauss. With the same orchestra, he also conducted the vocal recording of Symphony Nr. 1 of A. Scriabin. Mr. Tolaj, apart from playing major classical opera characters, has also performed in modern musical pieces. He was part of the cast of the “Frafin Mariza” opera of E. Kalmman with his role of Tasilos. His two other musical performances were in the “West Side Story” of L. Bernestein (Tonny) and “Dance of the Vampires” of Jim Steinman (Graf von Krolock). In one of its musical reviews, the German newspaper “Baditsche Zeitung” praised Mr. Tolaj for his unique and high pitched voice which it claimed is “mesmerizing to the public.” Tenor Tolaj has also performed in the French and Swiss musical scenes where he has been distinguished as a multi-dimensional tenor who is able to adapt to different roles and characters from a wide ranging musical periods. Mr. Tolaj has recently returned to the Balkans and is contributing to the musical scenes of Kosova, Albania, and Macedonia. He has performed several solo concerts recently, including “The Spring Sounds” with the Macedonian National Theater of Opera and Ballet in October 2014 where he performed some of the world’s most challenging aria. Consequently, the concert was greatly received and appraised by the media and public. Mr. Tolaj has also released a classical music album titled “Impressions”. At the same time, he has performed along with the renowned Macedonian musical assembles, including his performance along with the famous troika of VAM, composed of professor Marija Gjoshevka – piano, Vladimir Kostov- violin, and Aleksader Kotevski – violoncello. Mr. Tolaj also was part of the concert held in Bitola/Manastir in November, 2015 where he performed along with the Albanian National Theater of Opera and Ballet. Some of Mr. Tolaj’s concerts have been broadcasted live on the national public stations and have received wide media coverage.Since 2016, Shkodran Tola is an active composer and organizer of musical events. Mr. Tolaj currently serves as the Director of two music festivals dedicated to children and youth. He has also composed several successful musical pieces and has produced the music for the documentary film “Rexhep Taka” which has been broadcasted by the National TV Station “RTK.” Mr. Tolaj has also produced musical work to mark the 10th anniversary of the Kosovo’s independence and has participated in numerous classic musical concerns and TV shows in both Macedonia and Albania.

Besiana Mehmedi- mezzo-soprano
Besiana Mehmedi was born in 1982 in Pristina, Kosovo but her family origin relates to the Macedonian city of Kicevo. She completed the primary and secondary musical school “Prenk Jakova” in Pristina for piano and solo-singing where she was widely regarded as one of the best students in the school. She held several concerts in Kosovo’s cities of Pristina, Peja, and Gjakova. She completed her high school one year in advance due to her excellent academic performance. Ms. Mehmedi graduated from the Academy of Arts of Albania, in Tirana, with an excellent GPA and highest academic honors. During the studies and after graduation, she was part of numerous classical music performances which were produced by the National Albanian Theater of Opera and Ballet. Ms. Mehmedi finished her graduate studies in musicology, under the auspicious of professor Zana Shuteriqi, with an excellent academic record (a GPA of 4.0) and her thesis was on “The role of National Television of Macedonia on the development of Albanian music during 1967-2012”. She is about to receive her second master’s in solo-singing from the Kosovar Academy of Arts in Pristina. From 2006-2013, Ms. Mehmedi served as an assistant professor of music history and vocal technique at the State University of Tetovo. Since 2013, she has been working as a professor of music history, solo-signing and vocal technique at the State University of Tetovo. Besiana Mehmedi has made her name as one of the most well -known Albanian musical singers. She is also known as a music professor, a publicist, radio reporter, and media presenter. She has received numerous musical awards and has been involved in re-producing and re-interpreting some of the Albanian folk hits. Classic musical performances “Peace and happiness in the spring of new century” – solo concert, 1999 Albanian Theater of Opera – concert, June, 2004 Soloist in the Concert of Mother Teresa’s canonization with the “Jan Kukuzeli” Orchestra and conductor Zhani Ciko, National Theater of Pristina, 2004 Solo-concert with “Latino Band”, Struga, Macedonia, 2007 Solo-concert “One language for all”, with guests including Suzana Frasheri, Edit, Mihal, Redon Makashi, accompanied by the Macedonian National Theater of Opera and Ballet, Conductor Sasho Tatarqevksi, 2009 Solo-concert with guests including Shkodran Tolaj and Suzana Frasheri, accompanied by the Macedonian National Theater of Opera and Ballet, Conductor Sasho Tatarqevksi, 2010 Besiana Mehmedi has also participated in the musical and arts activities organized by the State University of Tetovo. She performed as a soloist in the musical concert “Kantata e alfabetit” with conductor Arifikmet Xhemaili which was performed in Tetova, Struga, and Gostivar during 2008. She has also participated in the concert organized between the State University of Tetovo and Radio Television of Albania in 2008, and the concert in honor of the 100th anniversary of Albania’s declaration of independence. Ms. Mehmedi has also performed in the concert organized by the Kosovo Embassy in Turkey in February, 2013. During her career, Besiana Mehmedi has collaborated with numerous conductors including Milto Vako, Suzana Turku, Eno Koco and Jetmir Burbullushi. Her roles in operas include: • Opera “Figaro Weeding” – Moxart, the role of Cherubino, conductor Altin Shehu, director Nikolin Gurakuqi, Albanian Academy of Arts, Tirana, 2004 • “Il cambiale del matrimonio” – Rosini, the role of Clarina, conductor Leonardo Quadrino, director Nikolin Gurakuqi, Albanian Academy of Arts, Tirana, 2004 • Opera “Room” – Ermir Dergjini, the role of Ines, conductor Zhani Ciko, director Nikolin Gurakuqi, National Theater of Opera and Ballet, Tirana, 2004 • Musical “Per tre grosh” – Kurt Weil, the role of Xheni, conductor Artan Lumshi, director Armando Bora, National Theater of Opera and Ballet, Tirana, 2005 • Musical “The Kidnapping of Junis William”- Paula Kimber, the role of Ganenstehav, Festival “Ohrid summer”, director Natasha Popllavska, director Sasho Tatarqevski. Besiana Mehmedi has won many music awards. She received the second place in the “Flag Festival,” which was organized in honor of the Albanian 100th years of declaration of independence and received the “Nexhimje Pagarusha” award in the “Kenga Ime” Festival. Ms. Mehmedi also contributes as a writer for numerous social arts journals where she has written on the “Role of media in enhancing music” and “Menzra e kriprimit permes muzikimit”. She is currently working with the National Radio of Australia as a free-lance reporter. Before that, she had her own show “Gjurme ne pentragram” which was broadcasted in the National Radio television of Macedonia. Besiana Mehmedi has written many articles for numerous newspapers and in some of them, she also held the role of editor in chief. Ms. Mehmedi currently serves as a tenant professor of music at the State Univesrity of Tetovo. Recently, she has delivered several solo performances, including “Stabat Mater” in Skopje and Tetovo, the concert with Albanian musical pieces in Tetovo, the concert with European classical music pieces in Gostivar, and was one of the main performers of the art performance “Skenderbeu” in Pristina. She actively participates in different festivals, concerts, and TV shows in Kosovo, Macedonia, Albania, and other regional countries.

Shkelzen Baftiari (10.08.1986 – Tetovo, Macedonia)  finished his primary and high school at the Music – Ballet School Center “Ilija Nikolovski-Luj” in Skopje in the class of Professor Ludmilla Romanova. He graduated with “Cum Laude” in Music Academy – Skopje in the class of  Professor Boris Romanov, and he did master studies with Professor Simon Trpceski.

Shkelzen Baftiari has participated in many concerts in Macedonia and abroad. Besides this, he is also the winner of many international competitions and competitions held in his country. Some of them include: first prize in Blagoevgrad (Bulgaria), Laureate at the International Competition “Valentino Bucchi” in Rome (Italy), second prize at the International Competition “Nikolai Rubinstein” in Paris (France), second prize in Torino (Italy), first prize at the International Competition “Schumann-Brahms” in Plovdiv(Bulgaria). In april 2007 he was the winner of the Special First Prize at The Republic Competition, in august 2013 first special prize in “Lake pearls” – Struga, Macedonia.

He has given recitals in Skopje, Pristina, Tirana, Sofia, Belgrade, Ohrid (Ohrid summer) and has performed as a soloist with Macedonian Philharmonic, London City Philharmonic, Kosovo Philharmonic Orchester, Albanian RTSH Orchester and with the Symphonic Orchester of the Faculty of Musical Arts in Skopje.

Shkelzen Baftiari beside his recordings at the Macedonian Radio – Television (MRT), at the Albanian Television (TVSH) and at the Radio Television of Kosovo(RTK), is a regular follower of the seminars in Ohrid during “Ohrid Summer” held by professor, Boris Romanov.