Classical pianist Jelena Cingara plays Kenley on Sunday

WEDNESDAY , AUGUST 03, 2016 - 6:15 AM

Image by: Photo supplied/Jelena Cingara

Jelena Cingara performs Aug. 7 at the free Sunday Night Concert Series at Layton's Kenley Centennial Amphitheater.


Standard-Examiner correspondent


LAYTON — Jelena Cingara has been tickling the ivories since she was 6 years old, and teaching piano to others since she was 15.

The Salt Lake City pianist will be performing some of her best work on Sunday, Aug. 7, at the Kenley Centennial Amphitheater as part of the Davis Arts Council’s Free Sunday Night Concert Series.

Cingara was born and raised in Novi Sad, Serbia. As a young child, she was one of 20 children out of 100 chosen to attend the gifted kids music school Isidor Bajic.

Today, she studies piano under the direction of Vedrana Subotic, a professor of piano at the University of Utah. She is also in the middle of completing a doctorate in piano performance at the U of U.

Cingara said she is passionate about music because she can express herself and be creative.

“It was also one of the few things that could occupy me for hours at the time. Just playing piano is passionate,” she said. “Almost every pianist has to be a teacher as well. Right now, I have about 20 students. In the past year, I have taught about 30 students of all ages and levels, and prepared them for recitals and exams, and throughout the years, I have taught many more.”


WHAT: Pianist Jelena Cingara in the Free Sunday Night Concert Series 

WHEN: 7 p.m. Aug. 7

WHERE: Kenley Centennial Amphitheater, 403 N. Wasatch Drive, Layton

ADMISSION: Free; 801-546-8575,

Cingara has been a winner at the Kiwanis and Davenport music festivals in Toronto, Canada. She received a full teaching assistantship in Toledo, Ohio, and then an assistantship at the U of U. She was also twice the recipient for the U of U dean’s travel grant award — two summers ago for Interharmony Music Festival in Italy, and this summer for a chamber music concert at the world piano teacher’s conference in Novi Sad, Serbia.

Cingara practices four to five hours a day when getting ready to perform.

“If I don’t have anything coming up, I might take some days off. I am also an organ minor at the University of Utah, so I am busy with two instruments at the moment.”

Cingara said she doesn’t have a favorite composer, but loves any piece she is working on at the time. At the Layton concert, Cingara will perform two Mozart sonatas, Bartok’s Hungarian Dances, and Marko Tajcevic’s Seven Balkan Dances.

“All music is beautiful, and it is up to you, the performer and an artist, to find the beauty and interest in it, and to transfer that to the audience,” she said. “It is enjoyable, I love performing. I would like the audience to understand the message of every composer that I will be performing, whether it is Mozart or Bartok.”

Cingara said music is one of the most beautiful things in the world.

“Everyone in the world loves music. I have never met a person that said to me, ‘I hate music.‘ This is why it is important for our communities to support the arts, as well as artists.”


REICHEL RECOMMENDS / The Arts in Utah and Beyond

Arts Reviews and Recommendations



Diverse Program Spotlights Pianist’s Interpretative Talents

Posted on January 31, 2018 by Edward Reichel

Piano Music by Beethoven, Górecki, Brahms; Jelena Cingara, piano. ****

The diverse program on this album puts the spotlight squarely on pianist Jelena Cingara’s versatility as an interpreter and shows that she is at home in and comfortable with different stylistic periods.
First off on the disc is one of Beethoven’s earlier piano sonatas, the op. 31, no. 2, “The Tempest.” The work abounds with passionate intensity and drive in the outer movements, while the middle movement offers a lyrical interlude that balances the emotional fury of the fast movements.
Cingara offers a seamless and fluid performance that is decisive and strong in the opening and closing movements. Her playing of the slow movement is expressive and moves smoothly between the themes. This is a wonderful example of Beethoven done right.
Like Beethoven, Brahms wrote a huge body of works for piano throughout his career. The “Sechs Klavierstücke,” op. 118, which is also featured on this disc, are among his most intimate of his late piano works. The six pieces explore a wide range of emotions and expressions and Cingara captures the mood and character of each beautifully. Her playing is thoughtful and sincere and infused with passion, tenderness, lyricism and exquisite expressiveness throughout.
Balancing the works of these two giants of romanticism on this disc is an early sonata by a master of 20th/21st century music, Henryk Górecki.
His Sonata No. 1, op. 6, was originally composed in 1956, but revised twice, first in 1984, then six years later. It’s a compelling work that calls to mind Prokofiev’s piano music with its virile forcefulness and relentless rhythmic energy.
Here Cingara showcases her virtuosity and interpretative skills. It’s a dynamic, compelling and unflinching perusal of this work, infused with energy and drama. Her playing is intense and effusive, and she holds nothing back in her decisive and impassioned reading. She breathes life into this work and makes it appealing and exciting.

Posted in CD ReviewsCLASSICAL MUSICLeave a reply

CD Focuses on Two 20th Century Yugoslav Composers

Posted on January 31, 2018 by Edward Reichel

Marko Tajcevic, “Seven Balkan Dances,” Josip Slavenski, Piano Sonata, op. 4; Jelena Cingara, piano. ****

This album features two strongly contrasting works by two significant Yugoslav composers. Pianist Jelena Cingara’s decision to pair these works was a good one, as it shows the diversity of styles that was present in 20th century Yugoslavia.
The “Seven Balkan Dances” by Marko Tajcevic (1900-84) are vibrant and dynamic. Written in a modern harmonic idiom and charged with rhythmic vitality, they’re somewhat reminiscent of Béla Bartók’s Balkan pieces, yet at the same time they are refreshingly different.
Cingara captures the energy and passion of each dance with her well defined rhythmic sense and finely shaded execution. Her playing is crisp with clean intonation and subtle pedaling, and her interpretation leaves nothing to be desired.
The same also holds true for Cingara’s performance of the other work on this disc, the Piano Sonata, op. 4, by Josip Slavenski (1896-1955).
Slavenski’s piece is a study in contrasts; it’s robust and masculine while also exploring a more lyrical thread. It contains folk elements, but it’s also at times abstract. The harmonic language is tonal but within a broader definition of tonality. It’s not an easy task making all of this flow seamlessly, but Cingara manages to do just that in her marvelous interpretation.
As with Tajcevic’s dances, Cingara gives a strong, hearty performance that captures the disparate characteristics of the work. Her playing is clean, crisp, precise and fluid. She makes this piece exciting and vibrant.
This is a fine disc for people who are interested in exploring little known works by composers who are underrepresented on recordings.

Posted in CD ReviewsCLASSICAL MUSICLeave a reply

Cingara Adds Emotion to Music


Madge Slack


January 29, 2018


Photo courtesy of Jelena Cingara

Jelena Cingara fell in love with music through a friend. Her parents tell her that she used to listen with rapt attention at the age of five while her friend put on music shows consisting of ballet and piano. At age six, Cingara joined a music school for gifted children in Novi Sad, Serbia. From that moment on, her path was set. Music became an all-encompassing passion that drove her to pursue undergraduate, master’s and DMA programs. Her passion for music was unexpected considering her parents are scientists, but it has led her all over Canada and the United States, and continues to drive her to new heights.

“In my opinion, music is a complete and highest art form, which expresses what words fail to express,” Cingara said.

Cingara now teaches music as she tries to impart her own passion on young artists. Several of her students have been quite successful in national competitions. Cingara even teaches over Skype, although she misses “the one-on-one interaction with the student.”  Teaching is important to her because “music is what everyone in the world needs today — a beautiful, pure, enlightened world full of kindness and enjoyment.”

Cingara found a home at the University of Utah. Her mentor and professor, Verdrana Subotic, is also from Eastern Europe — Yugoslavia. They bonded right away, and Cingara felt that Subotic really understood her. Cingara has a Bachelor of Arts in piano performance from the University of Toronto, a master’s degree in piano performance from the University of Toledo and a DMA in piano performance from the U.

Cingara feels that good practice is essential to success in a musical career.

“You always have to be your best self, which is hard for me … since sometimes I just want to relax and enjoy,” Cingara said.

That level of dedication can be exhausting at times, but it is worth it in the end to be a part of something bigger and more beautiful than just herself.

Precision, Cingara says, is the key to improvement.

“The most important part of a good practice is to try to do everything precisely and carefully: reading the notes, correct rhythms, dynamics, phrasing, technique,” Cingara said. “Then after you [do] all of this, you can put the expression and the emotions in.”

Technique makes something to listen to, but the emotion is what makes it into music for Cingara.

“Music is not to hear, it is to feel,” Cingara said.

This is evident in each of her performances — each note feels deliberate and full, as if every increment is important.

“You put all of yourself into your music and your art — it’s a part of you,” Cingara said. “Not all professions are like this.”

Currently, Cingara is working on a series of pieces by Johannes Brahms, but in the meantime, she offers this bit of advice to up-and-coming artists.

“Work hard, and don’t let anyone tell you that you can’t do or achieve something,” Cingara said.

You can learn more or schedule a lesson on her website:




Madge Slack




Koncert Dr. Vedrane Subotic u Torontu Heliconan Clubu 17 Maj 2019

   Koncert Dr. Vedrane Subotic je odrzan u petak 17 Maja 2019 u Heliconian Hall-u Torontu. Vedrana je profesor klavira na Univerzitetu u Juti u Americi gde predaje Doktorantima, Magistrima i studentima osnovnih studija. Ona je pobednik na klavirskom nacionalnom takmicenju bivse Jugoslavije, i nastupa na preko sezdeset koncerata godisnje po celom svetu u zemljama kao sto su Kina, Italija, Francuska, Cile, Kanada i Srbija. Ovaj koncert je organizacije Tamare Ivanis -Tieventi.

   Vedrani je ovo drugi nastup u Torontu. Prvi nastup je odrzan prosle godine u Oktobru u Galeriji 345 u Rocensvalles. Na programu koncerta te veceri su bila dela Ludvig Van Betovena, Franc Zzef Hajdna, Shopena, i kao veliko iznenadjenje premijera Etida Vasilija Mokranjca u Torontu, jednog od najznacajnijih kompozitora  bivse Jugoslavije. 

  Njegove kompozicije su najbolje kreacije  Srpske umetničke

 muzike.  Opus ovog autora ne izdvaja se samo po broju napisanih dela, ili stilskoj polivalentnosti, već pre svega po najvišim   umetničkim dometima, doslednosti sopstvenom unutrašnjem svetu kao i po visokom profesionalnom nivou kojima je ovaj kompozitor uobličio svoj opus.[1]

   Koncert je poceo sa Sonatom u Es duru Hob. XVI: 52. Ovo je poslednja, najveca, i najteza Hajdnova Sonata, koja se odlikuje neobicnim harmonijama, komplikovanim pasazima, i veoma brzim tempima prvog it terceg stava. Vedrana ima brilijantnu tehniku, koja je sve prepreke ove Sonate savladala, i uspela da docara srecni duh i energicnost  ove kompozicije. Publika je gromoglasnim aplazuom pozdravila njen nastup, koji je bio bez ijedne greske, i samo je klizio kao voda. Imati takvu kontrolu nad instrumentom je odlika pravog profesionalca, sto je Vedrana dokazala te veceri. Sledeca na redu je bila Sonata L.Van Betoven Op. 27 br. 2 “Appasionatta”. Betoven je jedan od najbitnijih i najuticajnijih kompozitora klasicne muzike Ovo delo je isto tako jedno od najvecih, najtezih, i najpozatijih Betovenovih Sonata, i komponovano je u 1805/6 godini. Isto tako je poznato da je u 1803 godini Beethoven morao da suoci u lice sa cinjenicom da polako gluvi. Ova Sonata vodi izvodjaca i slusaoca kroz niz raznih emocija, od ocaja i tragedije, to euforije i nezgranicne srece, paralelno sa Betovenovim emocijama kroz koje je tad prolazio. Vedrana kroz veoma dobro izvodjenje ove kompozicije dokazala sve njene cari, i odvela publiku u Beethovenov tadasnji svet. 

  Neke od odlika Vedrane Subotic kao pijaniste su: silna tehnika, ogromna preciiznost, velika muzikalnost, sklonost ka detaljima, i sposobnost da odvede publiku u svet kompozitora, i da sasvim lepo docara svaku kompoziciju publici. Posle pauze su sledila dela Sopena – Mazurke, i Balada broj 3. Vedrana je ove kompozicije izvela sa njihovim pravim karakterom tih kompozicija. Etide Morkanjaca su pod uticajem folklore iz bivse Jugoslavije, i predivne su. Slusajuci njih je publika stvarno uzivala. Vedrana je ovaj koncert odsvirala veoma dobro, i publika ju je propratila stojecom ovacijom. Program je trajao oko sat i po, i bio je ogroman i tezak. Svi uticaji publike su bili da je koncert bio prelep, i da su bili odusveljeni njim. Na koncert je dosla i Sprska televizija, koja je sve to sniamala, i intervjuisala Vedranu posle. Vedrana se nada ponovom nastupu u Torontu u buducnosti!

Jelena Cingara

CingArts Intl. concert reviewer