Kevin Dombrowski4 American musicians chosen for cultural exchange with Sarajevo Philharmonic
(Story Provided to the NRO By: Diane Wittry, Artistic Director with the Cultural Exchange Program)

Four young American musicians have been selected for an International Cultural Exchange program that will take them to Bosnia-Herzegovina for 10 months to perform with the Sarajevo Philharmonic.   Kevin  Pfister, Bassoon, from Ambler, Pennsylvania;  Daniel  Worsham, French Horn, from Kenosha, Wisconsin;  Jessica Young, French Horn, from Denton, Texas;  Kevin  Dombrowski, Trombone,   from Chicago, Illinois, will perform in opera, ballet and symphonic concerts from September 2014 through July 2015.

Kevin Dombrowski, Trombone, recently graduated from Yale University where he earned a Masters in Music Performance and before that he earned his Bachelor’s in Music Performance at the Eastman School of Music. As an orchestral musician, he has played with the West Virginia Symphony, National Repertory Orchestra and the Chautauqua Symphony Orchestra. As a soloist, Kevin has won several competitions and notably had the chance to play in Aarhus, Denmark for the International Trombone Association’s solo competition. He is also an avid chamber musician and enjoys playing with the Handsome Dans Trombone Quartet.

The International Cultural Exchange program is coordinated and sponsored by the Bosnian-Herzegovinian American Academy of Arts and Sciences (BHAAAS) in cooperation with the Sarajevo Philharmonic. 

The mission of the Bosnian-Herzegovinian American Academy of Arts and Sciences is to provide connections between Bosnian-Herzegovinian and scientists, musicians, artists, and professionals in North America to build bridges of cooperation between our countries. The Academy promotes the spirit of intellectual diversity and free exchange of ideas in the belief that knowledge is shareable wealth.

The Sarajevo Philharmonic was founded in 1923 and has played an important role in shaping the musical life of Sarajevo and Bosnia and Herzegovina.  The Sarajevo Philarmonic is a full-time orchestra that currently performs in the National Theatre in Sarajevo and tours throughout the region.

The Sarajevo Philharmonic operated without interruptions throughout the siege of Sarajevo  from 1993-1995. Although Sarajevo was exposed to daily bombardment from the surrounding hills which killed over 10,000 of its citizens, the Philharmonic held nine concerts in the 1993-1994 season, 21 concerts in the 1994-1995 season, and 41 concerts in the 1995-1996 season. Out of those 41 concerts, 10 were held prior to November 1995, when the Dayton Peace Agreement was signed.  The Philharmonic lost two musicians during the siege.

The International Cultural Exchange Program for Classical Musicians starts in September 2014 and the participants will return to the United States in July 2015. Selection of the musicians was done by Conductor and Artistic Director Diane Wittry, who is a  BHAAAS international member; Samra Gulamovic, director and conductor of the Sarajevo Philharmonic; and Eldin E. Karaikovic, BHAAAS project director.  The applicants submitted copies of their performance resumes and unedited DVDs of their playing. The applicants also included a short video about why they wanted to participate in the program.

For more information about this program, please email: [email protected]