The UR music department has appointed internationally acclaimed pianist Zora Mihailovich to the position of artist-in-residence, new for the River Campus.

Professor and Chair of the Music Department Kim Kowalke said he believes that the largest benefit of having an artist-in-residence will be the interaction Mihailovich will have with students.

“This brings a world-class performer in contact with students,” he said. “There are world-class musicians at Eastman, but this is a first for the River Campus.”

As the artist-in-residence, Mihailovich will present a recital each semester and appear as a soloist with student ensembles, and will have a role in teaching. She will hold workshops for pianists, coach chamber music and be a guest lecturer for academic courses.

“The new program is one that is very much aimed toward individual student needs,” Mihailovich said. “I hope it will be good for students to have an instrumentalist to talk to.”

Music students are excited for the opportunity to work with a world renowned musician. Many said this is a step in the right direction for the UR music department.

“It’s great that UR students will be able to hear a classical performer without having to take the bus over to Eastman,” said freshman music major Ben Thorburn. “It’s important for River Campus students to have the opportunity to learn from experienced, professionally trained musicians.”

Senior music major Eric Hunter agreed. “While the music department at UR has a fantastic staff, solo performers have had to rely on lessons at Eastman up until now to provide direction for their careers. Ms. Mihailovich will fill a void for these students,” he said.

Because this is a new position, Mihailovich said she will make changes to her program as she finds out what works. “This is a very creative position,” she said. “I will be teaching classes, giving individual lessons and performing. I will be able to see what works and create changes later.”


Mihailovich has performed as an orchestral soloist in venues all over the world, including London’s Royal Festival Hall, Amsterdam’s Concertgebouw and New York’s Carnegie Hall.

She has also worked with singers Placido Domingo, Nicolai Gedda and Anna Moffo.

Mihailovich was born in Belgrade, Yugoslavia and began studying music at age 5. She first performed with the Belgrade Philharmonic Orchestra when she was 16.

She later became the youngest person ever to graduate from the Academy of Music in Belgrade and then completed her studies in Rome. Before coming to the United States in 1989, Mihailovich was a professor of piano at the University of Belgrade for 15 years. She worked as a visiting professor at the University of Arizona and in Sweden.

Kowalke also hopes that Mihailovich’s presence will add to the appeal of music recitals. “In every way, she will enrich the department and add to the attractiveness of concerts for the entire student body as well as the community,” he said.

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