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Milan and Katarina Pal'a

mp2A violinist who is also a virtuoso of the viola, Milan Pal'a  has premiered many new works by such composers as Jean Guillou, Evgeny Irshai, František Gregor Emmert, Marián Lejava, Christophe Sirodeau, Erkki-Sven Tüür, Ádám Kondor, Ivan Josip Skender, Ante Knešaurek, Adrián Demoč, Tõnu Kõrvits, Daniel Matej, Lena Sierova and Wolfgang Bauer. In recent years he has performed for audiences at several prestigious events showcasing new music, of which the most important included the ISCM World New Music Days 2013, the 28th Music Biennale Zagreb (2015), Arcus Temporum (Pannonhalma, Hungary), the Melos-Ethos International Festival of Contemporary Music (Bratislava, Slovakia) and the Hradec Králové Music Forum (Czech Republic, 2013), where he played the Violin Concerto by the Finnish composer, Esa-Pekka Salonen. In April 2017, he performed at the 29th Music Biennale Zagreb, this time in Harrison Birtwistle’s Concerto for Violin and Orchestra under the baton of Pierre-André Valade. A very busy concert artist, Milan Paľa commands a broad repertoire. His career as a soloist has led him to cooperation with conductors such as Theodor Guschlbauer, Howard Arman, Alexander Cernusenko, Leoš Svárovský, Andreas Sebastian Weiser, Peter Gribanov, Jakub Hrůša, Ondrej Lenárd and Marián Lejava.

Milan Paľa’s continuously expanding discography contains many works of the world’s violin repertoire. With pianist Ladislav Fanzowitz, he is committed to recording the complete sonatas for violin and piano by major composers, with works by Johannes Brahms, Ludwig van Beethoven, Eugen Suchoň and Edvard Grieg having been published so far. Their most recent recording (2017) features Dmitri Shostakovich’s Sonata for Violin and Piano, Op. 134, and Sonata for Viola and Piano, Op. 147. A result of the inspiring cooperation of many years between Milan Paľa and the conductor and composer Marián Lejava is their critically acclaimed recording of violin concertos by Alban Berg and Karol Szymanowski with the Slovak Radio Symphony Orchestra.kp2

 After graduating at Gymnázium Varšavská in Žilina, Katarína Paľová continued her studies at Konzervatórium in Žilina, where she studied piano with Mgr. art. Ľudmila Fraňová and conducting with doc. Štefan Sedlický. Since 2013 Katarína has been studying piano at Janáček Academy of Performing Arts in Brno, Czech Republic in the class of doc. Ivan Gajan. She took masterclasses with such pianists as Eugen Indjić, Alexandar Serdar and Jonathan Powell.  In 2010 - 2013 Katarína took part in student ensemble for contemporary music Veni Academy, which, headed by Marián Lejava, participated in several festivals like Melos Étos (2011) and ISCM World New Music Days (2013). In 2013, the ensemble recorded a double-CD titled Rolling Tones/In zarter Bewegung, which received the Radio_Head Award in the Classical Music category. Besides accompanying her colleagues in recitals at Janáček Academy, Katarína also works together with her husband, Milan Paľa, with whom she has performed e.g. at festival Konvergencie in 2016.  Alongside the music of 18th and 19th century, Katarína devotes herself mainly to 20th and 21st century music. She has performed works of such composers as Samuil Feinberg, Nikolaj Roslavets, Toru Takemitsu, Pascal Manolios, etc. She has also given the first performances of several works of Slovak and Czech composers. Recently, she has premiered Jevgenij Iršai's Concerto mosso no.2 for piano and string quintett under the baton of Marián Lejava.