Milan Milisavljević is Principal Viola with the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra, starting in the 2018-19 season. He previously served as Assistant Principal of the MET for twelve years. In addition, he is a former member of the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra and has served as guest Principal Viola of orchestras worldwide, such as the Toronto Symphony.
The Strad magazine has described his playing as “very imaginative, with a fine, cultured tone.” Milan’s solo album Sonata-Song, published by Delos Music, has received glowing reviews, with the recording of A. Khatchaturian’s solo sonata on the album hailed as “definitive”. He has won prizes at competitions such as ARD, Lionel Tertis and Aspen Lower Strings and has performed at Marlboro, Cascade Head, Lake Tahoe and Grand Teton music festivals. Milan has appeared as soloist throughout the world, with orchestras such as the Munich Chamber Orchestra, the Belgrade Philharmonic, Aspen Sinfonia, Classical Tahoe, Orquesta Filarmónica de Boca del Río and many others.
As a chamber musician, he has collaborated with members of the Guarneri and Mendelssohn String Quartets, as well as Joseph Kalichstein, Augustin Hadelich, Sergiu Luca and many others. He has been heard worldwide on countless recordings and broadcasts of the Met, including the Grammy Award-wining Wagner’s Ring Cycle in 2012.
Milan has coached violists at the Verbier Music Festival, at Indiana University as a visiting lecturer, and as a volunteer at Ecole de musique St-Trinite in Port-au-Prince, Haiti. In addition to his activities as a violist, he is increasingly in demand as a conductor.
Milan started playing the violin at a very young age his native Serbia and entered the Faculty of Music of the University of Belgrade at the age of 16, where he studied with renowned pedagogue Dejan Mihailović. Having immigrated to Canada, he studied violin with Vladimir Landsman and viola with Jutta Puchhammer at the Université de Montréal. Milan received a Master’s degree from Indiana University and a Doctor of Musical Arts degree from Rice University, both in viola performance. His major viola teachers include Atar Arad, James Dunham, Nobuko Imai and Samuel Rhodes. Milan plays a viola made by Joseph Curtin of Ann Arbor, Michigan.
Milan is also active as a conductor and founder of Music for the People, a New York-based ensemble dedicated to a new perspective and concert experience of classical music. He has studied conducting with Jorma Panula, Jeffrey Milarsky, Johannes Schlaefli, Colin Metters, and others. In addition to his musical interests, he is also an avid runner, an occasional triathlete and a huge fan of modern architecture and design, especially the Mid Century Modern style.