‘Makedonissimo’, meaning ‘very Macedonian’, sees pianist Simon Trpčeski take a detour from Beethoven and Brahms to celebrate the music of his homeland. Trpčeski takes listeners on a joyous tour through the incredible rhythms and haunting melodies of the Macedonian folk music tradition in which highly intricate, jazz-influenced riffs and harmonies are seamlessly interwoven. Inspired by Trpčeski’s passion for the folk traditions of his homeland Macedonian composer Pande Shahov (b. 1973) created a six movement cycle he called Pletenki (Plaits). In these new arrangements Shahov merges his own sound world – one which is influenced by impressionist attitudes to resonance and jazz harmony – with Macedonia’s traditional music. This project had its world premiere in May 2017 at the Ludwigsburg Festival, Germany and went on to wow audiences in the UK (London, Liverpool, Birmingham), Slovenia (Ljubljana), France (Lille), Poland (Warsaw, Szczecin, Gdansk, Katowice), the Netherlands (Amsterdam), Serbia (Belgrade) and South Korea (Jeongseon, Wonju, Chuncheon).
Led by Trpčeski on piano the quintet of virtuosi musicians comprises Aleksandar Krapovski violin, Alexander Somov cello, Hidan Mamudov clarinet, saxophone, kaval and Vlatko Nushev percussion.