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Tale Ognenovski, internationally renowned jazz, folk dance and classical clarinetist and composer
Tale Ognenovski, internationally renowned jazz, folk dance and classical clarinetist and composer was born in the village of Brusnik near Bitola in the Republic of Macedonia on April 27, 1922. Tale Ognenovski is known across the globe for his virtuosic performances. Tale Ognenovski has opened up new possibilities for the clarinet that no one could have predicted. He is one of the greatest instrumentalists and composers in the world of music. He made the connection between Oriental and Western Music. Tale Ognenovski has had, and continues to have, astonishing success. At 34 (1956) Tale Ognenovski has arrived as an internationally acclaimed virtuoso.
He has composed and arranged 150 Macedonian folk dances, one classical concert “Tale Ognenovski Concert for Clarinet No. 1”, and 12 jazz compositions. Some of his compositions have been recorded on 11 LPs, 11 cassettes, 10 gramophone records, 3 CD Albums and one videotape (Radio Television Belgrade, Serbia; Jugoton Zagreb, Croatia; Macedonian Radio Television and Independent Records, USA).
CD Albums available on iTunes, Amazon.com…: Audio CD (September 5, 2001) entitled: “Jazz, Macedonian Folk Dances and Classical Music”. CD album includes: 3 Jazz compositions, 6 Macedonian Folk dances and Classical Music, all composed by Tale Ognenovski. Tale Ognenovski demonstrates a unique skill with a wealth of invention and amazing improvisational virtuosity.
Audio CD (January 24, 2006) entitled: “MOZART and OGNENOVSKI Clarinet Concertos”. CD album includes: Clarinet Concerto in A Major, K.622: Allegro, Adagio and Rondo - Allegro all composed by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart and arranged by Tale Ognenovski and Tale Ognenovski Concert for Clarinet No. 1 composed and arranged by Tale Ognenovski.
Tale Ognenovski's Macedonian folk dances have been performed in Switzerland (Mechanlizenz), France (Sacem), Sweden (Gema), Finland (Teosto), Great Britain, Denmark, Austria, U.S.A. (iTunes) and others.
He has appeared with the Macedonian Ensemble of Folk Dances and Songs 'Tanec' on the world's most prestigious concert stages during highly successful tours throughout North America and Europe. The group became a major in every major city during the tours. Ensemble 'Tanec's North American tour was sponsored by International Artists in association with Charles E. Green and Lee V. Eastman. 'Tanec's American tour began with their debut on one of the most successful cultural magazine series in the history of U.S. commercial television, the Ford Foundation TV Program “OMNIBUS” (on CBS Television Network), on January 22, 1956. This program was seen by millions of Americans.
On January 27, 1956, Tale Ognenovski, performed as a virtuoso clarinet and reed pipe soloist folk dances in the world-famous Carnegie Hall. Together, he and the other members of the Macedonian Ensemble 'Tanec' appeared at Carnegie Hall in a display of tremendous skill, which was a sheer joy to watch. There, he bewitched the audience with his performances. During an 84-day tour throughout the United States of America and Canada, Tale Ognenovski with Ensemble 'Tanec' traveled 10,000 kilometers and performed 66 concerts in 53 different towns. These concerts were heralded as great cultural events by the American press, with articles appearing in The New York Times, The New York Daily Mirror, The New York Herald Tribune, The New York World Telegram, The New York Daily News, Boston Traveler, Boston Globe, Chicago Daily News, Chicago Daily Tribune, Saint Louis Globe Democrat, San Francisco Chronicle, Los Angeles Times, San Diego Union, The Milwaukee Journal, Washington News, Baltimore Sun, The Christian Science Monitor, Denver Rocky Mountain News, Life, The Philadelphia Inquirer, The Globe and Mail, The Washington Post and the Times Herald.
Ensemble 'Tanec' twice repeated this great success, first with their tour of Germany from August 15 until October 27, 1956 during which they performed 72 concerts and second, with their tour of France from September 20 until November 25, 1959 during which they performed 83 concerts. There were two further concerts in Dortmund, Germany on September 18 and 19, 1959. The Ensemble twice had performances broadcast on French television, on September 21 and 22, 1959. 20 million people would have seen them on the most popular programme on French Television. Radio Paris recorded a 45-minute programme of Macedonian folk dances and songs. In Salon de Provence, the Ensemble received an honorary medal of the town.
Tale Ognenovski performed as virtuoso clarinet and reed pipe soloist with Ensemble 'Tanec' during their tour of Switzerland during the period July 7-10, 1959. The concerts were performed in Berne on July 7 and 8, 1959 and in Geneva on July 9 and 10, 1959 with tremendous success. Tale Ognenovski made his debut on a special programme broadcast on Swiss Television. Playing as virtuoso clarinet soloist, he performed his personally composed Macedonian folk dances 'Bitolsko oro' and 'Brusnichko oro' with great success.
The brilliant musician Tale Ognenovski performed in a multitude of concerts in the United States (65 concerts, from January 22, 1956 till April 12, 1956), Canada (Toronto Massey Hall, February 13, 1956), Germany (74 concerts, from August 15, 1956 till October 27, 1956 and September 17 and 18, 1959 in Dortmund), France (83 concerts, from September 20 till November 25, 1959), Switzerland (Berne, July 7 and 8, Geneva, July 9 and 10, 1959), Bulgaria (November and December, 1955), Romania, (9 concerts, December, 1957 and January 1958), Albania (9 concerts, October, 1957), Bosnia and Herzegovina, Montenegro, Slovenia, Serbia and Croatia.
Tale Ognenovski began to play on the reed pipe (”kavalche”) at the age of 7 (1929) when he also made his first musical composition. At 15 he began to play the clarinet (1937). From November 15, 1951 till 1954, Tale Ognenovski worked with the 'Police Wind Orchestra.' From 1954 till 1956, he worked with the 'Skopje Public Town Orchestra'. The repertoire for both of these Orchestras consisted some parts of classical works. These included Bizet's 'Carmen', 'The Troubadour', 'Aida', 'Rigoletto', Verdi's 'Nabucco' and 'La Traviata', 'Oberon' by Carl Maria von Weber, Tchaikovsky's '1812 Overture', Puccini's 'Tosca' and Rossini's 'The Barber of Seville'.
In December 1952, Tale Ognenovski as clarinet soloist, together with the superb pianist Nino Cipushev as accompaniment, performed the classical concert “Concert Polka for Clarinet” by Miler Bela in the “Police House” in Skopje with outstanding success. This classical concert by Miler Bela consists of complicated parts with many cadenzas demanding great skill and expertise from a clarinet soloist. On May 24, 1953, the same concert, with Gligor Smokvarski's arrangement for the 'Police Wind Orchestra' (comprising about 30 musicians), conducted by Micho Kostovski and with Tale Ognenovski as a clarinet soloist, was performed in the Radio Skopje building and broadcast live to the nation via Radio Skopje.
In Vardar Film's 1955 production of “Ritam i zyuk (Rythym and Sound), Tale Ognenovski as a virtuoso clarinet soloist performed the Macedonian folk dances “Zhensko Chamche” and “Beranche” with Ensemble 'Tanec'. In the film, “Zhensko Chamche” begins with some technically very complicated, solo improvisations by Tale Ognenovski that do not appear in the original version of the folk dance. He worked from 1956 till 1960 with the Macedonian State Ensemble of Folk Dances and Songs 'Tanec'. From 1960 to 1967, Tale Ognenovski worked with Macedonian Radio Television.
In 1966, Tale Ognenovski became Head of the “Folk Music Orchestra” of Macedonian Radio Television. In 1967 Tale Ognenovski retired, but he continued to play on an honorary basis in the “Chalgii” Orchestra on Macedonian Radio Television until 1979.
The year 1965 saw Tale Ognenovski establish his own “Tale Ognenovski Orchestra” in Skopje, and “RADIO TELEVIZIJA BEOGRAD” produce the record EP 14711. On this record, he gives solo clarinet performances of his four compositions, Prespansko oro, Kumovo oro, Deverovo oro and Dihovsko oro, accompanied by the “Tale Ognenovski Orchestra”. With his own Tale Ognenovski Orchestra, he recorded 17 gramophone records with famous singers (Gramophone producers: Radio Television Belgrade; Beograd Disk, and Diskos, Serbia and Jugoton Zagreb, Croatia). As a performer with other orchestras, he recorded more than 30 gramophone records with famous singers.
He has played on the clarinet in many concerts performing with the following Orchestras and Ensembles: the cultural-educational societies in Bitola of “Svetlost”, “Stiv Naumov”, “Ilinden”; folk dance groups from the villages of Brusnik, Dihovo, Nizhopole, Rotino and Lavci; the Radio Bitola orchestras; the Macedonian State Ensemble of Folk dances and Songs “Tanec”; cultural art societies: “Vlado Tasevski” and “Kocho Racin”; the academic culture and art society “Mirche Acev; other Ensembles of folk dances and songs including “Orce Nikolov”, “Goce Delchev”, “Dom na gradezhnici Skopje”, “Hor na invalidi Skopje” and “Dom na borci i invalidi Skopje”; the Macedonia Radio and Television music orchestras: the Folk Music Orchestra, the “Chalgii” Orchestra, the Authentic Folk Instruments Orchestra and the “Tancov” Orchestra; the Orchestras of Koco Petrovski, Pece Atanasovski, Stevo Teodosievski and Ljupcho Pandilov.
He made his recording debut as a composer with the Galevski-Nanchevski Orchestra in 1963, with three Macedonian folk dances all composed by him, and in which he played solo clarinet: “Bitolsko svadbarsko oro”, “Bitolsko oro” and “Pelistersko oro”. The record (EP 14700) was produced by “RADIO TELEVIZIJA BEOGRAD” (Radio Television Belgrade, Belgrade, Yugoslavia).
At the International Folklore Conference organized by the International Folklore Committee in Istanbul, Turkey, 1977, on the subject of “Folklore on the Radio” from the magnetic tape material were presented the recordings of two Macedonian folk dances: “Kasapsko oro”, arranged by Tale Ognenovski, and “Kumovo oro chochek”, composed by Tale Ognenovski and performed by him as clarinet soloist accompanied by the “Chalgii” orchestra of Radio Television Skopje. This created great interest not only amongst the delegates of the Conference but also around the world.
Some of the crowning events of Tale Ognenovski’s professional career were his performances as soloist on concerts broadcast on television by Macedonian Television. These include Mozart’s ‘Clarinet Concerto in A Major K.622’ and Wagner’s ‘Adagio for Clarinet’, performed in 1987 and accompanied by the excellent pianist Tanja Shopova, and Cavallini’s concert ‘Fiori Rossiniani’ performed in 1970 and accompanied by the legendary pianist Professor Ladislav Palfi. He demonstrated brilliant technique and beautiful tone on each occasion. National Macedonian Radio broadcast numerous folk music programmes in which were included Macedonian folk dances composed and/or arranged him, and in which he was virtuoso clarinetist and reed pipe soloist.
During his career, Tale Ognenovski composed and arranged 150 Macedonian folk dances. They were recorded at the studio of Macedonian Radio Television with Folk Music Orchestra, the “Chalgii” Orchestra and the Authentic Folk Instruments Orchestra. 138 are solo pieces on the clarinet and 12 are solo pieces on the reed pipe (”kavalche”). During 1967, he recorded as accompaniment on the clarinet many records on magnetic tapes with the “Tancov” Orchestra of Macedonian Radio Television. During the 1960s Tale Ognenovski played as clarinet soloist in many Macedonian folk dances and songs in numerous theatrical performances at the Macedonian National Theatre. Tale Ognenovski was a member of the Composers’ Association of Yugoslavia (Former Yugoslavia) from 1963 till 1990.
1.First Award Clarinet as the best clarinetist at the first Macedonia Festival of Folk Dances and Songs, held in Skopje, Republic of Macedonia on October 11, 1948
2.Tale Ognenovski won First Award at the Yugoslav (Former Yugoslavia) Folk Music Festival in Opatija, Croatia, September 9-12, 1951, together with another 11 members of the Folk Dance Ensemble from the Bitola village of Nizhopole. This was out of 85 folk dance groups from Serbia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Montenegro, Slovenia, Macedonia and Croatia. The Yugoslav (Former Yugoslavian) Folk Music Festival in Opatija had been specially arranged for the members of the Conference of the International Folk Music Council.
3.“Estradna nagrada Jugoslavije” (”Yugoslavian Stage Award”), the greatest award in former Yugoslavia for musical stage artists, from the Association of Stage Artists of Yugoslavia, Zagreb, Croatia, October 31, 1978.
4.“Pochesna Estradna Nagrada na Makedonija” (”Macedonian Stage Award with Honours”), the greatest award in the Republic of Macedonia for musical stage artists, from the Association of Stage Artists of Macedonia, Skopje, Republic of Macedonia.
5.May 27, 1996. Tale Ognenovski received a Prestigious Lifetime Achievement Honors at Annual “10 Folk Biseri” (”The Ten Folk Pearls”) Awards, sponsored by Macedonian Radio Television. He was on stage in Skopje, February 19, 2002, to personally receive his Lifetime Achievement Award in front of the more than 700 spectators at the Macedonian National Theatre. This event was broadcast live to the millions spectators in Republic of Macedonia, Europe and Australia by Macedonian Television.
6.Tale Ognenovski won top honors on October 11, 2003 at Macedonian Parliament as the Winner of 11 Oktomvri Award, the highest and the most prestigious national award in Republic of Macedonia.
Ognenovski Stevan, M.Sc.: Tale Ognenovski Virtuoso of the Clarinet and Composer (2000). Publishing house is Matica Makedonska, Skopje, Republic of Macedonia; ISBN 9989-48-312-4 ; 406 pages (format A4). The book is published in both Macedonian and English.
[Tale Ognenovski official site]