- M.M., Master of Music, Indiana University Jacobs School of Music, 2002
- Artist Diploma, Indiana University Jacobs School of Music, 1998
- B.M., Bachelor of Music, Belgrade Music Academy, 1995
Petar Jankovic is associate professor of music in guitar at the Indiana University Jacobs School of Music.
He began his guitar studies at age eight in Serbia, where he later earned a degree in classical guitar from the renowned Belgrade Music Academy. While in Serbia, he won two gold medals, a silver medal, and two bronze medals at the National Music Competition. At age 16, he delivered his first professional performance, and by age 20, the Community College in Belgrade invited him to share his expertise with beginning classical guitar students. This marked the beginning of a distinguished teaching career that has developed alongside his successful performing career.
He went on to earn a master’s degree from the Jacobs School of Music, and in the mid-90s, the school invited him to pursue an Artist Diploma under the guidance of Ernesto Bitetti. Still dedicated to sharing his talent through both performing and teaching, Jankovic developed a guitar program at Franklin College (Ind.) in 1997 and taught at the University of Indianapolis Music Department from 1999 to 2006.
A rising star among the world’s top musicians, he has never stopped honing his skills and developing artistically. In 1998, he released Romantico, a CD exploring the sounds of the romantic Spanish and Latino-American world, and featuring his interpretations of pieces by composers such as Albeniz, Torrobba, Pipo, Piazzolla, and Ponce. The North American Society for Serbian Studies said, “Jankovic’s interpretation points to his interest in presenting the inherent beauty of the musical phrase with great care. . . . His interpretation testifies to his artistic maturity and dedication to the essence of the musical content of the works on this CD.”
In 2002, Jankovic released his Bogdanovic, Brouwer, and Dyens CD, featuring works by the most prominent and played classical guitar composers living today. Luis Zea, a well-known composer and guitar player from Venezuela, perhaps best captured the essence of Jankovic’s style by exclaiming, “He is a natural poet!”
For Jankovic’s 2007 Leyenda CD release, GuitarInternational.com said, “Jankovic has a character to his playing that is reminiscent of artists like Segovia or Bream. He performs as if he is conducting an orchestra, bringing every performance to life with his incredible dynamic palette and knowledge of the instrument and its repertoire.”
And Steve Marsh from London’s Classical Guitar Magazine concluded his review of Leyenda with “Everything is top quality. This player managed to infuse some of these war-horses with new vigor and outlook. All together a very enjoyable and rewarding new release.”
Jankovic has released five albums, the most recent two with string quartet and guitar ensemble.
As a performer at major competitions around the globe, Jankovic’s universally evocative sound has won high regard with the world’s classical music community, and as a result, he has garnered numerous prestigious awards, including a bronze medal at the H. R. H. Princess Cristina 13th International Guitar Competition in Madrid (Spain); first prize at the First Annual Competition in Performance of Hispano-American music, Bloomington (Ind.); a bronze medal at the M. M. Ponce international guitar competition in 1998 in Mexico City (Mexico); 1997 Graduate Top Strings Award, Indianapolis Matinee Musicale (the first guitarist to win this award), and others.
The most appealing characteristic about Jankovic’s style is his genuine, expressive interpretation of any given composition. More than a classical guitar player, he is a person with the gift of communicating honest emotions of the human experience. His expressive performances and a technical mastery found only among the world’s top musicians make it easy to understand why he has received overwhelming international acclaim. From the latest review at GuitarInternational.com: “Petar Jankovic is one of the finest soloists on the scene today, and he possesses a unique, artistic, and highly expressive style.”
Since his first professional performance in 1985, he has delighted audiences at recitals and enlightened students in master classes throughout the United States and Europe, touring both regularly, and will be touring Taiwan in November 2015. He has developed a community guitar outreach program in Serbia, currently serving 19 major cities.