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Meet Sofija Zlatanova of Zlatanova Music Studio in Cambridge

Today we’d like to introduce you to Sofija Zlatanova.

Sofija, please share your story with us. How did you get to where you are today?
I am a 30 years old Macedonian Viola/Violin professional player and teacher. My music Journey all started when I was 6 years old when my mother took me to buy a dress for my first day of Kindergarten. I felt an irresistible desire to stop and stare at the window of a music shop selling tapes of famous classical music composers: my random purchase choice that day was for Beethoven’s Symphony No.9. Since then, I began to study and play Violin and afterwards Viola at the music elementary school, privately and ultimately ended up attending a special music middle and high school to pursue my formal music education under the supervision of highly skilled teachers. I was one those lucky ones who knew very early on that viola and violin would be the focus my future career.

Since the age of 16, I participated and won many national and international competitions around Europe (Italy, Germany, etc.). At the age of 19, I joined the Macedonian National Opera and Ballet as a professional viola player while I pursued my Bachelor’s degree in viola performance. In 2014 after receipt of full scholarships, I decided to take my skills and education to the next level and pursue graduate studies at Trinity Laban Conservatory for Music & Dance in London, UK and in 2016 at Boston Conservatory at Berklee where I graduated with a Graduate Performance Diploma in viola. I am also a Post-Master Fellow at the Berklee College of Music.

Throughout my career, I have been very fortunate to learn from great inspiring teachers to whom I am so grateful, I have developed myself a special skill and passion for viola and violin teaching and decided to open Zlatanova Music Studio to transmit my learnings and experience to my students and help them succeed in their own learning journey.
My contributions to make the world a better place have been always through participating in several humanitarian and volunteer music projects for the benefit of the less fortunate which I would love to continue doing. I am particularly excited and focused on tackling the emotional challenges of mental health within the musician and artist communities in a collaborative project with the Berklee College of Music. In my free time, I love to compose music and write story books for children. I am also in the process of compiling my teaching techniques in a book for the great benefit of viola and violin enthusiasts.

Has it been a smooth road?
Like any human endeavor to achieve excellence, there have been many challenges along the way which in hindsight were actually strong motivators. The fact that neither of my parents are musicians, despite their full unconditional support and love, was particularly challenging in my early years of leaning but at the same time led me to rely a lot on my mentors and myself to get answers to my questions. Additionally growing in Macedonia where typically government support and recognition for artists come only after international validation and fame, taught me early in my career to become resourceful on how to sustain myself to continue on my journey to excellence with my instruments.

We’d love to hear more about your business.
We are excited to inform our viola and violin enthusiasts that at Zlatanova Music Studio we offer a diversified and flexible set of private and group viola and violin lessons for students of all ages and all levels at our studio in Cambridge, MA, your own home or online. Our unique teaching philosophy is carrying the tradition of renowned Eastern and Central European classical music teaching techniques.

In fact, my teaching style is a unique combination of two major violin schools: the Russian and German ones. I was initially trained on the Russian violin technique which enabled me to develop both strong musical expression intensity and technical fluency. Whereas the German violin school, equipped me later on with more rigorous performance and technique discipline. I bring to my students, in a creative and easy fun way, the best of both schools combined with my own touch to unleash their talent.

Is our city a good place to do what you do?
Boston is undoubtedly a vibrant city with a fantastic art and music community. Any entrepreneur should feel lucky to have the chance to belong to this extraordinary ecosystem.

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