RL: When and how did Bruno Brun become a professor of the clarinet at the Music Academy in Belgrade?
– Bruno Brun was a military musician, as well as a whole series of musicians who then worked in Belgrade.
Shortly before the war in 1941, at the request of their embassies, musicians from the Czech Republic and Germany left Belgrade. The Opera and the Philharmony just could not continue with their further work. They lacked the staff – musicians. The managers addressed the King’s Guard, in which Brun, Partlić, Kerden, flutist Srejović and others were playing.
There was The Military School of Music in Vršac at that time. Many musicians graduated from that school and had been present for years in the musical life of Yugoslavia. Those musicians were great experts, pioneers and carriers of all cultural events in Belgrade. They were professors of the Music Academy. They took exams for professors one with the other.
RL: Who were the first students of Professor Brun?
– The first generation of great clarinet players, who graduated in the class of Professor Bruno Brun were: Ernest Ačkun, Milenko Stefanović, Mihajlo Živanović and I, Božidar Milošević.
RL: Professor Brun was also my clarinet professor at the Music Academy. He was the embodiment of a true professorial authority. What is your experience about it?
– When I became a student of the Music Academy, I realized the meaning of the word – role model and authority. A synonym for these words was a professor Bruno Brun.
RL: I remember professor Brun’s definition for artists: “Modest in life, – “cheeky” on stage! Boki, had professor Brun told you something like that in previous years?
– Bruno was a great professor, an excellent pedagogue and a brilliant soloist of the Opera and the Belgrade Philharmony. He was outstanding instrumentalist: superior on the stage, self-confident and imposing, and when the lights went out – he was modest, simple and a quiet man.
RL: As a student, I loved the classes of Professor Bruno, and you?
– I still remember them. We attended classes of other colleagues, absorbing knowledge by listening to remarks made by the professor when instructing students.
Bruno was very thorough, demanding and supportative, which meant a lot to students. He was very calm too. I’d never heard him yelling, or even raising the voice at the student. He was always ready to help us. It was a pleasure to be in company with him and listen to his good advices for life and performing. With his friendly relations and real authority, he obliged us all to come to the classes prepared.
RL: How did professor Brun call you?
– Bruno never called me Boki, but Božidar. Everything he gave me to do, I did diligently and appropriately. He told me:
“Božidar, you are an attentive student. Working with you is a holiday and pleasure to me”.
– He asked me to play all the etudes for a major second higher and half tone lower. In other words, I had mastered transposition in C and in A, which helped me a lot when I started working at the Belgrade Philharmony.
Bruno Brun used to say to students:
Clarinet is like
a bird in the hand.
You have to hold it firmly
and take care of it.
If you drop it once,
It’s hard to return it!
RL: When I interviewed my colleague Ante Grgin, he told me that Professor Brun loved good and hardworking students and used to invite them into his home.
– Bruno didn’t only teach us the clarinet. He often called us to his house to talk to us about life and our problems. He gave us tips that are very important for every young man: to present himself in the right way, to accept what’s good for him, to cherish and expand it further – for the good of all.
RL: Did you continue seeing the professor Bruno after your graduation?
– As an accomplished artist, I often visited my professor. I always wanted to consult with him and regularly invited him to my concerts, because I frankly aprecciated his criticism.
Professor Bruno assured me of something very important to me, and that is:
what I’m doing, I’m doing well, diligently and honestly. He taught me that a musician – performer must and should be a servant and slave of his instrument.