Conservatory Student Spotlight: Filip Lazovski Winner of the Inaugural Chancellor’s Concerto Competition


The story of Filip Lazovski’s profound love of the violin involves abandoned piano lessons, an aunt and uncle, and a family of musicians. As concertmaster of the Conservatory Orchestra, Lazovski has big dreams, and he has been studying and practicing for many years to achieve those dreams. His talent, drive, and work ethic exemplify the UMKC Conservatory.

Originally from Skopje, Macedonia, Lazovski is working on his Artist’s Certificate at the Conservatory under associate professor of violin Benny Kim. On Friday, February 22, Lazovski performs Samuel Barber’s Concerto for Violin and Orchestra, Op. 14, with the Conservatory Orchestra on the White Recital Hall stage, as the winner of the inaugural Chancellor’s Concerto competition.  UMKC Chancellor Leo Morton plans to attend the concert.

The Chancellor’s Concerto competition gives Conservatory students the opportunity to perform a complete concerto in concert, something they would do as professional musicians.

To win that competition, Lazovski prevailed over six finalists who performed on piano, bassoon, clarinet, horn, and violin. The competition, which was open to all students in the Conservatory, was winnowed from about 15 students to the finalists, all of who performed a full concerto.

The Kansas City Symphony’s associate conductor, Aram Demirjian, Frank Weinstock, chair of the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music’s piano department, and Janell Weinstock, general manager of the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra were the competition’s judges.

Lazovski has a BM from Eastman School of Music, Rochester, NY, and a double masters degree from Ohio’s Kent State University in chamber music and violin performance. Despite being just a few credits shy of a masters degree at the University of Colorado, Lazovski jumped at the chance to attend Kent State to work with the storied Miami String Quartet, which features violin professor Benny Kim, with whom Lazovski wanted to study.

The Miami String Quartet, in residence at Kent State University’s Hugh A. Glauser School of Music since 2004, also includes Conservatory viola faculty Scott Lee.

Lazovski is passionate about his artistic goals. He remarks, “My primary goal is to be in a professional string quartet and to perform chamber music. I want to perform.”

He has loved performing on the violin since he began playing at age 11, after years of piano lessons, which he gave up to learn the violin. Coming from a musical family—his mother plays the piano and his aunts and uncles are all musicians—Lazovski seemed naturally drawn to music.

His aunt’s violin, which he thought was the most beautiful thing in the world when he was a young boy, launched his deep connection to the instrument.

Lazovski’s devotion to violin performance motivated him to leave home at age 17 to attend his last two years of high school at Michigan’s prestigious Interlochen Arts Academy High School, on a full scholarship. From there he went to Eastman School of Music to earn his Bachelor of Music degree.

Lazovski chose Barber’s three-movement violin concerto for the competition because of its difficulty, lusciously beautiful melodies, and its structural quality. In particular, he loves the nostalgic second movement because of “the incredible, intimate, and heart-wrenching moments between the solo violin and the orchestra.”

Barber’s third and last movement, Presto in moto perpetuo, is four minutes of bombastic virtuosity, and at just over 22 minutes, the entire, beloved Barber violin concerto is dramatic and richly lyrical.

On living in Kansas City, Lazovski notes, “I love Kansas City, it’s got good food, a good vibe, and there’s Oklahoma Joe’s for BBQ.”

Excellent recommendations from our exceptional concertmaster.

The concert is Friday, February 22, 2013, 7:30 p.m., White Recital Hall. Tickets are $8, $6 seniors, and FREE for all UMKC faculty, staff, and students with ID. 816-235-6222 for tickets. The concert also includes Bernstein, Overture to Candide and Copland, Symphony No. 3.

For more information, please contact:

Name: Dana Self
Phone: 816-235-2949