Touted as a “gifted young guitarist” by the New York Times, and “a guitarist to keep an eye on” by the Washington Post, MakGrgić is emerging as a star on the worldwide stage. An expansive and adventurous repertoire attests to his versatility and wide-ranging interests: from the Baroque and Renaissance to music of the cinema; from ethnic music of his native Balkans to extreme avant-garde and microtonal music, Mak’sextraordinary talents and tastes as soloist, collaborator, and recording artist are fueled by his curiosity, imagination, and boundless energy.
An enthusiastic recording artist, Mak’salbums capture a probing and continuous exploration of the world of guitar and all its possibilities. His latest recordings, Balkanisms for Naxos Music and MAKrotonal for MicroFest Records, explore a vast repertoire spanning ethnic music, microtonal, new music and early music on re-fretted instruments, such as a “zig-zag fretted Bach prototype guitar” that captures the temperaments of the Baroque period. Other albums in progress include an homage to Ligeti spotlighting gamelan-inspired guitar arrangements.
Born in Ljubljana, Slovenia, in 1987, Mak studied guitar in Zagreb with the revered Ante Cagalj at the Elly Basic Music Academy. By the age of 14, he was balancing his world champion status in karate with his love for the guitar. Throughout his high school years, he concertized in Ljubljana and Zagreb, splitting his weeks between the two cities, as well as competing in professional martial arts contests across Europe and Asia. Following an injury to his left thumb, he made the decision to focus solely on a career in music, going on to complete a bachelor’s degree with Alvaro Pierri at the University for Music and Performing Arts in Vienna.
Mak proudly plays and endorses an array of fabulous concert guitars made by diverse craftsmen, including German Antonius Muller, Chinese master luthier Hanson Yao, Bosnian SlavkoMrdalj, Slovenian SamoSali, as well as a historic 1966 Jose Ramirez, all of this in addition to other quirky re-fretted and remodeled guitars. He also works as a mentor, helping fundraise for Bosana Foundation in Los Angeles.