Matusja Blum (1914 – 1998) was a pianist and a piano teacher, born in Chișinău (Moldova) where she commenced her piano studies.
In 1939, upon completion of her Masters Studies at the Conservatory in Prague with esteemed professors Kurz and Hermann , she moves to Sarajevo, where she immediately became active in the spheres of piano performance and pedagogy. She was an ongoing contributor in the Collegium Artisticum avant-garde collective. From 1945 she taught at the Conservatory High School in Sarajevo and, was in Belgrade for a time, between 1945 and 1952 as invited by the pianist and teacher Emil Hayek. From 1955 on she becomes a piano performance lecturer and one of the first lecturers at the Sarajevo Music Academy, also serving as a Head of Department for 2 full terms (1963-67 and 1963-67.) Throughout her teaching career at the Sarajevo Academy she taught many esteemed pianists and teachers including: Božena Griner, Olga Vukomanović –Tarbuk, Milanka Mišević, Milica Šnajder, Farida Mušanović, Neda Gojković – Kepnik, Mirjana Papić – Hrkaš, Zlata Maleš, Rozalija Lukas, Zrinka Gavrić, Planinka Jurišić-Atić, Zlatan Mujkić, Attila Gracza and many others. Her own students taught many renowned performers and teachers, some of who remain active to the present day, and include: Aleksandra Romanić, Sanja Lagumdžija- Hadžić, Peđa Mužijević, Miloš Pavlović, Vladimir Valjarević, Ivana Gavrić, Belma Bešlić – Gal, Lidija and Sanja Bizjak, Stefan Ćirić and others.
Matusja Blum was a devoted and an extremely progressive piano teacher; her pedagogical aesthetic is a sophisticated and unique fusion of some of the finest elements of Russian and Czech schools of pianism. She is one of the exponents of pianism in Bosnia and Herzegovina and beyond: many also considered her to be one of the most sophisticated piano teachers in the former region. In 1984 she received a national award for her contribution to pianism in Bosnia and Herzegovina. She died in Sarajevo in 1998.
The idea about the Matusja Blum Memorial award springs from her own history and contribution: she lived and taught in Sarajevo for 6 decades and her teaching was pivotal in the development of pianism throughout former Yugoslavia. She spent her most active teaching and performance years in Sarajevo. Her performance and teaching styles became major influences for many future performers and teachers, who also understood and recognized her contribution even more after their own further education and exposure to international pianism.
Today, we can confirm that Matusja Blum’s students are some of former Yugoslavia and Europe’s most elite performers and music educators.
The memorial would take shape of a gathering that includes a seminar and a piano competition, with the central event being held in the form of an international Matusja Blum Ingural Piano Competition. This is a wonderful exposure opportunity for Sarajevo as an upcoming, perspective piano centre as it would allow a showcase of local and international piano pedagogy and performance. It would also consolidate and further promote the pedagogical aesthetic that Matusja Blum established immediately upon her arrival.
Matusja Blum’s graduates include the following renowned teachers and performers: Božena Griner, Milanka (Boko) Mišević, Olga Vukomanović – Tarbuk, Safija Čelebić – Džonlagić, Farida Mušanović, Milica Šnajder, Vuka Jokanović, Đurđica Hip, Silva Haberle, Jelena Radulović, Stojan Popović, Dr. Ivan Čavlović, Zlata Prcić, Irena (Mateljan) Rukavina, Vesna Tasić, Mirjana Papić – Hrkaš, Ratka Dragomanska, Nedeljka Gojković – Kepnik, Snežana Besarović, Miriam (Volah) Radulj, Krunoslav Seletović, Ksenija Ljubetić, Nenad Basrak, Zrinka (Lukić) Gavrić, Rozalija (Šari) Lukas, Zlata Maleš, Kristina Živko, Planinka Jurišić Atić, Vladimir Đenader, Zlatan Mujkić, Smail Zulčić, Attila Gracza, Jasna Rađenović, Dobrila (Kotrošan) Kovačević, Selma Riđanović…