VIDEO PODCAST: Slava Ukraini! - recorded on the day Europe woke up to the news that Vladimir Putin's Russian forces had invaded Ukraine. Also features Caitríona O'Leary and Eric Fraad discussing their new film Island of Saints, and pays tribute to Joseph Horovitz, Malcolm Troup and Maria Nockin.
Croatian cellist and teacher Valter Dešpalj was born to Albanian parents in Zadar on 5 November 1947. He studied with Leonard Rose at Juilliard, with Galina Kozolupova at Moscow Conservatory and took masterclasses with Pau Casals, Pierre Fournier and André Navarra.
He performed extensively as a soloist and at top venues internationally, including in Australia, Austria, Canada, China, Croatia, Germany, India, Iran, Netherlands, Poland, Russia, Switzerland, UK and USA, and played chamber music with high profile musicians such as Yuri Bashmet, Philippe Entremont, Gidon Kremer, Yo-Yo Ma, Heinrich Schiff and Tabea Zimmermann.
He founded and led Ansambl Cellomania and created a music school for gifted string players in Zagreb.
He taught in Australia, Croatia and USA, and his students regularly won international competitions.
Valter Dešpalj died on 9 April 2023, aged seventy-five.