THE INSIDE STORY: Nada Radulovich and UNEXPLORED

Nada Radulovich is a dynamic and versatile artist who combines her skills as a cellist, transcriber, and concert organizer to present unique concerts that synthesize the familiar and unfamiliar in a way that both entertains and educates the audience. A native of Detroit, she developed her artistry and craft at Smith College, the Manhattan School of Music and The Peabody Institute.

She has performed in many venues both in the NYC area and throughout the United States, and has concurrently developed a significant career as an educator.

Today, Nada is our featured artist in “The Inside Story,” a blog series exploring the inner workings and personalities of our artists. Read on to discover what genre introduced Nada to the world of music…

Who were your first favorite artists?

My story begins with song. The voices of Odetta, Billy Holiday, and Pete Seeger, and song themes of suffering, struggle, and courage formed my interest, penchant, and understanding of the power of music. Singing was a fever that didn’t stop.

Why did you decide to pursue cello performance?

I searched for harmonies to color, and sometimes twist, familiar tunes. From the early days, the cello has functioned as my extended voice, seeking to deepen the character, search for subtext or improvise around the subject of any song and to make a melody personal.

It may seem a long jump from songs of social justice to the musical world of sonatas and song cycles. But there we have it. It was the tender grit of Casals’ Solo Bach Suites that drew me to the cello. Many full years stand between then and now.

What inspired you to release UNEXPLORED?

UNEXPLORED presents some of the treasures I’ve found along the way. I urge you to examine the poetry that the score of 6 French Songs supports — and perhaps encounter a memory or dream of your own there.

Unnoticed, Romantic Fantasy sat on the shelves of the New York Public Library until I found it as an incomplete manuscript while looking under R for a work by Respighi. Connecting with the Rudnytsky family, I acquired the missing pages and presented the premiere performance of Romantic Fantasy at Lincoln Center’s Bruno Walter Auditorium.

A rolling stone gathers no moss, but occasionally has an opportune collision. This is how it was one evening as I broke from my routine to attend the concert of a friend, and first heard the virtually unknown sonata by Cassadó (written in 1924 and published in 1925). Afterwards, my friend generously lent me his copy of the manuscript that had been handed down to him from another cello wizard. It was hard to decipher in sections but without hesitation I soon decided to record this work. Around it, the idea for UNEXPLORED formed.

A more legible copy of Cassadó’s score evaded me until the day before recording (better late than never!). I coincidentally found it at Smith College which is where I completed my first degree. I am grateful to the librarians in the music library for their assistance in getting a better copy of the score at that critical time! Next morning, I arrived at the studio with a clean copy, also to the relief of my dedicated pianist.

Tell us about the collaboration with pianist Cullan Bryant.

A pianist enters the equation of musical collaboration, unmentioned until now. I am fortunate to work with a patient, astute, and dream-like artist who is dedicated to reaching for the highest, truest level of music . His arrangement of Flight of the Bumblebee came about as we were preparing ‘the other’ version for cello and piano. He remarked that he could arrange this piece differently. “What`s stopping you?” I asked. The rest is history. Thank you, my friend!

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UNEXPLORED is now available through Navona Records for streaming or purchase. Click here to explore this new album.

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