Klaus Paier - Asja Valcic

Klaus Paier, Asja Valcic © ACT / Peter Rigaud
Klaus Paier, Asja Valcic © ACT / Peter Rigaud

Asja Valcic, at 18 completed the music academy in her home city of Zagreb. She followed
that with studies at the Tchaikovsky Conservatory in Moscow and at the Hochschule für
Musik in Detmold. She has given solo performances among others under the direction of
Zubin Mehta and Kazushi Ono; her chamber music partners have included members of
distinguished ensembles such as Alban Berg, Brodsky and the Melos Quartet. She was
awarded the "Concours international de jeunes concertistes de Douai“ in France in 1995.
The cello leads a sonorous, if not largely inconspicuous, existence outside of the classical
music world. Emerging from this background, the cellist, Asja Valcic has solidified a
conspicuous place for herself in the European music scene. Parallel to her engagements and
recordings in classical subjects, Asja Valcic has increasingly turned to improvisation and new
forms of expression for her instrument. Both the radio.string.quartet.vienna, which she cofounded
in 2004, as well as duos with the Austrian accordionist and composer, Klaus Paier
(2009) represent stylistic crossovers, which enjoy international recognition. Since 2012 she
is also a member of Iiro Rantala String Trio. The native of Croatia works as an arranger,
composer and lecturer.
"As a musician, who grew up in chamber music, Asja Valcic imbues her jazz with powerful
and unusual vitality," according to a review in the British GUARDIAN. "Valcic's cello emits
everything that fingers and bows can entice from strings: everything from stunning bass
pizzicati to whispering flageolets," writes the BADISCHE ZEITUNG. "She is a cunningly
smooth instrumentalist," emphasizes the culture magazine, MIKADO (Hessischer Rundfunk).
Since 2007 have been released 10 CD’s with Asja Valcic at ACT.


Paier studied accordion, jazz and composition at Klagenfurt conservatory. Paier has been particularly inspired by such instrumentalists as Keith Jarrett, Bill Evans, Charles Mingus or Thelonious Monk. For him, their conception of jazz, with its wide diversity of musical possibilities and freedoms, was of inestimable importance. In addition to the historically evolved European harmonies involving the accordion, the classical component has also assumed an unmistakable position in Paier's compositions. He himself aims to express a positively charged polarity in music: attraction and rejection, weight and lightness, loudness and quietness, openness and self-containment, strict discipline and passionate explosiveness. He accomplishes this feat again and again in an inimitable manner, enthralling his audience in concert tours in Israel, France, Italy, Sweden, Poland and many other European countries. Be it as a soloist, with his duo partner Gerald Preinfalk, in the trio with Stefan Gfrerrer and Roman Werni, or the radio.string.quartet.vienna – Klaus Paier ranks among the great European accordionists with a world-wide reputation.