"My first contact with the flute occurred while I was returning from my ballet lesson (I attended ballet classes for eight years). While I was taking off my rigid ballet shoes in the classroom at the school of music where the classes were held, a young flute professor entered the room. It was the first time I heard those sounds that were so mesmerizing to me. My fascination with the sound and the beauty of this instrument was instantaneous —love at first sight. Those mere few minutes were enough to make me give up ballet lessons and start learning to play the flute. I cannot express the pleasure and thrill which I felt upon the first real contact with my instrument. That magic has continued all my life!"
Named the "Musician of the Year for 2018" by the Well-Tempered Ear, Serbian flutist Dr. Iva Ugrčić is one of the most exciting and adventurous young flutists in the international pantheon. Described as “a natural star on her instrument,” Iva has been featured as a solo artist at numerous music festivals including Ravinia Festival in Chicago, Belgrade Flute Fest, The Art of Love International Music Festival, Classic Light Music Fest, Constantinus International Classical Music Festival, Cecilia McDowell Festival, Wisconsin Flute Festival, Miami Summer Music Festival, Atlantic Summer Music Festival, La Crosse New Music Festival, Bach Dancing & Dynamite Society Chamber Music Festival, Madison New Music Festival, as well as others.
Dr. Ugrčić is a musician who has worn many hats throughout her professional career: flutist, teacher, artistic director, entrepreneur, activist, freelance musician and recording artist, among others. As a soloist and a chamber musician, Iva has performed throughout Europe and the United States. In addition to her formidable work as a soloist, she is also passionate about playing in ensembles. She has performed and recorded in Europe with the Symphony Orchestra of Radio Television of Serbia, the Belgrade Philharmonic Orchestra, and the French Flute Orchestra. Since moving to the United States, Iva has performed as a principal flutist with the Dubuque Symphony Orchestra, La Crosse Symphony Orchestra, Middleton Community Orchestra, Madison Symphony Orchestra, and Madison Opera as well as chamber groups including the Wingra Faculty Wind Quintet, Vitraž Woodwind Quintet, Caroga Lake Ensemble, Black Marigold Wind Quintet, ID flute and percussion duo, and Sound Out Loud contemporary chamber music ensemble. She has performed and recorded with numerous jazz, blues and alternative music ensembles. A fearless musician, she is enthusiastic about music of all styles and nationalities. Dr. Ugrčić has also worked as a flute educator in Belgrade, Paris, and Madison. Her flute students have been admitted into arts schools at all levels, have won competitions and acceptance into district, honors and marching bands, undergraduate and graduate music programs, and have been awarded superior ratings at solo and ensemble festivals.
After completing her Bachelor and Master’s degrees in 2005 at the University of Belgrade Academy of Music, Iva Ugrčić moved to Paris, where she received a full scholarship from the Albert Roussel Foundation. During three years in Paris, Dr. Ugrčić studied flute performance and chamber music at the École Normale de Musique de Paris "Alfred Cortot" (ENMP) and Le Conservatoire à Rayonnement Départemental de musique, de danse, d’art dramatique de Creteil “Marcel Dadi” where she worked intensely with legendary flutist Pierre-Yves Artaud and flutist George Alirol.
Iva Ugrčić’s solo album, The Four Seasons by Antonio Vivaldi was released in September, 2014. The same year Iva was awarded the prestigious Paul Collins Fellowship at the University of Wisconsin-Madison School of Music, where she completed her Doctorate of Musical Arts degree in May 2017, studying with flutist Stephanie Jutt. Iva won the Irving Shain Competition in 2015, as well as multiple concerto competitions, performing as a soloist with the UW-Madison Symphony Orchestra and Miami Summer Music Festival Symphony Orchestra. In 2016, Iva received the James R. Smith Orchestra Award for excellency and leadership. In 2018, Iva Ugrčić won the C.R.E.A.T.E. Project Competition at the 46th National Flute Association Convention in Orlando, awarded a second prize at the UW Arts Business Competition, received the First Place award from The American Prize in Chamber Music Performance 2017-18, received Silver Medal at the International Vienna Competition, and was a finalist for the Pro Musicis International Award in New York City.
During her doctoral program in flute performance at the University of Wisconsin - Madison, Iva worked towards building business skills taking classes at the Bolz Center for Arts Administration. This valuable knowledge and experience lead her to becoming the Artistic Director for the Rural Musicians Forum concert series (Spring Green, WI) and getting the Board Liaison & Strategic Initiatives position at the Overture Center for the Arts (Madison), largest non-profit arts organization in Wisconsin. But more importantly, it helped her create and pursue one of her biggest dreams. As an entrepreneur, Dr. Ugrčić is the Founder & CEO/Artistic Director of the LunART Festival, a new international festival in Madison, whose mission is to continue to support, inspire, promote, and celebrate women in the arts through public performances, exhibitions, workshops, and interdisciplinary collaboration. In June 2019, Dr. Ugrcic joined the Career & Artistic Development Committee of the National Flute Association, the largest flute organization in the world.