"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!"
An award-winning Serbian flutist Dr. Iva Ugrčić is one of the most exciting and adventurous flutists in the international pantheon. Described as “a natural star on her instrument,” known for her technical brilliance, expressive musicianship, and remarkable versatility, she has garnered international acclaim. Her performances, both as a soloist and a collaborator in chamber and orchestral settings, have graced renowned music festivals and venues across the world.
Named Brava Magazine’s 2022 “Woman to Watch” and the "Musician of the Year for 2018" by the Well-Tempered Ear, Dr. Ugrčić enjoys unique and versatile career as a performer, teacher, entrepreneur, and music advocate. As an avid supporter of new music, Dr. Ugrcic frequently collaborates with composers on the creation of new works to expand the flute repertoire. She is especially passionate about embracing diversity in her performances by elevating music featuring underrepresented perspectives and lived experiences, with a special focus on collaborating with women composers.
After completing her Bachelor degree at the University of Belgrade (Serbia), Dr. Ugrčić moved to Paris (France), 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 flutists Pierre-Yves Artaud and George Alirol.
In 2017, Ugrcic completed her Doctor of Musical Arts degree at University of Wisconsin - Madison as a recipient of a prestigious Paul Collins Wisconsin Distinguished Fellowship. Since then, Iva won the Irving Shain Competition, multiple concerto competitions, and received the James Smith Orchestra Award for excellency and leadership. Additionally, she won the C.R.E.A.T.E. Project Competition at the 46th National Flute Association (NFA) Convention as well as the UW Arts Business Competition, was awarded the first prize from The American Prize for the chamber music performance, Silver Medal at the International Vienna Competition, and was a finalist for the Pro Musicis International Award in NYC. In 2023, Iva received national acclaim winning The American Prize in solo performance.
Since moving to Madison, Iva has performed with the Madison Symphony Orchestra, La Cross
Symphony Orchestra, Dubuque Symphony Orchestra, Beloit Symphony Orchestra, Madison Opera, UW-Madison Wingra Woodwind Faculty Quintet, Sound Out Loud Contemporary Ensemble, Caroga Lake Ensemble, Third Coast Chamber Collective, among others. Iva can often be heard playing with her long-standing collaborator and pianist Dr. Satoko Hayami, the LunART Chamber Music Collective, and Collage Trio (flute, cello & piano).
Dr. Ugrcic currently serves as the Artistic Director of the Rural Musicians Forum, is a member of the Career & Artistic Development Committee of the National Flute Association and holds the position of Board Liaison & Strategy Manger at Overture Center for the Arts. As an entrepreneur, Dr. Ugrčić is the Founder & CEO/Artistic Director of LunART, an international nonprofit organization whose mission is to support, inspire, promote, and celebrate women in the arts. Under her leadership in 2022 alone, LunART received a Silver Lining Award for the outstanding contribution to the art community, and a Programming Award from the International Alliance for Women in Music.
Dr. Iva Ugrčić's journey is a testament to her unwavering dedication, artistic excellence, and visionary leadership. Her ability to transcend boundaries, embrace diversity, and champion innovation make her a remarkable figure in the realm of music and culture.