2018 Fellow Experiences: Matthew Fitzsimmons

2018 Fellow Experiences: Lacey Viano
December 19, 2018
Marinka Žitnik, soon to become a professor at Harvard University
October 8, 2019

My visit to Slovenia has been a dream come true. Getting to reconnect with my Slovenian heritage while building my career in music in the incredible city of Ljubljana is already making this one of the greatest summers of my life. When coming to live in most cities for the first time, it’s easy to feel intimidated or unwelcome. Not Ljubljana. Despite somewhat of a language barrier, the culture has been extremely inviting, and I feel at home on the cobblestone streets of. The last time I was in Slovenia was during summer 2001, and it’s been incredible meeting family here that I haven’t seen in 17 years and learning about the culture and the language through their eyes. It has also been amazing seeing the beauty of this country on the weekends and I recently enjoyed visiting Lake Bled and the coastal town of Piran.

When I arrived in Ljubljana, I was warmly welcomed by my mentor Franc Kosem who is principal trumpet of the Ljubljana Philharmonic and a professor at the Ljubljana Academy of Music. He immediately got me involved in the music scene here, introducing me to Slovenian music students at the academy and allowing me into rehearsals with the philharmonic where he is preparing me to perform as a substitute trumpet. I’ve also been rehearsing with Cantabile Orchestra in Logatec, Slovenia. I’m beyond excited by the performing and mentorship opportunities here, and I feel so grateful to be involved in the Slovenian community through music!