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Sarajevo cellist

Cellist Verdan Smailovic played not only in the celebrated classical theaters of Europe, but also in the small towns and villages of the former Yugoslavia.  "Music is not just for the rich and privileged," he says.  "Music is for everyone." Smailovic was the famous lone cellist, dressed in full evening suit, who played his cello on the streets of Sarajevo after his opera theater was destroyed and 22 of his neighbors were killed by mortar rounds.  When asked by a CNN reporter if he was crazy for playing his cello while Sarajevo was being shelled, Smailovic replied, "You ask me 'am I crazy for playing the cello.' Why do you not ask if they are crazy for shelling Sarajevo?"

- from the liner notes to Where Have All the Flowers Gone: The Songs of Pete Seeger

Posted by Carl Wilton, September 8, 2010