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The Life of a Triangle Player: The Story behind Igor Duvanovic

For someone under as much pressure to succeed as Igor Duvanovic is, he’s a very calm person. Living with his mom in Luxembourg, Duvanovic, 24, shows a laid-back personality that can easily be noticed on the concert stage.

“He feel real easy play triangle,” said his mom, Kate, since Igor doesn’t speak any English.

However, his triangle playing did not start until much later.

In Von Vonanov Secondary School, Igor took a likeness to math, specifically geometry. In a few years, he became more intrigued with trigonometry, developing a lasting love with triangles. At that point, Igor began playing the triangle in band. He enjoyed its shape and sound. It’s here where he began getting his publicity.

He was scouted by conductors all over Europe in need of a triangle player. Eventually, Victor Vumcake, conductor of the Luxembourg Symphony Orchestra, selected Igor in the second round, 37th overall.

Igor’s was a back-up for his first three performances of his rookie season. He played a little big of bells and marimba, but he saw very limited action.

Then, on January 7th, 2004, the Luxembourg Symphony Orchestra’s fourth performance, veteran triangle player Freddy Brebeaux from France dislocated his shoulder during Mozart’s Symphony No. 224 in the fourth movement titled Andante. Vumcake motioned for Igor to come on stage, but he was there already.

“He came in immediately, showing great stage awareness,” said Vumcake. “He came in perfectly on the 3-and beat of measure 248, which was a 12/8 measure preceded by 4/4 measures. From then on, I knew he was really something special.”

Duvanovic was promised the starting position if he promised to work hard. Igor could usually be found in the audio room before and after team rehearsal, studying other triangle players. This is how he got to be the world’s best at such a young age.

“He always the first one to enter the practice stage and he’s the last one to leave,” said Vumcake. “He’s a great performer for our band chemistry.”

Even though Igor is a free agent at the end of this year, the chance that he will end up back in St. Petersburg is unlikely, since they were extremely close to not making the salary cap this year. Igor is expecting a premium salary of 145,000 €, and he’d have to take a massive pay cut to play in Russia.

“I don’t see how the ensemble can afford to let him go,” said Vumcake. “He’s definitely worth his weight in brass, and that’s a lot of brass. I know other conductors will be going after him in the off-season, but he’s staying right here.”

Last month, he testified in front of a European Union panel about his commitment to stop the widespread use of performance-enhancing supplements. He never denies an autograph to a fan who waits outside of his one-bedroom apartment. Igor Duvanovic is someone we could all learn a bit from.

December 1, 2008

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