violin, viola, composer


Serbian-born Aleksandar Gajić is one of Toronto's leading violinists. Since his arrival in Canada in 2002 he has worked with a number of leading classical orchestras and string quartets, as well as participated in a number of world and folk music ensembles. He is known for his incredible virtuosity and precision, great depth of feeling in his playing, and eclectic compositional style.

From the age of 10, Aleksandar studied violin in his native Yugoslavia. He eventually graduated with a degree in violin performance from the Academy of Arts in Novi Sad (former Yugoslavia). During the course of his studies he distinguished himself as a member of many chamber ensembles as well as a concert-master of the academic Symphony Orchestra. In 1991 he became a member of the Belgrade Philharmonic Orchestra and Belgrade String Quartet. In 1992 he was awarded the prestigious AMADEUS Scholarship for master study in London, England. Between 1993-1995 Aleksandar lived in Dominican Republic, where he remained actively engaged in symphonic, chamber, Latin Pop and Jazz music. Upon his return to Serbia in 1995 he became concert-master of the Symphony Orchestra of Radio Television of Serbia and guest concert-master of the Belgrade Philharmonic Orchestra. Over the next several years Aleksandar was frequently featured as soloist with these orchestras, including on a number of recordings for Radio Television of Serbia and other media.

Also during this period, Aleksandar co-founded the Bellotti String Quartet, with whom between 1995-2002 he would perform over 400 concerts, both in the former Yugoslavia and abroad. Bellotti participated in a number of TV and radio broadcasts and recorded four wide-ranging CD's featuring their eclectic repertoire of classical, jazz and original music. The group also provided the music for the movie White Suite, Yugoslavia's Best Foreign Film candidate for the 2000 OSCAR Awards. Throughout this tumultuous period in his native country, Aleksandar was at the forefront of the country's classical and folk music scene, maintaining in addition to his formal classical commitments an impressive freelance career in composing, arranging, and studio production. He also played and recorded several times with the world-renowned Yugoslav composer and musician Goran Bregovic.

Since his 2002 arrival in Canada Aleksandar has continued adding to his already impressive resume. In the classical field he has served for many years now as Associate concert-master and Principal Viola with Oshawa Durham Symphony Orchestra, and as first violinist with the Windsor Symphony Orchestra, Toronto Philharmonia, Sinfonia Toronto, Canadian Sinfonietta, Gould String Quartet, and Senior String Quartet. As of March 2009 Aleksandar has been installed as Concert-master of the Oakville Chamber Orchestra. In addition to these formal associations, Aleksandar has also remained active with various string quartets and eclectic chamber music combos.

Aleksandar's professional involvement in folk and world music has increased dramatically since his arrival in Canada. In December 2004 he became a member of the acclaimed klezmer/east European fusion ensemble Beyond the Pale, with whom he has toured extensively in North America and Europe, and participated in three live concert Broadcasts on CBC Radio. The group's newest CD "Postcards"( prominently featuring Aleksandar's playing and his compositions) has received wide critical acclaim and a number of honours, including a leading four nominations and two wins from the 2010 Canadian Folk Music Awards ("Instrumental Ensemble of the Year" and "Pushing the Boundaries"). Since 2007 Aleksandar has also been a member of the Cuban-Jewish fusion group Odessa-Havana, with whom he won a 2008 Canadian Folk Music Award for Best World Ensemble. In 2008 Aleksandar co-founded his own Hotland Trio, an eclectic ensemble known for high-octane fusion of world and folk music with chamber music influences. A further glance at Aleksandar's resume over the last five years reads as a veritable "who's who" of Canadian folk, world, and jazz musicians, including the groups Gypsology, Autorickshaw, Mirobolus string trio, Projecto Charanguero, Tipica Toronto, and artists Suba Sankaran, Molly Johnson, Socalled, Eliana Cuevas, Hilario Duran, David Wall, Roberto Occhipinti, Mark Kelso, Quinsin Nachof, and many others.