A versatile pianist, Mina Gajić started her music career and education in Yugoslavia. She has performed as concerto soloist and recitalist in Italy, France, the Czech Republic, Serbia, Montenegro, China, Bolivia, and in the United States. As duo partner with violinist Zachary Carrettín, she has performed on four continents, focusing on a diverse repertory spanning the centuries and various styles—on historic period pianos in addition to modern concert instruments.
Her awards include first prize at the International Competition Cittá di Stresa, Italy; third prize at the Nikolai Rubinstein Competition in Paris; first prize at the Competition of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia and the Republic Competition of Serbia for five consecutive years; first prize at the Stanković Competition in Belgrade with special distinction for collaborative artistry, as well as semi-finalist at the Shanghai International Piano Competition.
Dr. Gajić holds degrees from the Academy of Fine Arts in Belgrade, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, and Shepherd School of Music at Rice University, where she was awarded the prestigious Charles Ross fellowship, and was a winner of the Carl and Lillian Illig Scholarship, and the Diane Sacks Prize. She holds a Doctor of Musical Arts degree from the University of Colorado-Boulder.
Notable performances have included critically-acclaimed period instrument renditions of works by Chopin, Brahms, Britten, Ives, Berg, Antheil, and Bartók. Her doctoral dissertation and subsequent research on the work of Yugoslav composer Josip Slavenski connect Balkan folkloric traditions and approaches to twentieth century music between the two World Wars.
Dr. Gajić has held teaching positions at Sam Houston State University School of Music, the University of St. Thomas Music Preparatory School, and Rocky Ridge Music Center Summer Academy.
She records and performs on three immaculate historic grand pianos:
Érard (Paris, 1835),
Pleyel (Paris, 1870),
Érard (Paris, 1895).
These pianos were restored by Frits Janmaat at Maison Érard in Amsterdam.
Her performances of Brahms and Schumann (Érard, 1895) can be heard on the critically-acclaimed audio book, Escapement, by award-winning author Kristen Wolf. Additionally, Gajić and Carrettín's recording of Schubert sonatas on historical instruments was released in March, 2020 and became a Top 10 on Billboard Charts "Traditional Classical" the following month. Her recording of Balkan Dances & Tango Nuevo is set for release in 2021 on the Sono Luminus label.
Dr. Gajić is the founder and Artistic Director of Boulder International Chamber Music Competition—Art of Duo. In 2014 she became Director of Education at Boulder Bach Festival. After transforming BBF's education, community engagement, and fellowship artist programs she became Artistic and Executive Director, making her the first woman and immigrant artistic leader of the Boulder Bach Festival.
Latest reviews of "Boundless:"
"Carrettin and Gajić not only get the relationship between the instruments exactly right but also benefit enormously from their decision to play the pieces as Schubert himself would have heard them, on period instruments...superior from a sheer sonic standpoint...tremendous insight...listeners already familiar with these pieces will hear them anew in this recording. The performance here has the feeling of spontaneity that only careful practice and long-term familiarity can produce...structure and emotional heft Gajić and Carrettin explore with remarkable sensitivity and thoroughness – and with instrumental sound that is, in and of itself, a real joy to hear."
"Immediately apparent is the duo’s uncanny unity of phrasing. In each gesture — whether long sequences of harmony, punchy statements, delicate lifts, or phrases that come to a halt at the edge of an emotional cliff — Carrettín and Gajić share the same sense of propulsion, giving their playing a lean power and an extra glimmer of energy...daring virtuosity, tossed off with glee...they partner brilliantly...Boundless is an excellent snapshot of a year in Schubert’s life as portrayed by a duo joined musically at the hip, with instruments that will fascinate you."