Petar Culic
Petar Čulić

Petar Čulić was born on 26 June 1986 in Split. He started learning the guitar at the age of seven, and his first teacher was Neno Munitić. He graduated from “Lovro pl. Matačić” Elementary School of Music in Omiš, and after finishing the third grade of “Josip Hatze” Secondary School of Music in Split in the class of prof. Anđela Jerkunica, enrolled at the Academy of Arts, University of Split in the class of prof. Goran Listeš. He enrolled as an “especially gifted” student before graduating from secondary school. He received his master’s degree in July 2008. He won two rector’s awards in the academic year 2005/2006 – for outstanding results achieved during studies and for outstanding artistic achievements. Upon completion of his studies, he received a commendation from the dean for the outstanding results achieved during his studies. He continued his education at the postgraduate study in Koblenz (Germany) at the private academy “Koblenz International Guitar Academy” in the class of prof. Hubert Käppel, and graduated in May 2010 with the highest success, a grade of 1.0, earning a degree of a concert soloist.

At the age of twelve, he started playing solo recitals, and at the same age, he had his first performance as a soloist with an orchestra. He has more than a thousand performances on six continents in more than thirty countries in centres such as Washington, Sydney, Buenos Aires, Cairo, London, Paris, Sao Paulo, Melbourne, Rio de Janeiro, Bogota, Vienna, Perth, Brussels, Brazil, Cali, Curitiba, Athens, Rome, New York, and Doha. He has played as a soloist with the Rheinische Philharmonie, the Claudio Santoro National Theatre Symphony Orchestra in Brasilia, the Camerata Antiqua de Curitiba, the Montenegrin Symphony Orchestra, the Chamber String Orchestra of the Croatian Musical Youth, the Croatian National Theatre in Split Orchestra, and others. He has collaborated with esteemed conductors Claudio Cohen and Fernando Cordella, and has also performed in prestigious halls such as the Cairo Opera House (Cairo, Egypt), the Palais Ehrbar (Vienna, Austria), the Assembly House (Norwich, UK) and the Capela Santa Maria (Curitiba, Brazil). At the European Week in Brazil in 2018, he represented the European Union and Croatia, and he also performed at the Council of Europe in Strasbourg (France) in 2019.

He has won five first prizes at national competitions as a soloist and three first prizes as a member of chamber ensembles. In addition to winning prizes at all prestigious international competitions for young guitarists in the late nineties (“Andreas Segovia”, Velbert, Germany; “Ana Amalia”, Weimar, Germany; “Kutna Hora”, Kutna Hora, Czech Republic, “Simone Salmaso”, Viareggio, Italy), he has also won approximately twenty prizes at international competitions that had no age limit, most significant of them are first places at the “Gitarrenfestival Gevelsberg” (Gevelsberg, Germany, 2013), “Winter Guitar Festival” (Volos, Greece, 2007) and “Nikšić Guitar Fest” (Nikšić, Montenegro, 2010). He is the only Croatian representative who won during the ten years of “Omiš Guitar Fest” (2013). He is the winner of a series of concerts by young musicians “Maestro Vinko Lesić 2013/2014” and guitar competition “Ivan Padovec” held in 2005 in Zagreb.

He has been an artistic associate at the Academy of Arts and Culture in Osijek starting from the academic year 2020/2021. He started teaching guitar at “Lovro pl. Matačić” Elementary School of Music in Omiš in 2003 as a high school graduate, and he still teaches at the same school today. He also worked for a while at “Boris Papandopulo” Private Elementary School of Music, “Josip Hatze” School of Music in Split and “Makarska” School of Music in Makarska. So far, his students have won more than 250 prizes at national and international competitions, including numerous first places. He has won three Oscar of Knowledge awards.

He won the award for mentorship by the City of Omiš in 2016, 2017, 2019, 2020, and 2021, the award of Split-Dalmatia County prefect for the most successful mentors at national competitions in 2021, and the annual award of Dugi Rat Municipality for outstanding achievements in the field of music and cultural creation. He successfully passed the professional exam in 2012 and the mentoring exam in 2018. He holds master classes, and is a member of judging panels at competitions in Croatia and abroad.

In the foyer of the Croatian National Theatre in Split on 16 May 2005, he held a guitar recital and promoted his first musical record. In 2012, he recorded an album with Cantores Maruli vocal group, the late actor Zlatko Crnković and a poet Marina Čapalija as part of “The Story of Marko Marulić” project, as a musical-scenic story about the life and work of Marko Marulić. In November 2014, he released his second solo CD with 12 original compositions (published by Menart), and the promotion took place at the Croatian Music Institute in Zagreb on November 13, 2014.

He participated as an active participant in master classes led by Pepe Romero, Darko Petrinjak, Zoran Dukić, Goran Listeš, Lorenzo Micheli, Fabio Zanon, Judicael Perroy, Marcin Dylla, William Kanengiser, Scott Tennant, John Dearman, Matthew Greif, Pavel Steidl, Aniello Desiderio, Carlo Marchione, Tilman Hoppstock, Costas Cotsiolis, Marco Tamayo, Denis Azabagic, Ana Vidovic, Jaime M. Zenamon, Alexis Muzurakis, Goran Krivokapic, Predrag Stanković, Darko Karajić, Rafael Aguirre, Ramon Carnota Mendez, and many others.

In a new project, 11 of the world’s greatest classical guitar composers dedicated a composition to him, and the premiere of all 11 compositions was in August 2020 at the international festival “Omiš Guitar Fest”. Those were 10 new compositions and 1 remake of a composition that was originally written for a trio (cello and 2 guitars). The composers who participated in the project are Sergio Assad, Dušan Bogdanović, Angelo Gilardino, Ernesto Cordero, Štepan Rak, Vojislav Ivanović, Gerard Drozd, Stephen Goss, Francis Kleynjans, Atanas Ourkouzounov, and Jaime M. Zenamon. A French composer Colette Mourey composed three compositions for solo guitar as Hommage ä Petar Čulić (Sonata Appassionata, Toccatina Barbaresca, Variations Sérieuses).

He was a Croatian member of the jury at the international competition of young musicians of all instruments – Virtuosos V4+. Together with maestro Placido Domingo, he personally made the decision on who of the Croatian contestants would enter the finals, and that was a TV show that has reached 70 million viewers last year, and this year the guest country was Croatia. The show will soon be broadcast on the Croatian Radiotelevision (HRT 1) and on several TV stations across Europe.

From the very beginning of his guitar education, he has also been involved in composing, and he found the first major inspiration for composing in “The Little Prince” by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry. In “Lovro pl. Matačić” edition he published a book with his 70 compositions, 50 compositions for the youngest, 15 compositions for soloists and 5 compositions for chamber ensembles with the guitar. Petar Čulić is an official representative of D’Addario strings, and plays a guitar by Leonardo de Gregorio.