Petar Čulić was born on 26 June 1986 in Split, and is residing in Dugi Rat. He obtained his Master’s degree in July 2008 at the Arts Academy of the University of Split, class of Professor Goran Listeš. He received two awards given by the Rector in the 2005/2006 academic year – Rector’s Award for Outstanding Academic Achievement, and Rector’s Award for Outstanding Achievement in the Arts. Moreover, he enrolled in the aforementioned studies within the quota of talented students with no secondary school degree. He was awarded a scholarship by Adris Foundation in 2009.
Petar then continued his studies at the postgraduate study course in Koblenz (Germany) at the Private Guitar Academy Koblenz International Guitar Academy, class of Hubert Käppel, and finished it in May 2010 with highest honour. Today, he works as a guitar teacher at the ”Lovro pl. Matačić” Elementary School in Omiš.
More than 1000 appearances are recorded in his music book; some took place in cities like London, Vienna, Paris, Brussels, Skopje, Belgrade, Zagreb, Rome, Norwich, Sarajevo… He also won various awards at competitions in Belgrade, Gorizia, Velbert, Weimar, Kutná Hora, etc. As a solo artist, he performed with Rheinische Philharmonie, Montenegrin Symphony Orchestra and Omiš String Quartet.
Terracon News, a web portal that’s growing in popularity, welcomed our accomplished young artist who, among other things, said he played music out of love, and not because of fame and wealth.
”I could’ve have, if I wanted, lived in the West building my music career” – says Petar, and continues – ”But my goal is to lead a harmonious family life… I’m more interested in receiving admiration from my wife and kids than the whole world”.“.
Mr Čulić: ”When I was a small boy, I already liked to sing. There are recordings of me performing songs at the age of 2 or 3, even songs in English which was very funny. I have 3 older sisters who growing up didn’t have the possibility to go to a music school because there was none in Omiš. So they encouraged my parents to have me enrolled in a newly established Music School in Omiš. It was the second year since the School opened when I went to audition with my dad. We thought I’ll play the piano because we have a synthesiser at home so my dad decided it’d be the best thing to do. I went there, took all the tests, and when they asked me what I wanted to play, said ‘the guitar’. Why did I say ‘the guitar’? Honestly, I have no idea…”
Interviewer: ”They were surprised by that in a way, right?”
Mr Čulić: ”My dad was surprised. When I finished, I went out and told him I’d definitely pass the tests because I saw everyone’s reaction, and then I told him I tricked him and decided to go for the guitar. Why? To this day, I really don’t know. Anyway, I have my sisters to thank because they saw something in me, and that was how it all started.”
Interviewer: ”They say you’re an excellent guitar player.”
Mr Čulić: ”Well…I try, I work hard. I’ve been playing the guitar for more than 20 years, and I travel a lot… I think I could’ve accomplished more if I’d focused on my career but I wasn’t interested in that, of course, I was to a degree… Several years ago, I received an offer from one of the well-renowned managers from America to help me make a name for myself but I turned it down because I knew it would change my life, and I didn’t want my life to go that way because I think that when you start playing concert after concert for a lot of money, eventually it changes you for the worse, and your music as well. Also, I didn’t want to leave the people I know. And I didn’t want to live just for the guitar and wealth because I think there’s no point in doing that. People ask me – ‘Why didn’t you try it out for a year or two?’ – but whoever did try it, never gave it up.”
Interviewer: ”Petre, tell us, when a person is an excellent guitar player, how important is it to have that extra feeling as opposed to practice and work?”
Mr Čulić: ”Having the extra feeling is necessary but hard work is very important. In other words, you can’t do anything unless you work hard. You can get away with working less when you’re in the 1st or the 2nd grade, maybe up to the 4th grade but then you have to stop relying solely on your talent; you have to practice and most importantly, listen to other people because you can’t move forward without taking other people’s advice. Even when you reach that stage when everybody is speaking highly of you, it’s not enough, you can always do better. As soon as you stop working on yourself, you’ll either become mediocre or start falling behind. And while it may seem great, it really isn’t. It’s important to listen to advice given by other guitar players, that is, musicians, as well as other people. Moving forward is what’s important.”
Interviewer: ”You said you travel and perform often. Can you tell us what competitions are dear to your heart?”
Mr Čulić: ”Yes, I take part in competitions. I’m glad that, when I was younger, there were six categories I could compete in at the state championship, today there are seven; and I managed to win first prize in 5 categories with more than 99 points, the maximum number of points being 100. Moreover, several times I performed with chamber music ensembles at state competitions where I also won first prize. And I’ve won a lot of awards abroad, I don’t know exactly how many…in Volos in Greece, Germany, Italy, in this region as well. When I was 12, I was asked to come to Bath to compete at one of the most popular championships up to the age of 20. I was one of the youngest participants there. Last year, I won 1st prize three times, and 2nd prize four times at various competitions. So yes, I’m working hard and giving my best. Sometimes it goes smoothly, sometimes it doesn’t. I too have stage fright which can turn into a problem more often than not.
I also perform all over Europe, in large cities.”
Interviewer: ”Is there anything else you would like to do? Or anyone’s advice you would like to take? You said it was important to listen to others.”
Mr Čulić: ”All in all, I plan to tour, possibly outside of Europe, so that’s on my schedule. I also plan to continue competing worldwide. Currently, I’m recording two albums. The promotion of the first album with 12 compositions will be held in Zagreb in less than a month. Following that, my goal is to continue playing with orchestras; just recently, I performed with the Croatian Music Youth Orchestra at the Vatroslav Lisinski Small Concert Hall. Moreover, I performed with the Mozart Orchestra in England, Rheinische Philharmonie in Germany, Montenegrin Symphony Orchestra… So yes, it’s important to keep working on myself, and most of all, lead a normal life here in Dalmatia and focus not only on my career but also on the people I love.”