Memorie.al publishes the unknown story of the famous musician, Gëzim Laro, since his childhood where he frequented the music circles in the Pioneer House in the city of Vlora, where in addition to the music director, Thoma Çaçi, he was helped by two masters. well-known, Kostandin Thana and Reshat Osmani, coming to the Artistic High School “Jordan Misja” in Tirana where he received his first lessons from the maestro, Mateo Guralumi and Ymer Skënderi, as well as the mother of Czech origin, Ludmilla Skënderi, who for 9 years was his professor on the violin instrument. Testimonies of the famous musician, Merited Artist ”, for his artistic career, from the orchestra of the Opera and Ballet Theater, the symphonic one of the Albanian Radio-Television, etc., in which he gave dozens of concerts inside and outside the country, culminating in 1986 in Vienna, Austria, where he and his colleague, Professor Ibrahim Madhi, gave a series of concerts, for which the Austrian press also wrote with superlatives. As the music continued and was inherited in the Laro family, where in addition to Kujtim, one of the most famous composers of Albanian film music, he was followed by Gëzim’s two children, Iliri’s son, a graduate of the Cesare Pollini Conservatory in Padua. Italy, in the years 1993-’97, and daughter, Dorina, graduated with honors from the Academy of Arts in Tirana, for cello.
After winning the competition, I started teaching at the Jordan Misja Artistic High School in Tirana, where I was assigned to play the cello, and I was a student of the talented professor from Czechoslovakia, Ludmilla Ymeri, who came to Albania in 1956 after graduating from the Academy of Arts. Beauty of Prague. With professors Ludmilla, I worked for almost 9 years from high school to the day I graduated from the Tirana Conservatory as a cellist. Ludmilla was a man and lecturer with a high professional preparation. She had a great culture and was very artistically complete and worked with extraordinary perseverance and patience. All my training as an instrumentalist and everything I have achieved in the field of music during my long career of almost 45 years, I dedicate it to my pedagogue Ludmilla ”. This is how he remembered the beginnings of his path in the field of music, “Merited Artist”, professor, Gëzim Laro, concertmaster and one of the great masters of Albanian symphonic music on the instrument of the violin, who for the first time told us throughout her long career as a musician, from her beginnings at the Pioneer House in Vlora, concerts in Austria with her colleague, Professor Ibrahim Madhin, to working as a lecturer and head of the Department of Instruments at the Institute His wife, Dija, son Iliri, daughter Dorina, as well as his brother Kujtim Laro, one of the most famous composers, especially for the soundtracks of Albanian films, graduated from the University of Arts in Tirana, where they graduated at different times.
At the Pioneer House in Vlora
Born in the city of Vlora in May 1947, after his family had lived in the “Manalat” neighborhood of the stone city of Gjirokastra, where the origin of the Laro tribe comes from, Gëzimi started teaching in the city at a young age. Vlora. Although his father had worked as a driver and had no connection to music, he made sure that his son, Gezim, was introduced to music circles at the Pioneer House in the coastal city. Regarding this, Gëzimi recalled: “It is true that none of my family’s trunk had anything to do with music, but the deviation that happened to us later has a not very distant connection, as the father my has sung in his youth. In Vlora, the first incentive to engage in music came to me from Thoma Çaçi, who was the director of the Pioneer House in that city. Apart from Thomai, until 1952, Reshat Osmani and Themistokli Mone, two well-known masters of Vlora folk song, took great care of me and brought me closer to the music circles “, Gëzimi recalled his first contacts with music and his two Vlora teachers, whom although about 70 years had passed since then, he remembered with great respect.
Student of the Czech pedagogue
After finishing primary school in Vlora where Gëzimi was regularly active with music circles in the Pioneer House, then he comes to Tirana and after a competition wins the right to continue the Artistic High School “Jordan Misja”. In this regard, he recalled: “Since I started teaching in the fifth grade at the Artistic High School of Tirana, I was assigned to the cello instrument and my first lecturer was Mateo Guralumi. After two years, I was transferred to Ymer Skënderi, one of the great pedagogues and masters of the violin (the father of the violinist Klodiana Skënderi). After working for some time with Professor Ymeri, I was drafted as a student at the talented Czechoslovak pedagogue Ludmilla Ymeri, who had come to Albania in 1956 after graduating from the Prague Academy of Fine Arts. She married Albanian student Ymer Skënderi and came to Albania in 1956, where she worked as a violin teacher at Lice and the Conservatory of Music, until 1968. Under the tutelage of Professor Ludmilla, I studied for 9 years. of the Lyceum until the day I graduated from the Conservatory of Tirana, as a cellist. Ludmilla was a man and lecturer with a high professional preparation. She had a great culture and was very artistically complete and worked with extraordinary perseverance and patience. I benefited a lot from Professor Ludmilla, because she had high demands, was very accurate and very exotic. She taught me and Muharrem Deniz and all the time we played the cello, she accompanied us singing. Ludmilla also helped my wife, Die Kraja (Laro), while she accompanied cellist students at Lice and Conservatory. In 1968, Ludmilla was able to repatriate by returning to her hometown of Prague. All my training as an instrumentalist and everything I have achieved in the field of music, I dedicate it to my pedagogue, Ludmilla “, said maestro Gëzimi, remembering all his first pedagogues, and in particular, Ludmilla, which for 9 years he taught the cello to perfection. During his high school years, being a talented student and instrumentalist of the cello, Gëzimi gave several concerts at school and in some other stages of Tirana (as a soloist and in the trio formation with chamber music) together with Ibrahim Madhi and Robert Radoja.
Student and lecturer at the Conservatory
After graduating from the Jordan Misja Art High School in 1961, Gëzimi was appointed cellist of the symphony orchestra at the National Theater of Opera and Ballet in Tirana, where he gave his first concert, with the piece “Fantasy for cello and orchestra”, by Ymer Skënderi, with conductor Mustafa Krantjen. After a year, in 1962, with the opening of the High Conservatory of Areas in Tirana, he won the competition and began his studies together with Ibrahim Madhi, Robert Radoj, Limoz Dizdari, Feim Ibrahimi, Margarita Kristidhi, Mira Gjoni, Ferdinand Deda, Eno Koçon, etc. These were the first music students to sit on the benches of the first high school that opened in Tirana. After graduating and graduating with a degree in cello, Gezim was re-appointed to TKOB, where he worked for 23 years, being the first violinist of that orchestra since 1966. In 1974, Gëzimi was appointed a concertmaster for the first time in that orchestra. After 23 years as a cellist at TKOB, Gëzimi was appointed to the Higher Institute of Arts as head of the department for all instruments (bows, piano, wind instruments, and chamber music).
In 1986 concerts in Austria
In 1986, for the first time, the Albanian state decided to send two instrumentalists to give concerts in Austria. This, which at the time was considered a rare event, belonged to Gëzim Laros and his colleague Ibrahim Madhi. This event took place after an invitation made to them by the land of Shtaiermark in cooperation with the Albania-Austria Friendship Association and after that Laro and his colleague Madhi, gave several concerts in the cities of Bruck, Graz, etc. They performed works by Albanian artists such as Pjetër Gaci, Ymer Skënderi, Limoz Dizadri, as well as world-renowned composers, such as Beethoven, Brahms, Paganini, Sensan. At all the concerts, the two well-known Albanian instrumentalists were accompanied by the professor of the Graz Academy, Walter Neumann. They received applause from the local audience, who were forced to play parts outside their program. These concerts resonated with the local press. Among other things, the newspaper Kleine Zeitung wrote: “We knew a little about the high development that art and culture have achieved in Albania, which was evident in the first steps in the traditional music sector where bow instruments predominate. We became acquainted with this level during the concerts given by the talented instrumentalists Gëzim Laro and Ibrahim Madhi. In the conservatory hall, they presented to the public a concert with chamber music with the masterpieces of Beethoven, Mozart, etc., which showed that in Tirana the best world music is played and performed at a high level “. Meanwhile, the newspaper “Neue Zeit” wrote “Two prominent musicians from Albania, Ibrahim Madhi and Gëzim Laro, after several successful concerts in Austria gave a musical evening that rightly justified the filling of the hall with prominent personalities”.
After nearly 40 years of his artistic life as an instrumentalist, Gëzim Laro has performed with dozens of concerts in different cities of the country, as well as in many countries around the world, with the orchestra of TKOB and that of the Albanian Radio Television. In those concerts, those of Sain-Saëns stand out with the ART symphony orchestra in 1973, with conductor Ferdinand Deda and in 1979, with the TKOB orchestra, Dvorzhaku’s concert which is considered one of the biggest concerts of violin literature. Gëzimi also played in Tirana, Korça and Durrës, Aleksandër Peçi’s “Fantasy”. After these activities where he participated as a soloist, he gave many concerts with instrumental trio: Ibrahim Madhi (violin) and Anita Tartari (piano). During the period of his artistic creativity, Gëzimi was lucky enough to play alongside famous artists such as Kristaq Antoniu, Marie Kraja, Gjyzepina Kosturi, Mentor Xhemali, Avni Mula, Nina Mula, Gaqo Çako, Ramiz Kovaçi, Lluk Kaçaj, etc., etc. bathing 42 premiere opera performances. He has also accompanied his instrument in choreographic works, famous dancers, Zoica Haxho, Agron Aliaj, Miltiadh Papa, Ganimet Vëndresha, M. Erebara, A. Janku, etc. Being the first violinist of TKOB, he was awarded the high title “Merited Artist”, after previously in 1979, he was awarded the “Naim Frashëri” medal. After this title, in 1996, together with the two prominent musicians Tish Daija and Rifat Teqja, Gëzim Laros was awarded the title of Professor, previously enjoyed only by Çesk Zadeja, Kozam Lara, Gjon Simoni, and Anita Tartari. Gëzim, his colleagues also express their great respect. Thus, the great composer Limoz Dizdari emphasizes: “The distinguishing feature of Joy is the cantilena of warm and vibrant functional interpretation. Its warm sound is penetrating and has a logical organization of the musical phrase and the game with very pure intonation”.
Five musicians from the Laro family
Joy is not the only musician from the Laro family. His brother Kujtimi, who is a few years younger than him, also has his profession. “Merited Artist” Kujtim Laro, is one of the most prominent composers known in vocal-instrumental symphonic music and is widely known for composing the soundtracks of some of the most prominent Albanian films, such as “The Path of Letters”, “Freedom a Death ”,“ Poppies on the Walls ”,“ In the Beginning of Summer ”, etc. Also another musician in the Laro family is his wife, Dija Kraja (Laro), a well-known concert-maestro, who graduated from the Tirana Conservatory for piano and worked as a lecturer from 1961 until she retired in 2000. Joy and Knowledge have inherited their profession from their two children, Ilir and Dorina. Iliri graduated from the Cesare Pollini Conservatory in Padua, Italy, in 1993-97, with choral music and conducting. While the daughter Dorina, graduated with honors from the Academy of Arts in Tirana, for cello. She continued to teach at the same Academy, further bringing the family tradition, where both her parents and her uncle, Kujtimi, have left an indelible mark./Memorie.al