“But even before the curtain would go up on the main event, there was an astounding warm-up performer who deserved as much as anyone to be on the stage of our symphony hall. Classical guitarist, Mak Grgić, stepped forward to sit before the curtain and proceeded to absolutely dazzle the audience with his astonishing skill and virtuosity as he performed a variety of traditional pieces from the Balkan Peninsula area of his native land (the former Yugoslavia). The remarkable speed, dexterity, rapid-fire fingering and emotional passion this master musician brought to the musical selections, had the audience practicing its standing ovations even before Ms. Lang arrived on stage following intermission.”
k.d. lang's INGÉNUE Redux Tour @ The Opening Act
David Dow Bentley III, The People's Critic
“Mak Grgic is a beautiful musician.”
k.d. lang, written by Sam Byrd, Houston Press
"Grgic’s playing combined excellent technique with an extensive range of emotional expression. He brought expansive warmth and delicate elegance to the Baroque pieces."
Jim Farber, San Francisco Classical Voice
"As part of his "Cinema Verismo" project, Mak Grgic performed film classics with fabulous mastery...There is a saying in the film Forrest Gump: "Life is a box of chocolate. You never know what you're gonna get." In this case, Mak's playing is as "sweet" as chocolate. It is also clear that where Mak goes, quality follows."
Nadia Baha, Kulturwoche, Vienna
"A fine player with an adventurous spirit."
Classical Guitar Magazine
"[On] MAKrotonal…Grgic features five different guitars throughout the recital, employing different temperaments from work to work...Grgic’s excellent booklet notes both identify and spell out the specifics for each tuning…The Bach stands out for Grgic’s fluid tempo relationships, plus his ability to shape melodic and harmonic strands with a clear and colorful perspective. In short, a stimulating program that ought to attract listeners beyond just guitar specialists and temperament mavens."
Vecer Newspaper, Slovenia
“On this disc, the gifted young guitarist Mak Grgic uses different guitars to perform arrangements of music featured in film soundtracks; a flamenco instrument, for example, for Alberto Iglesias’s “Volverino.” Mr. Grgic’s imaginative, expressive playing is also heard in Stanley Myers’s “Cavatina”; an excerpt from Mascagni’s “Cavalleria Rusticana”; and selections by Bach, Albeniz, Albinoni, Bernstein and Nino Rota.”
The New York Times
“Weiss’s Passacaglia in D Major was proclaimed a “high point of the evening” offering “a superb, finely detailed reading that showed Grgic is a guitarist to keep an eye on.” “He turned in a beautiful account of Weiss’s six-movement “L’Infidel” suite, exploring its contrasts and fascinating twists and turns — from the deeply personal Sarabande to the slow-gathering power of the Paisanne — with real intelligence. It was a treat to hear the Slovenian guitarist Mak Grgic spotlight two rarely heard works by Weiss in a fine performance of Renaissance and Baroque music on Sunday night at the National Gallery of Art.”
“Mak’s playing sparkled with intense fire, giving life to even the smallest notes in the music. His musical approach is multifold and tends to diverse musical styles and genres with playful beauty.”
Yengcheng Newspaper, Guangdong, China
“[after Concierto de Aranjuez performance]...Grgic is a musician who is clearly driven by a primal musical passion, which is expressed by continuously bringing his tones and phrases to abrupt wild uproars and agogic fluctuations. Such an intense relationship with music brings joy and excitement.”
Dnevnik Newspaper, Slovenia
“At a 5pm concert, one out of many that day at Seoul Station’s contemporary music marathon, that featured guitarists Mak Grgic from USA/Slovenia & Jae Il Chung from Korea, the performance of Reich’s Electric Counter Point in the hands of these young artists was filled with interesting and evocative sounds. While performing Pacific Coast Highway by David Crowell, the two guitarists produced intricate repetitive rhythms that brought forth the sound of guitars and contrasted with the enormous sonority of the electronic acoustics. Additionally Mak Grgic performed some solo pieces, including Metheny Dreaming (a medley arrangement of Pat Metheny’s popular tunes by Grgic) and the Sonata op.47 by Ginastera, where he beautifully revealed to the audience the scope of possibilities of the modern guitar by showcasing various modern playing styles and wonderful harmonies.”
Sun-Young Moon for ewha media, South Korea
“[On] Cinema Verismo…rest assured the 14 tracks add up to a well-contrasted and satisfying hour-long recital. More importantly Mak Grgic’s abundant, yet tasteful guitar virtuosity leaves a powerful impression…The accompanimental clusters in Granados’ Spanish Dance No. 5 provide an urgent commentary alongside the curvaceous main tune…Grgic brings understated eloquence to a simple and effective arrangement of Bernstein’s “Somewhere” from West Side Story…Aside from Grgic’s own talent for nuance and multi-hued voicings, the coloristic variety also is due to his use of different instruments throughout the recital.”
“Following in the footsteps of fellow Balkan virtuoso Milos, Slovenian guitarist Mak Grgic’s talents are showcased on a cleverly compiled selection of classical pieces familiar from the Movies–not just the mandatory Cavatina, but orchestral pieces ingeniously arranged for solo guitar…the poignancy of Morricone’s Gabriel’s Oboe is deftly sustained by the solitude of solo guitar, Elsewhere, Nino Rota’s Godfather’s Waltz is even more stately than in the film, while Albeniz’s Asturias allows Grgic to indulge the core classical repertoire.”
The Independent, U.K.
“Grgic is a young guitarist whose reputation is on the rise. This CD, Cinema Verismo, features classic, well-loved melodies from film scores alongside traditional favorites of guitar repertoire. The inventive “concept” of this “recital CD” keeps it fresh and accessible. When people ask me for a good way to “introduce” others to classical music, I often reach for a CD like this one. The combination of guitar, great works, and film tunes make it an excellent, musically non-threatening introduction to the world of fine music. Another good pick to start your music library.”
Radio Del Marva
“Grgic has quickly established himself as one of the up-and-coming performers in the guitar genre… Music from Enrico Morricone’s The Mission and The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly was placed alongside Leonard Bernstein’s West Side Story to give a wide-ranging, yet sophisticated recital… Grgic’s energy on stage was infectious, and added a nice contrast to the old stereotype of “sit stoically and play… The concert proved that not all movie music belongs in the pops oeuvre, and that—at least on a solo recital level—the artistic merit of the music drives its programming, not its genre.”
North Texas Performing Arts News
“…a program that would have needed a bucket of popcorn to be any more cinematic. The Spanish Dance No. 5 by Spanish composer Enrique Granados offered an interestingly different arrangement of a familiar work...Asturias…this passionate, driving work makes frequent appearances at recitals such as this one, but never wears out its welcome. And Grgic did an excellent job of catering to the expectations of the audience while still make the piece his own…Bach’s incredible Chaconne from the Partita for Solo Violin No. 2…the longest piece on the program, this highly complex, 13-minute work is almost operatic in its structure. Employing a slightly darker-than-average tone, Grgic managed to clearly articulate the work’s many voices without getting lost in its daunting architecture…“And now, the fun one,” Grgic said, before launching into a wonderfully clever arrangement of the main theme from Ennio Morriconi’s score for Sergio Leone’s legendary spaghetti Western The Good, the Bad and the Ugly. His intro proved to be right on the money… you would have to give this concert a thumbs up.”
“…the program launching the innovative season for Guitar Sarasota, performed to a sold-out hall and providing intriguing examples of the use of great classical music to support great cinematic moments, was fascinating…A secret pleasure revealed: what fun it was to see J.S. Bach’s iconic Chaconne (BMV 1004) listed in the program as “From the movie ‘The Beast with Five Fingers’”…More important, this was one of the best performances by the young guitarist, providing an appropriate outlet for his lyric interpretive preferences rather than adhering to conventional academic norms…his technique is impressive and the rich tone he drew from his instrument was often striking… positive results were found in fine music from other sources, such as two melodies from Bernstein’s “West Side Story” and both Morricone’s ubiquitous “Gabriel’s Oboe” and his score for “The Good, The Bad, & The Ugly.
Herald Tribune, Sarasota, Florida
“An alluring combination of masterful guitar skills, dedication to playing and an engaging stage presence fascinated the multi-generational audience, who refused to let the guitar virtuoso off the stage.”
Manca Cujez, siol.net
"Mak Grgic, introduced himself to our audience with the Rodrigo Fantasia para un Gentilhombre and Adiós Nonino by Astor Piazzolla. He is a prominent young guitarist whose virtuosity is made transparent through a blend of pure talent and hard work… he has an excellent technique. He is attentive to both the beauty of his sound and a sense of responsibility to the written page. With such important opportunities he moves closer to becoming the crème de la crème."
Helena Novak, klasika.hr
“Mak Grgic is a young artist with an undoubtedly luminous career ahead of him… he portrayed an immense capability of developing the thematic material with a certain profound sense, and the same goes for his tendency for clarity of a phrase… his playing is, in fact, full of personality and wide musical range.”
Franco Di Lena, Il Messaggero