|Born||May 3, 1975 (1975-05-03) (age 36)|
Mrvica was born in Šibenik, Croatia. He took up piano lessons from the age of nine from Marija Sekso and gave his first public performance in the same year. Just three years later he gave his first concert performance of Haydn’s Piano Concerto in C major. When war broke out in 1991, both Mrvica and his professor were determined that this would not disrupt his music studies. In spite of the war and surrounding turbulence, Mrvica entered in, and won, his first major competition in Zagreb in 1993.
Mrvica went on to study at the Music Academy in Zagreb where he spent five years under Professor Vladimir Krpan, who himself was a pupil of Arturo Benedetti Michelangeli. He then spent a year at the Franz Liszt Conservatoire in Budapest and during this year he won first prize at the Nikolai Rubinstein International Piano Competition. In 2000, he moved to Paris to study with Igor Lazko and gained first prize in the Pontoise Piano Competition in 2001.
When he returned to Croatia he found himself to be the focus of intense media interest and he made frequent television appearances as well as giving a great number of interviews. He soon found himself recording his first CD, Gestures, an album of contemporary Croatian piano pieces. Gestures became one of the fastest-selling classical recordings to be released in Croatia, and Mrvica was even invited to officiate the Porin award ceremony, an honour not usually granted to a classical artist.
2 International appeal
Soon after this launch Mrvica was spotted by the musician, author and manager Tonči Huljić, who composed several tracks for the crossover string quartet, Bond, and it was Tonči who put Mrvica in touch with British impresario Mel Bush. Mel had, by chance, been looking for a new pianist for some time and he recognised Maksim’s potential to appeal to a wide range of audiences. EMI Classics was also interested in Mrvica and soon a new album was underway. This album was The Piano Player, which gave a new spin to compositions by Handel and Chopin. Since its release in 2003 it has been very successful, particularly in Asia, where it has achieved Gold status in Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia and China, Platinum in Taiwan and Croatia and Double Platinum in Hong Kong. It was also in the number 1 slot in the HMV international pop chart in Hong Kong for twelve consecutive weeks.
Under Mel Bush’s management, Mrvica’s performances generally take place against a backdrop of special lighting, stage and video effects.
Mrvica has performed in a couple of international beauty pageants and MTV awards. His image and charisma also attracted the interest of global brands such as American Express, who sponsored him in Singapore.
3 Adaptations and arrangements
There is a Chinese lyrical version added to the non-lyrical song of Maksim Mrvica’s “Claudine”. This musical piece was sung and written by singer Edmond Leung from Hong Kong. According to Boxup.com, Edmond was so captivated by Maksim’s performance of “Claudine” that he asked Maksim’s permission to do a lyrical version in Cantonese. Soon after in 2004, their collaboration produced the bittersweet ballad called “Xin Wang Ai” (“Trust in Love”).
4 Music videos
Maksim has music videos for The Gypsy Maid, New World Concerto, Somewhere In Time, Nostradamus; directed by Tony van den Ende, Kolibre; directed by Tony van den Ende, Exodus, Olympic Dream, The Flight of the Bumble Bee, Prelude in C, Anthem and Child in Paradise.
- 1999 – Gestures (Lisinski Studios)
- 2003 – The Piano Player (EMI)
- 2004 – Variations Part I & II (EMI)
- 2005 – A New World (EMI)
- 2006 – Electrik (EMI)
- 2007 – Pure (MBO)
- 2008 – Pure II
- 2008 – Greatest Maksim (EMI)
- 2010 – Appassionata
Pure II has not yet been released. It seems that only a preview on his site is everything. The original Pure album has been discontinued due to contractual obligations.