Hotel Predgradje

In collaboration with some of Serbia´s leading artists, we are proud to present this unique program. It is a bouquet of works by Scandinavian and Balcan composers, all tied together with a newly written piece for mezzo soprano and piano quintet. This piece is composed by Bo Lundby-Jæger to lyrics written by the Serbian author Jelena Lengold.

    Jelena Lengold (author), Bo Lundby-Jæger (composer/pianist), Aleksandra Vagner (mezzo soprano),

  Aleksandra Milanovic (violin), Selena Jakovljevic (violin), Ivana Uzelac (viola),Tamara Rankovic (cello)


Bo Lundby-Jæger/Jelena Lengold                                                  Hotel Predgradje

mezzo soprano and piano quintet

Josip Slavenski/trad                                                                         Pjesme moje majke 

mezzo soprano and string quartet


Josip Slavenski                                                                                 String quartet no. 5

string quartet


Edvard Grieg/H.C. Andersen                                                           Hjertets melodier

mezzo soprano and piano


Bo Lundby-Jæger/Chen Zi´ang, Li He, Li Shangyin                       3 Chinese songs

mezzo soprano and piano quintet

trad. /arr. Bo Lundby-Jæger.                                                        Drømte mig en drøm/Magla padnala v dolina

mezzo soprano and piano quintet

Duration approx 80´


The birth of this project

"We live in a globalised world. In a way, one can argue that the physical distance between people has become smaller. It is easy for us to travel from one side of the world to the other, at least before the pandemics and wars appeared and played a trick on humanity. Nevertheless, our boarders get more and more clear despite the increasing globalisation. It becomes apparent to us that we have varying perspectives on cultural matters, and politicians around the world are fighting a power battle in more or less appealing ways.

Fortunately, music itself knows no borders. It is a safe space, a common language. Political power battles are irrelevant when it comes to the art of music.

The idea behind our transnational musical collaboration was first founded over a cup of coffee in a small café in Copenhagen. Bo had just returned home after conducting one of his pieces in Belgrade. He was moved by the atmosphere and the soul of the Serbian capital. In January 2019, I was on holiday in Belgrade and reached out to the viola player Ivana Uzelac, whom Bo had met a couple of months earlier. We got together after a concert with Belgrade Philharmonic Orhestra, in the dark and smoky musicians´ lounge in the concert hall. The soulfull ambience set the tone for our conversation about the ideas that Bo and I had for this project.

Our idea was to create a piece by a Danish composer and a Serbian poet, melting the two cultures together in a creative way. When performing the piece, we wanted to bring together artists from both countries.

After returning to Denmark, the project started to blossom. In Serbia, Ivana contacted the author Jelena Lengold, who liked the idea.  We received the poems from Jelena in the summer of 2020, they were translated into Danish, and then Bo started his writing process.

The main element of our program is the four songs Bo Lundby-Jæger composed to the poems written by Jelena Lengold.

But our program also includes a selection of other pieces. The focal theme when choosing our program has been human relations and connections during all stages of life. This shines through  in our selection of lyrics as well as the choice of composers.

An example of this is Josip Slavenski. A man who was born in Yugoslavia, a country that is no longer to be found on the world map, and a composer who some still today strive to claim ownership of after the split of the country. Fortunately, no one owns neither Josip Slavenski as a person nor his wonderful music which continues to live on.

The same could have been the case for the Scandinavian romantic songs in the program. If the  Norwegian composer Edvard Grieg and the Danish author H.C. Andersen had lived a bit earlier, they would have been born into the the same kingdom, since Norway and Denmark were united until 1814.

The world order is ever-changing, but art knows no boarders and has the ability to unite us all."

Aleksandra Vagner


About Hotel Predgradje

"Two people - a woman and a man -  glimpses of their lives painted in four songs - desperate relationships - quiet hotel rooms.

The poetry of Jelena Lengold inspired me to pursue a dusty and jazz-like sound. It is the kind of sound that reminds me of hotel lobbies and smoky, dark restaurants in countries far away, in countries of which one can never remember the name.

The first sketches of these songs were created far up north, in Northern Jutland in Denmark,  in a cottage situated in the most wonderful dune landscape. The sketches were mapped out on an old and faded roll of paper, which matched the words and sounds in a peculiar way.

The songs are composed for Aleksandra Vagner´s unique voice, a voice that has inspired me to write these beautiful songs."

Bo Lundby-Jæger