Petra Strahovnik was born in Celje, Slovenia in 1986. She finished composition with Uroš Rojko at the Music Academy in Ljubljana (2011) and Master Composition with Martijn Padding and Peter Adriaansz at the Royal Conservatoire in The Hague (2014), for which she received a scholarship from the Ministry of Culture in Slovenia as well as from the municipality Žalec, Slovenia.
Her works range from solo, chamber, vocal, instrumental and orchestral music. Many of them have been performed in festivals, seminars and workshops all over Europe where her mentors were many of today’s leading contemporary composers such as Vinko Globokar, Mark Andre, Fabio Nieder, Beat Furrer, Georg F. Haas, Detlef Heusinger and many more. Her composition Between East and West for four percussionists won the MusMa Festival award and was later performed in five countries across Europe. In April 2012, she won both the Jury and the Audience award at the international competition Biennale Koper 2012 with her piece Awareness.
Her piece Panisteriah written after the book Balerina, Balerina by Marko Sosič was performed several times and is dealing with the subject of autism. In September 2011 Petra was invited to attend the EU-ART-NETWORK in Austria, where her piece Obsession was performed. In September 2010, Mr. S. C. Trowell (England) granted her a scholarship for Gaudeamus Music Week music seminar in Amsterdam.
In January 2011, Petra received the highest award from the University of Ljubljana for all of her musical achievements – the Academic Prešeren Award.
In 2013 she received a commission from the Diamantfabriek (NL) to write an opera (Becoming the System). The premiere was in December 2013 and got amazing reviews.
Since her beginnings Petra has been following her path of discovering new sounds and she has never been barred by a traditional way of how we think about sound and music. She is also very aware of the audiences’ perception of sound in space. She is working on research in art, discovering ‘mechanical-electronic’ sounds, using rare earth magnets and mechanical sound speakers.
For An Evening of Today, Petra collaborates with magician Aljaž Šon.
Aljaž Šon was born in Celje, Slovenia in 1985. From a very early age, he showed deep interest in all types of art forms, like painting, music, acting, dancing, etc. At the age of 5 he began drawing (painting with a pencil) and would literally do this all day every day for the next five years. At the age of 10, he already sold some of his drawings until one day, his aunt came to visit and played a song on her guitar. This shifted Aljaž’ desire towards learning to play this instrument and express himself with music instead.
While playing the guitar everyday, Aljaž would explore his personal form of expression as he felt that something was missing. He went back to drawing and along the way learned a few acting skills as well. This proved to be useful because a few months after the birth of his first child in April 2004, Aljaž saw David Blaine on TV doing some incredible things, which could only be classified as Magic or Illusions.
For the past 10 years Aljaž’ has performed his brand of magic all over Europe. Mostly in bars and restaurants, private parties, promotions, parlour shows, corporate events and some birthday parties as well. While performing at different venues for different people, he was able to gain experience on how the human brain makes all sorts of assumptions and how most of us perceive the world around us.
With the experience so far, Aljaž has created a series of Close-Up illusions. Two of his original creations were published in MAGIC and the Linking Ring magazine, two of the biggest monthly periodicals for magicians around the world. He is now in negotiation for selling the rights to his effect Coin on Call with Penguin Magic, one of the biggest production companies on the market.
Aljaž also lectures about the Art of Magic to other magicians and discusses his own creations and philosophies which are getting interestingly intertwined with those of his wife Petra.