Hailed by the critics as one of the most unique and expressive marimba and percussion artists in the field today, Nebojsa Jovan Zivkovic has greatly influenced the international percussion scene during the last two decades – as both a masterful composer and virtuoso performer. He embodies a very rare tradition – that of combined composer and virtuoso, which was common in the 19th century. A native from Serbia, Zivkovic completed his master’s degrees in composition, music theory and percussion in Mannheim and Stuttgart, Germany, where he has resided since 1980. He tours extensively throughout Europe, and performs frequently in the USA, Japan, Taiwan, Korea, Latin America, Russia and Scandinavian countries. Zivkovic performed in such prestigious venues as Vienna’s “Konzerthaus”, National Recital Hall Taipei, Munich’s Herkulessaal, St. Petersburg’s Eremitage Theatre, or Stockholm’s Nybrokajen. He was also guest of the number of Festivals such as Gaudeamus Amsterdam, Schleswig-Holstein Musikfestival, Dance-in-your-head, Minneapolis, USA and several times at PASIC (Percussive Arts Society Int. Convention) in USA.
As a soloist, mostly with his own marimba and percussion concertos, Zivkovic has performed with the Stuttgart Philharmonic, Munich Symphonic Orchestra, Bochum Phiharmonic, Austrian Chamber Symphony, Hannover Radio Symphony, Bielefeld Philharmonic, Belgrade Philharmonic, Thessaloniki State Orchestra Greece, Osaka Festival Orchestra, National Symphony Orchestra Costa Rica, Lithuanian State Symphony, Slovenian Philharmonic, to name but a few.
Nebojsa Jovan Zivkovic’s marimba is "Stradivari" among the Marimbas: order made, one-of-the-kind instrument, made by YAMAHA in Japan especially for him. His creative output is captured on six compact discs of music for marimba and percussion, and at over a dozen CD's including his compositions are recorded by other performers.
Zivkovic is one of the world’s most performed composers for Percussion music. At the present time, he has nearly three hundreds performances of his compositions every year in almost fifty countries worldwide. His groundbreaking compositions for marimba and percussion have set new performing standards, and his captivating and energetic performances have influenced generations of marimbists. Many of Zivkovic’s compositions (for example: Ilijas, Ultimatum1, Trio per uno ) have become standards in contemporary percussion repertoire world-wide. His orchestral works are performed by orchestras worldwide such as the National Symphony Orchestra of Washington, BBC Concert Orchestra, London, Orchestra di Santa Cecilia, Rome or The Nothern Sinfonia in Newcastle, UK, Hiroshima Symphony Orchestra. He is frequently commissioned by many soloists, orchestras and institutions, including two commissions from the German Ministry of Culture (Rheinland-Pfalz and Baden-Württemberg).
The new millennium started successfully with two premiere performances of chamber music pieces in London's WIGMORE HALL:
"Born to beAT Wild" for trumpet and percussion and "Quasi una sonata" for piano and percussion, composed for Hakan Hardenberger, Evelyn Glennie and Emanuel Ax. Beside his concert works, he has composed many compositions for younger players. Especially pieces from his “FUNNY MALLETS SERIES” have become some of the world’s most successful works for mallets instruments.