Mladen - profile

Mladen Somborac



Your first concert with MCO? 

Playing Bruckner’s second symphony with Phillippe Herreweghe! We were also joined by students from the MCO Academy,  and the way the orchestra sounded was really amazing. I remember it felt like playing some real chamber music piece, although it was a huge symphony, with so many musicians on the stage!

What is the best thing about being a musician?

Freedom – in every aspect! Yes, we spend our life practising a lot, studying for many years, working with a lot of different people, conductors, professors, musicians - but at the end of the day it is ourselves who decide the rhythm of our life, the strength of the voice, colour of a sound - the freedom to be who you want to be - on and off stage.

Briefly describe what a concert day involves for you:

Most of the time I treat it like every other day, with enough time to rest and trying not to practice too much on the performance day. „What is done is done“, is what I like to think, and even if something is not perfect enough at this moment, I look forward to some spontaneity and improvisation on the stage.

If you could play another instrument, what would it be?

Strangely enough I really can't imagine myself with another instrument. I did have an amazing and inspiring teacher of music analysis and harmony (Tonsatz) in my high school. So I guess if I had not continued playing the viola, I probably would have ended up in the area of musical theory somehow, somewhere.

What would you do if you weren't a musician?

My friends still laugh quite hard at me when I tell them that I would most definitely have become an astronaut!


Mladen Somborac is a versatile viola player, sharing his time between chamber music and performing with a significant number of important orchestras. He regularly plays in ensembles such as Camerata Bern, Ensemble Resonanz, Camerata Salzburg, Kammerakademie Potsdam, Stuttgarter Kammerorchester, Deutsches Kammerorchester Berlin, Deutsche Kammerakademie Neuss, oenm - österreichisches ensemble für neue musik, Balthasar Neumann Chor und Ensemble, and others. As an enthusiastic chamber musician, he has performed with Stefan Hempel, Wolfgang Redik, William Coleman, Clemens Hagen, and in various chamber music workshops and masterclasses worked closely with Veronika Hagen, Reiner Schmidt, Günter Pichler, Jonathan Brown, Abel Tomas, Arnau Tomas, Heime Müller, Alasdair Tait and Louis Hopkins.

Mladen was born in Croatia but grew up in Montenegro and Serbia, where he received his first violin lessons. At the age of seventeen, he discovered his passion for the viola, which led to a significant turn in his musical career. Having been accepted to the Mozarteum in Salzburg, he there obtained his bachelor's degree under the guidance of Thomas Riebl, as well as a master's and postgraduate degree under the guidance of William Coleman.

Since joining the Balthasar Neumann Orchestra Academy under the direction of Thomas Hengelbrock in July 2014, Mladen has been an active member of the ensemble to this day, benefitting from valuable musical mentoring by renowned teachers such as Matthias Goerne, Daniel Sepec, Michael Behringer, Elisabeth Scholl, Bernhard Forck and Christoph Dangel. From September 2016 to August 2018, he was an academy member of the viola section of the Berlin Komische Oper, and since January 2018 he has formed part of the Furiant Quartet Berlin as their violist.

Two times between 2021 and 2023, Mladen received fonds in the framework of the NEUSTART KULTUR program of the Deutsche Musikrat: for his innovative concert concept with the Furiant Quartet, and for the project „Viola Abend 1919“, presenting in one concert three viola sonatas written in the year 1919.

Mladen joined the viola section of the MCO in September 2023.