Vedran Smailović concert during Balkan War
Cellist from Sarajevo playing in War Ruins
Vedran Smailović, a Bosnian cellist, became known to the public after his unusual performances during the Balkan War. In 1992, the Serbian forces launched a 4-year long siege of Sarajevo. Between 1992 and 1993, Smalović played his cello regularly in ruined buildings and during funerals that were often targeted by snipers. His brave acts drew international attention to the dramatic situation in Sarajevo. Smailović became an inspiration for many artists and peacekeepers; and had his story described in the The Cellist of Sarajevo. A simple cello concert played amongst the smoldering ruins of the Balkan capital became one of the most recognizable symbols of peace undertaken by a single man. Once again music had demonstrated its ability to enact real changes in the political world.