Croatian cellist Monika Leskovar (born Kreutztal, Germany, 1981), studied with Dobrila Berkovic-Magdalenic at Elly Bašic Music School in Zagreb and later with Valter Dešpalj. In 1996 she became a student of David Geringas at the Hanns Eisler Hochschule für Musik in Berlin, where – from 2006 to 2011 – she was an assistant. From October 2012 she teaches cello at Lugano Conservatory of Music in Switzerland. In masterclasses she worked together with Mstislav Rostropovitch and Bernard Greenhouse. Winner of several prizes at international cello competitions – International Tchaikovsky for Young Musicians (Sendai, 1995), Antonio Janigro (Zagreb, 1996), Rostropovich (Paris, 1997), Eurovision Grand Prix (Vienna, 1998), Roberto Caruana “Stradivari” (Milano, 1999), International ARD (Munchen 2001), 5th Adam (New Zealand, 2003). Sofia Gubaidulina says of her: “Monika perfectly performed my Preludes for solo violoncello… She is truly remarkable, and simply I adore her… Monika is the sort of talent that only appears by the Grace of God”. She performed as soloist with orchestras such as Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra, Moscow Philharmonic, Sendai Philharmonic, Slovenian Philharmonic, St. Petersburg Symphonic Orchestra, Zagreb Philharmonic, Essen Philharmonic, Prague Chamber Orchestra, Lithuanian Chamber Orchestra, Kremerata Baltica, Zagreb Soloists, with conductors such as Valerij Gergiev, Thomas Hengelbrock, Krzysztof Penderecki, and in solo recitals, chamber music projects and noted festivals like Lockenhaus, Schleswig-Holstein, Rheingau, Dubrovnik, Casals Festival (Tokyo), Rostropovich Festival (Riga), Zagreb International Music Festival collaborating with Gidon Kremer, Yuri Bashmet, Boris Berezovsky, Julian Rachlin, Itamar Golan, Tabea Zimmermann, Sofia Gubaidulina, Mario Brunello, Nikolai Zneider, Jeanine Jansen and Kolja Blacher, among others.