Valter Despalj comes from a prominent family of musicians from Zadar (Croatia). He started learning the cello in Zadar and then went on to study at the Zagreb Music Academy and at the Julliard School of Music in New York. He recieved further training in Moscow and also in master courses with Pablo Casals, Paul Olefsky, Pierre Fournier and Andre Navarra.
In 1972 he started his international solo career by giving concerts at famous concert halls such as: the Carnegie Hall in New York, the Royal Festival Hall in London, the Concertgebouw in Amsterdam, the Kennedy Center in Washington, the Mozarteum in Salzburg etc.
He has been a non-resident professor at the University of Massachusetts and the Australian National University, he holds master courses in Austria, Germany, Finland, China and elsewhere, he has been a juror at the international competitions "Tchaikowsky" in Moscow, "J. S. Bach" in Leipsig, "Scheveningen" in the Netherlands, etc.
He records for record companies Orfeo (Germany), Stradivari (USA) and Melodija (Russia). He has received numerous prizes and awards both in Croatia and abroad.
Cello compositions edited and transcribed by V. Despalj are published by the Universal Edition (Vienna) and the International Music Company (New York). He teaches at the Zagreb Music Academy.
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"Thank you" to Gordana Podvezanec for providing information about Valter Despalj.