Concert accordionist Merima Ključo imbues a dizzying variety of music with playing that moves with its depth of understanding and experience.
With a background in contemporary music, she performs internationally as a recitalist and has been guest soloist with many orchestras, including the Scottish Chamber Orchestra, Holland Symphonia, the Netherlands Radio Philharmonic Orchestra and the citymusic Cleveland. As soloist, she has participated in a number of renowned festivals, including the St. Magnus Festival (Scotland), the City of London Festival, the Gaudeamus Festival (Amsterdam), and the Gubaidulina Festival, which honored one of the greatest composers of our time, Sofia Gubaidulina, in celebration of her 75th birthday.
She was a member of the Checkpoint KBK with Iva Bittova and David Krakauer, and Serendipity 4 with singers Theodore Bikel and Shura Lipovsky, and pianist Tamara Brooks, and was a frequent guest of MusikFabrik, the Asko/Schönberg Ensemble and the Nederlands Blazers Ensemble.
Her performances have been broadcast by prominent networks around the globe such as BBC, PBS and PRI.
She contributed music to the films In the Land of Blood and Honey, written and directed by Angelina Jolie, with a score by the Oscar-winning composer Gabriel Yared, and Jack by Sergej Kreso, among others. She performed in the documentary films Journey 4 Artists, by Michele Noble, and Stories of Sevdah, by Robert Golden.
Opera and theatre companies with whom Ključo has performed include the National Jewish Theater, Bremer Theater, Nederlandse Kinder Theater, EastWest Theater Company and Zagreb Youth Theater.
She has collaborated with prize-winning theatre directors Daniel Landau, Derek Goldman, Haris Pašović and Edvin Liverić, among others.
Next to her solo career Ključo focuses her work on composing, arranging and performing music for variety of projects in theater and film:
- She composed and performed music for Sholom Alechiem: Laughter Through Tears' a one-man play, written and performed by the legendary actor and singer Theodore Bikel.
- For the Bayerischer Rundfunk Ključo composed and performed music for the radio drama Wie der Soldat das Grammofon repariert, based on the book by Saša Stanišić, and directed by Leonhard Koppelmann. The production is published as an audio book by Random House.
- She wrote music for documentary Little Star Rising by Sladjana Lučić. the movie premiered at the Sarajevo Film Festival and since then was screened at the different film festivals around the world.
- Ključo was musical director and composer for two very successful theater plays at the Zagreb Youth Theater - Orchestra Rehearsal based on Federico Fellini's movie and The Notebook based on the book by Ãgota Kristòf.
Her multimedia work The Sarajevo Haggadah: Music of the Book for accordion, piano and video traces the dramatic story of one of Jewish culture's most treasured manuscripts. Using the musical traditions of Spain, Italy, Austria, and Bosnia & Herzegovina Ključo illustrates and illuminates the Haggadah's travels from medieval Spain to 20th century Bosnia where it was hidden and rescued during World War II, to its restoration by the National Museum in Sarajevo after the 1992-1995 war. Inspired by the historical novel People of the Book by Pulitzer-Prize winning author Geraldine Brooks, The Sarajevo Haggadah: Music of the Book creatively interprets this miraculous artifact as a universal symbol of exile, return, and co-existence.
The Sarajevo Haggadah: Music of the Book was commissioned by the Foundation for Jewish Culture and it was performed all over the united states of America, Canada and Europe.
in 2018 Ključo orchestrated The Sarajevo Haggadah: Music of the Book for the CityMusic Cleveland Chamber Orchestra.
In commemoration of the 20th Anniversary of the Siege of Sarajevo in 2012, the East West Theater Company and renowned Bosnian theater director Haris Pasović invited Merima as musical director to compose, arrange, and perform a music poem Sarajevo Red Line.
The piece, which incorporated traditional and pop songs, as well as classical music with deep cultural significance, was performed on April 6, 2012 to an audience of 11, 541 empty red chairs lining the main boulevard in Sarajevo, with one chair for every life lost in the siege. On that day, thousands of people from all walks of life congregated to witness and remember.
As the producer, composer, and arranger for her highly rated albums Zumra, Couperin visiting the Balkans and Lume, she has created a multi-layered classical interpretation of a musical traditions she treasures.
Her compositions and arrangements are original and contemporary in their juxtaposition of extended techniques with traditional musical forms.
The album Zumra was voted by The Sunday Times, (UK)as one of the Top 100 albums, as well as fourth in Top 10 World Music Albums.
One of the oldest and largest musicpublishing houses in Europe - Schott Music published Ključo's books Eastern European Folk Tunes for Accordion and Klezmer and Sephardic Tunes for Accordion.
These collections feature a lively and wide-ranging selection of tunes from all around Eastern Europe, along with new compositions by Merima Ključo. they are suitable for playing on accordion, but also on all other melodic and harmonic instruments. Soon after they were published these books became bestsellers and continue to be sought after by large audiences.