The flute is said to be the oldest of instruments. It is even said to have come from the gods. The ancient Greeks, for instance, believed that their god of shepherds and hunters, Pan played a flute that came from the nymph Syrinx, who, running from Pan dived, into a river and turned into a reed.
The simple flute has born ages of music tradition and it is the easiest instrument to play. With seven fingerholes and a flue, it is the first, in fact, to have a complete scale. This inherent simplicity has led to the belief that the simple flute could produce only non-complicated pastoral melodies.
In the late 20th century, one young mathematician from central Serbia was drawn to this instrument and taught himself to play. He soon became so skillful and innovative that news of him traveled far, and his hobby of playing the simple flute turned into a life calling.
Over 35 years later, the fame of Bora Dugić's mastery with the simple flute can compare to the renown of Stanley Clarke's bass-guitar playing. Both have taken underestimated instruments and expanded their uses inconceivably.
As Clarke, Dugić is a virtuoso who relies on technical innovations of his own to show that his favorite instrument can be played in new ways, in different functions and genres. In Dugić's case, these novelties involve improving the simple flute so that its scale contained three octaves instead of one, bringing it on par with the western classical flute.
It is these homemade, improved flutes Dugić uses, mostly to play his own compositions, inspired by the musical legacy of the Balkans. However, he has performed classical music as well, by such great names as Mozart, Bach, and Schubert. It is, therefore, no wonder that many consider Dugić the best flutist in the world, and one of the greatest folk artists on the planet.
Bora Dugić was born in the town of Djurdjevo, near Kragujevac in central Serbia, in 1949. His music skills eventually led him to Belgrade, where he joined the Belgrade Radio and Television's (RTB) Great Folk Orchestra.
In the meantime, he won such acclaim that in 1985 he was the first musician to record a CD co-produced by Phillips and PGP-RTB (today PGP-RTS). Aside from his numerous records, Dugić has also composed theater scores, and participated in the film scores for "Boj na Kosovu (The Battle of Kosovo, 1989), "O pokojniku sve najlepše" (Speak Well of the Dead, 1984), "Nečista krv" (Impure Blood, 1996), and "Savior" (1998), and in television scores for shows such as "Vuk Karadžić" (1987) and the BBC-produced "War Fates."
Dugić has received numerous music and culture awards, both in Serbia and the former Yugoslavia, and has performed in France, Germany, Belgium, Sweden, Russia, the USA, Greece, Cyprus, Iraq, Japan, Australia, Romania, Bulgaria, Poland, the UK, Canada, Austria, Switzerland, and many other countries. He also had a solo concert at the Sidney Opera House in 2003, and has partook in festivals such as Munich's "Days of European Music" and the "Golden Rose of Montreux."
His great popularity eventually led him to accompany Serbian singer Jelena Tomasević to the 2008 Eurovision Song Contest -- a competition whose musical and stylistic codes run completely contrary to this great artist's musical expression.
However, the Eurovision was an opportunity for Dugić to use an ethnic piece called "Oro" to show his 100-million audience what the Serbian edition (i.e. the Dugić edition) of the flute could do – given that, according to him, its superior range makes it the best flute in the world. In the meantime, Dugić celebrated his 35 years on the musical scene in 2004 with a great solo concert in Belgrade entitled "The Play of Spirit", and held a similar event in the spring of 2009, accompanied by musicians and orchestras from Serbia and the world.