Milan Opacich
Inducted - New Orleans 2002

Hall of Fame PhotoWhat hasn’t Milan Opacich accomplished in his many years promoting tambura music?  A gifted musician, instrument maker, teacher, writer, lecturer, collector and photographer, Milan Opacich has done it all.  His credits include newspaper features, magazine articles, radio interviews, television and video stories, recordings, inclusion in several books related to folklore and various prominent awards.
 
Born in Gary, Indiana, Milan Opacich has been playing music since 1946.  Through the years he has contributed greatly to many musical events and continues to keep a busy schedule playing with the Drina Tamburitza Orchestra.  His accomplishments are too vast to name all, but highlights of Mr. Opacich’s career include founding the St. Sava Orthodox Church Youth Tamburitza Orchestra in 1964, serving as its co-director from 1964 to 1970, serving on the TAA Board of Directors from 1971-1979, and numerous recordings.
 
In addition to being a musician, Mr. Opacich is a talented artisan, making musical instruments as a self-taught luthier.  Besides the many tamburaši playing Opacich instruments, Milan has restored, repaired or custom-built musical instruments for well-known artists such as Roy Acuff, Chet Akins, Mayor Tom Bradley of Los Angeles, and Allen Woody.  He keeps the art alive by being a member of the Association of Stringed Instrument Artisans and teaching others the craft of instrument making at seminars and workshops.  Opacich instruments have been displayed in leading museums such as the Remwick Gallery in Washington, D.C., and the Roy Acuff Museum in Nashville, plus many folk festivals and fairs.
 
Milan Opacich is a contributing staff writer for the magazine Serb World and has documented historical information of tamburitza heritage in his plentiful writings.
 
Induction into the TAA Hall of Fame will be one more award to add to the long list of accolades for Mr. Opacich.  Milan has been awarded Master Artist Grants by the state of Indiana in 2002 and 2003.  He has been listed in the “Who’s Who in America” and “Who’s Who in the World” each year since 2000.  In 2000, Milan was honored at the annual Slavic Music Association of Phoenix Festival.  Milan Opacich has been featured in many news and magazine articles, as well as documentaries, including the most recent PBS special “Strum Thing Special Across Indiana” in February 2003.
 
It is easy to understand why Milan Opacich deserves a place in the TAA Hall of Fame.  His contributions to tamburitza culture have been extraordinary.  We congratulate Mr. Opacich and thank him for his leadership in preserving our music and culture.
 
(Milan's induction was celebrated at the 2003 Extravaganza in Chicago, Illinois.)

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