Saša Toperić also written Sasha Toperich is a concert pianist, diplomat, and a human rights advocate. Toperich was born on 1972 in Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina. When he was 21 years old, he served in the Israeli Army. (source)
Since the age of four, Toperich has been playing the piano. At the age of 14, he won first prize at the Yugoslavian National Piano Competition that was held in Dubrovnik and he performed throughout the country as well as extensively recorded music for Sarajevo Radio and Television. (source) He also won scholarships from the Open Society Institute the American-Isreal Cultural Foundation, and the Government of Bosnia and Herzegovina. Later he went on to receive his M.A. in piano by studying from Irina Berkovich, Arbo Valdma, and Meria Smailovic. His performance have been broadcast all around the world including the United States, Japan, The Netherlands, and many more. In 2004, Toperich was the first concert pianist to perform in Monrovia, Liberia and the concert broadcast live through the entire African continent. (source)
Sasha Toperich became the President of the Children Foundation of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) in 1997. The following year he was awarded the title of UNESCO Artist for Peace. Although later in 2001, he resigned from his title in order to protest UNECSO’s decision not to display work of Tibetan artists on United Nations premises. (source) After, Toperich moved up to the Presidential Envoy of Bosnia to the United States. He became the first high-ranking diplomat from Bosnia and Herzegovina to visit Baghdad after the fall of Saddam.
Human Rights Activist
Toprich later went on and founded the America-Bosnia Foundation. The foundation strives for “stronger cultural, educational, and political ties between the peoples of the United States of America and Bosnia and Herzegovina” as well as help “strengthen democratic values in Bosnia and [reserve its multiethnic and multicultural character.” The foundation also works with local and regional NGO’s to promote women empowerment, youth leadership, and human rights in Bosnia and Herzegovina and the West Balkins. (source) Toperich also helped in numerous events and conferences including being a co-chairman of the World Youth Leadership Network, chairman of the Supervisory Board of the “Mediterranean Development Initiative,” and was a co-author of “The Regulatory Environment in the Financial System in Bosnia and Herzegovina” and “A New Paradigm for the Mediterranean, EU, U.S., North Africa, and Southeast Europe.”
Sasha Toperich has been a very active advocate for human rights for Bosnia and Herzegovina through his foundation, America-Bosnia, and continues to make a difference through it and being a part of other organizations.