Lindsey Jo Kleiser

Religion connects people in a special way in Sarajevo!

Lindsey Jo Kleiser is an American and a member of the Sarajevo Philharmonic Orchestra, where she has been playing the oboe and English horn for four years now.


Lindsey says that she heard about our city long ago because she was born in Dayton, the city where the peace accords were signed to end the last war in BiH. While traveling during her studies, she met a few colleagues from Balkan countries and she was delighted with their mentality.

The orchestra was short an oboist, so when the chance came to work in Sarajevo, she was only too eager. She doesn’t regret the decision at all because the energy she feels here and the openness of the people are exactly what she had expected.

Lovely mountains and forests around Sarajevo

She’s enchanted by the lovely mountains and forests around Sarajevo and she’s always keen to drop by Trebević and its bobsled tracks, yet she’s saddened by the fact that these Olympic installations are still in such bad shape. However, she’s been impressed by the warm welcome she has received here, the likes of which she has not felt anywhere else in the world. There’s also the fact that Sarajevans are such kind and wonderful people, regardless of the damage done by the war. She is touched by how Sarajevo shows such generosity and hospitality, despite its turbulent past.

She loves to go for walks and her favorite route extends up to Bijela Tabija, where she can enjoy the view. Her favorite part of town is Baščaršija, where she's always discovering something new.

Lindsey’s day doesn’t start without some Bosnian coffee, which she loves and prepares in her own džezva. Her daily ritual is made complete by reading and listening to some classical music by Russian composers and she enjoys going to work at the Philharmonic, an ensemble she has settled into perfectly.

When she first entered the main hall at the National Theater, she felt like a child on her first day of school.

- I was nervous, but when I looked out at the seats from the stage and saw those magnificent lights, I felt proud to be playing in a large European orchestra.

The only drawback to living here is that she cannot have her instruments serviced or find the necessary parts.

Her nicest experience here was when she played at the opening for Vijećnica

- That building is such a symbol of Sarajevo. It was rebuilt from ashes. Like a Phoenix. - She recalls the wonder she felt as she entered this beloved structure, and she couldn’t stop taking it all in.

Coffee is a symbol of Sarajevo 

Lindsey’s favorite places to go with friends are Zlatna Ribica, Moj Cafe and Monument, where she goes for a beer, as well as to Cakum Pakum, where she can enjoy the charming atmosphere.

Not wanting to miss a chance to eat some sarma and Begova čorba, she often visits Hadžibajrić Aščinica, but she really prefers to do her own cooking. She goes to Kod Mahira in Kovači for the best pizza in town and visits Sushi San for sushi.

Lindsey is always sure to take guests for some dark Sarajevo beer and ćevapi and when they ask her where they can buy some organic products, she tells them frankly:

- That’s all there is in Sarajevo! Nowhere else have I eaten such delicious strawberries or tomatoes like the ones at Markale. I’m delighted with the local meat products, not to mention the cheeses.

She would say that the symbol of Sarajevo is coffee, and she always finds time to enjoy some with friends.

She advises first-time visitors to set aside some time to talk to people, because they’re sure to hear some incredible stories. Lindsey closed our conversation with the following:

- Only in Sarajevo do different religions connect people in such a special way!