(1874-1948), studied mathematics and physics, and was outstanding organ
player and composer, the Zagreb Cathedral organist since 1910.
It is maybe worth
mentioning that the German pianist Alfred
at that time 10 years old, met Franjo Dugan in Zagreb, who gave him
that he found extremely useful. He also appeared at a children's
theatre in Zagreb.
(1881-1944) wrote verses for two sacral songs still extremely popular
Croats: Do nebesa nek se ori
(in 1900, at the age of 19) and Rajska
Djevo (in 1904, at the age of
23). In 1901 he entered the Society of Jesus. Killed without trial by
communist partisans in 1944 on the islet of Daksa near Dubrovnik.
Many thanks to Br. Ivo Domazet SJ for the photo.
Huml is distinguished
Croatian violinist and pedagogue of the Czech origin (Beroun, Bohemia,
1880 - Zagreb, Croatia, 1953). He studied in Prague with Otokar Sevcik,
and concerted in Lavov. Since 1903 he was working and living in Zagreb
as a teacher of violin and chamber music at the Croatian Music
Institute School. From 1921 until his death he was a professor at the
Music Academy. Besides that he performed as a soloist and as a member
of chamber ensembles, and was a co-founder and the first violin of the
Zagreb Quartet in 1919.
Kolitsch (Vlado Kolić,
1899-1979), born in Zagreb, was a renowned violin pedagogue. His
studied at the Zagreb Conservatory under Vaclav Huml.
His musical debut in the USA was in 1925, at Cargnegie Hall in New
York, playing a violin which had been used by Mozart in 1786. Vlado
Kolitsch became a professor at the Academy of Music in Los Angeles,
Vlado Kolitsch (Kolić),
Photo by the courtesy of the Library of Congress, USA; many thanks to
Vladimir Novak, Zagreb.
He is inventor of the Kolitsch
shoulderest, patented [PDF,
click on the photo below ] in 1936 (a previous version of the violin
shoulder rest has been patented by another Croatian in 1930, also from
Zagreb: Mirko Medakovic, [PDF]).
The Kolitsch shoulderest
is manufactured in many countries.
Vlado Kolitsch was in
possession of a Mozart's violin.
New York Ticket Agent Saves Instrument Said
to Have Been Used by Mozart. The alertness of a ticket agent in the
northbound station of the Ninth Avenue elevated at Fourteenth street
New York, last week balked the theft of two violins belonging to Vlado
Kolitsch, Croatian violin ist, who made his debut at Carnegie Hall this
season. One of the violins is said to have been used by Mozart in 1786
and is valued by its owner at $17,000.
Kolitsch, accompanied by his secretary and a friend, was returning from
a concert to the Hotel des Artistes at 1 West Sixty-seventh street. It
was near midnight when they reached the elevated platform and no train
was in sight. The violins, in one case, were laid upon a bench. When a
train rolled into the station the men got aboard, forgetting the
violins. At the next station Kolitsch notified the agent of his loss.
The agent, in turn, notified the Fourteenth street agent. When he left
the phone the agent saw a man carrying a violin case walk briskly
toward the exit turnstiles. "Just a minute," exclaimed the agent.
"Where did you get that violin case?" The man ignored the question and
went on. The agent threatened to call a policeman and the man dropped
the case and fled. When Kolitsch arrived a few minutes later his
violins were waiting for him.
Once when Vlado Kolitsch
Kunc-Milanov, she reminded him
that they have met 25 years ago in a Zagreb church when she, as a
little girl singing in the church choir, held a candle for him who was
a boy violinist, so he could warm up his fingers before playing in the
cold church. Information by the courtesy of Vladimir Novak, Zagreb.
(1901-1988) is perhaps the
greatest cello theoretician in the world
(opinion expressed by Leonard Rose). He wrote manuals for cellists that
even today are considered among the best for young cellists throughout
the world. Matz studied cello, composition and conducting at the Zagreb
Academy of Music, and became professor of cello at the University of
Zagreb in 1950, where he stayed until his retirement in 1972. He wrote
about 300 vocal and instrumental compositions, about 100 of them for
cello. He is the author of the monumental 32 volume Prve
godine violoncella in
Croatian (1948-1962), translated into English as
First Years of Violoncello. He
also wrote the widely used For
Young Hands, 54 Short Etudes.
Rudolph Matz was a top
Croatian sportsman. As a sprinter he won the first place in the Prague
in 1921, beating also German sprinters. He was a record holder in
Croatia on 100 (for 11 years!), 200, 4x100, and 400 m. He stressed that
the work of a music educator is similar to that of a trainer.
Matz served as a jury
member at the International
Tchaikovsky Competition in
Moscow in 1966, 1970 and 1974, and at Gaspar
Cassado's competition in
Florence in 1973. Matz was also a pioneer in establishing the field of music therapy
as a profession in Croatia. He founded among other the Zagreb Chamber
Orchestra, predecessor of the Zagreb Soloists (I Solisti di Zagreb).
Since 1996 an annual International
Competition Rudolph Matz is
held in Dubrovnik
organized by Croatian String Teachers' Association.
A monograph published in honour of Matz has been written by an american
and Margita Matz Memorial Collection
will be set up in their appartment in Zagreb, Mesnicka 15, which once
famed for its encounters with musicians and intimate concerts. In 1967
Matz was visited by a celebrated cellist Mstislav Rostropovich. Rudolf
Matz composed the melody of the anthem of
society Napredak (Advancement)
in Sarajevo, capital of Bosnia and Herzegovina.
(1908-2008) was a famous Croatian and Argentiean violinist, of the
Jewish origin. He graduated the study of violine from the University of
Zagreb, Croatia. In 1930 he started to lecture at the Paris
École Normale de Musique. In 1935 he was one of the winners
of the prestigious Warsaw Henryk Wieniawski Violin Competition. On the
eve of WWII he moved to Argentina, where he continued his very fruitful
activity. Spiller is the author of one of the best
violin textbooks for children (Kinder
lernen Geige spielen,
published by PAN in Zürich,
Switzerland). He frequently played Croatian composers, like Ivan Mane Jarnovic, Franjo
Dugan, Milko Kelemen, Krsto
Odak, etc. In 1997 he obtained
the Order of Danica Hrvatska (The Order of Croatian Morning Star) from
president Franjo Tudjman. More information
by Zlatko Stahuljak, in Croatian.
admirer of classical music certainly knows the
Zagreb Soloists, conducted by
maestro Tonko Ninic
In the last 50 years they
had more than 3500 concerts, among others in the Royal Albert Hall and
Royal Festival Hall (London),
in Carnegie Hall (New York), Musikverein (Vienna), in Mozarteum
in Hercules (Münichen), in Tonhalle (Zürich), in
in Concertgebouw (Amsterdam), in Salle Pleyel (Paris), in Santa Cecilia
in Cajkovski concert hall (Moscow), in Opera House (Sydney), in
in Coliseo (Buenos Aires), in Victoria Hall (Singapur). They also
had solemn concerts at the General Assembly of the
During the Croatian War of Independence the
Zagreb Soloists gave about seventy benefit concerts (to raise founds
destroyed schools of music in Croatia, then for the destroyed building
of the Croatian National Theatre in Osijek, Children' s Hospital in
and monuments). They also played a series of concerts to celebrate the
newly-independet Republic of Croatia. Source: Hispania
Zagreb String Quartet, founded
in 1919, which performed about 5,000 concerts until the end of 20th
century, many of them throughout the world.
Pejacevic (1885-1923) is the
first important female composer in Croatia; in her short life she left
behind her a rich opus of 58 pieces; she was portrayed among others by Maximilian Vanka
Her works have been played already during her lifetime in Dresden,
Prague, Budapest, Vienna, and in her native Nasice in Croatia.
A regular Memorial of Dora
Pejacevic is held in Nasice.
Dora Pejacevic: Allegro, [wma]
performance in the chapel of Prandau
- Normann palace, Valpovo, 2005,
Mirta Pletersek-Blaskovic (violin) and Petra Gilmung (piano), with kind
violinist Zlatko Balokovic
(1895-1965); he was in possession of Guarneri's famous violin "the
King" from 1735 (one of the last violins built by Giuseppe Guarneri del
Gesù, "the King" was named in honour of King Joseph of
Hapsburg, estimated to nine million dollars); he donated "the King" to
his beloved city of Zagreb in 1964;
famous violin "the King"
from 1735 ,
kept in Zagreb
series of concerts in Kopehnagen, Oslo, Stockholm,
Berlin, Budapest, Vienna, Dortmund, The Hague, Utrecht, Amsterdam,
During the WWII he was the president of the American Croatian Congress
York), and president of the Committee of All Nationalities, which
help in many coutries. In
Scholarship from which HAZU
allocates stipends for gifted Croatian students
to study at Harvard
one of the greatest
conductors of the 20th century (1899-1985), started his career in 1919
as conductor of orchestras in Osijek, Novi Sad, Ljubljana, Belgrade,
Riga, and in Zagreb in 1932. From 1942-1945 he was conductor of the
Vienna Opera. After 1945 he was imprisoned by the Yugoslav communist
regime, and together with Croatian painter Kristian
sentenced to confiscation of all movable and immovable property. In
1950's he became organizer of Festivals in Dubrovnik
and Split. In 1956
Matacic moved to Germany to conduct East Berlin Opera and the famous
Dresden Staatskapelle, then conducted at Bayreuth in 1959, and from
1961 to 1966 was Gereralmuikdirektor in Frankfurt. He was also guest
conductor in Vienna Opera, Milan Scala, in Chicago, Naples, Palermo,
Rome, London, Cleveland, Tokyo, Prague, etc., and was elected the
honorary director of the Japanese Orchestra in Tokyo. From 1970 to 1980
he was conductor and artistic director of the Zagreb Philharmonic
Orchestra, and almost simultaneously from 1973 to 1979 had the same
role in the Monte Carlo Orchestra.
Lovro Matacic is the laureate of
the Bruckner Medal
and of the International Bruckner Society, recipient of the Bruckner
Ring from Viennese Symphonic Orchestra (one among only a few of the
most outstanding conductors),
recipient of the
Smetana Medal from the Czech government and Janacek Medal,
Hans von Bellow
Medal from the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra,
medal for artistic
work from the Prince Rainer of Monaco,
the Cross of the
First Order for Science and Art from the president of Republic of
and of numerous
recognitions in Croatia.
Under his baton great performances were accomplished (and recorded by
Columbia Records) by Yehudi Menuhin, David Oistrakh, Enrico Caruso,
Beniamin Giglio, Maria Callas, Herbert von Karajan, Bruno Walter,
Arthur Rubinstein and others. Lovro Matacic founded a fund for
specialization of young conductors.
One of predecessors of his noble family participated in the defense of
Siget under the leadership of legendary Nikola
Kasman (1850-1925), born on the
island of Losinj, baritone, and the first Croat that had opportunity to
sing in the New York Metropolitan (in 1883)
Trnina (or Ternina, 1863-1941);
according to Giacomo Puccini,
author of the famous opera Tosca,
she was the best "Tosca" that he had opportunity to listen to (on the
London première in 1900); see Milka Ternina at the Royal Opera
House, Covent Garden; only in
Convent Garden in London Milka had 56 performances between 1895 and
Also, she was the first Tosca in Great Britain and in the United
She sang at the ceremony of coronation of the Russian Tsar Nikolai II.
of the Plitivice Lakes (a famous National Park in Croatia) is named
in 1898. For
see the following monograph:
Premerl: Milka Ternina and
the Royal Opera House (in
2006. ISBN 953-6942-24-0
Charter from the Croatian National Theatre in Zagreb conferring
honorary membership to Milka Trnina (source [Premerl,
p 86]), containing the Croatian
Coat of Arms
had been given in honour to Milka Trnina, Croatian opera diva?
Saviez vous que
le célébre chocolat porte le nom de "Milka" en
l'honneur de Milka Trnina, chanteuse
d'opéra originaire d'Ivanic Grad en Croatie. Le fondateur de
la marque étant
un admirateur de la diva croate, il décida de donner son
nom, Milka, a son entreprise
et son chocolat.
Thomas Mann wrote about her in his Dr.
Faustus ("...she is probably the
best soprano of both hemispheres"), while Igor
Stravinski devoted his four
compositions to her.
famous opera singer Tino
Pattiera (1890-1966) was born in
the lovely town of Cavtat near Dubrovnik.
His career started in Croatia, in the Opera of Osijek, where he sang as
baritone. Pattiera was teaching singing in the Prague and in Vienna
(Academy of Drama and Music). He is buried in his native town of
distinguished Croatian composer Ivan Brkanovic
(1906-1987) was born near the town of Kotor in Boka kotorska.
He studied at the Music Academy in Zagreb. Among others he was a
director of The Zagreb Philharmony and professor at the University of
Sarajevo. He composed Bokeljsko kolo, Konavosko pirovanje, opera Zlato
Zadra (Gold of Zadar), etc.
(1931), organ player and church music composer, played throughout
Europe, including the church of Notre Dame in Paris, Westminster Abbey
in London, Basilica of St. Maria degli Angeli in Assisi.
He conducted the
Vienna State Opera for more than forty years (1133 performances in 56
During ten years
Klobucar directed Symphonic Orchestra and the Opera in Graz, Austria.
During nine years
he was director of the Opera of Stockholm, Sweden.
During six years
Berislav Klobucar was director of Opera and Philharmonic Orchestra in
He conducted in the Milano Scala, in the New York Metropolitan, and on
prestigious festivals like those in Bayreuth and Salzburg. His
extensive repertoire contains of as many as 115 opera titles, and his
most favorite authors are Beethoven, Wagner, and Richard Strauss. The
above data are based on an article by Nenad Turkalj published in
Hrvatsko Slovo, 5. November 2004, p. 19.
is distinguished Croatian composer of contemporary music. He composed
the "Diptych for bayan and camera orchestra" which has been played by
the Soloists of the Russian Philharmonic Orchestra in Moscow. It was
composed in 2006 upon the request of a famous bayan virtuoso Vitalij Muntjan
(Russia - Croatia), who was also the first one to play the piece.
Miletic, viola player, founded
the Pro Arte
string quartet in Zagreb, which in 1970's was among 10 best string
quartets in the world. Among his numerous students was Hiroshi Hirano,
violist from Japan (Tokyo). As a composer he promoted Croatian folklore
and church music (in particular from the island of Hvar). He considers
the Croatian folklore music the most beautiful and the richest in the
world. In 1975, accompanied by the Leningrad Philharmonic, he played
his Viola concert. Maestro Miletic collaborated also with K.
Stockhausen on electronic music. He has his works published at Schott,
Berben, Meckverlag, Pizzicatto etc, and an LP issued in the USA.
Turkovic, one of the few
internationally known bassoon soloists, originates from an
Austro-Croatian family. He is a member of the Ensemble Wien-Berlin (a
woodwind quintet he formed together with principal players of the
Berlin and Vienna Philharmonic), the Concentus Musicus of Vienna, and
the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center in New York.
Sutej (1951), a renowned
conductor (for four consecutive years conducted the Viennese Symphonic
Orchestra during Christmas
concerts held in Vienna, with
the participation of such famous singers like Jose Carreras - concert
in Arena di Verona in 1995, Placido Domingo, Luciano Pavarotti, the
event being transmitted worldwide), from 1990 to 1993 musical director
of Teatro La Fencie in Venice, conducted the Royal Philharmonic
Orchestra in Sevilla (Spain) from 1990 to 1996, and the Houston opera
orchestra (the USA) from 1992 to 1997, conducted Carmen in Arena di
excellent choir of the Jewish Community in Zagreb, winner of many
international competitions (including the one held in Yerusalem in
August 1996 on the occasion of 3000 years of the city), conducted by Emil
Cosetto. He has very nicely
arranged numerous folk songs from various parts of Croatia for choir
Cosetto is also known to have rearranged a beautiful Croatian song Fala
(Thank you) as a funeral song on the occasion of Tito's death in 1980,
thus distorting its original message.
pro Musica Sacra has won silver
medal at the fourth International competition of church choirs
"Giovanni Pierluigi da Palestrina" held in Jerusalem, on the occasion
of 3000 years of existence of this ancient city. The Collegium
has been founded in 1970.
zbor bazilike srca Isusova
(academic choir), conducted by Robert
Homen, with its 100 singers, has
won the first place at VI
Concorso internazionale di Musica Sacra "Giovanni Pierluigi da
Palestrina" held in Rome in
Chiesa di Sant' Ignazio in 1988, in the category of mixed choirs.
a small women's choir founded in 1993 (students of University of
Zagreb), with repertoire mostly related to Dalmatian folk songs, and
conducted by Bojan Pogrmilovic,
has won the first place on prestigiousIX
Concorso Internationale do Canto Corale 1998,
held in Verona, Italy. During the XI
Concorso Internationale held in
2000, among 24 participating choirs from Europe and Australia, the
Croats occupied four first places: Dalmatinke
from Split and Blajke
from Blato on the island of Korcula (women's choirs), Luka
from Ploce and Vokalisti Salone
from Solin (men's choirs). This is already fifth consecutive win of
Croatian choirs on this prestigious international competition in
Lorkovic (1907-1987) was an
internationally known classical pianist... Her successes were tempered
by the years shortly after the war  when her husband Radoslav
Lorkovic Sr. was shot by Tito's
communist regime. Following a devastating period of being thrown out on
the street with two children and losing her position at the University
[of Zagreb], she survived in a small flat teaching neighborhood
piano lessons... At a concert in Belgrade Tito himself attended the
performance and was so impressed that he went backstage and asked if
there were any personal favors he could grant Ms. Lorkovic. Melita
responded, "Yes. Could you
tell me where you shot my husband?"
violoncellist Valter Despalj
(1947), with violinist Maja
Despalj-Begovic founder of
private music school for exceptionally gifted children, see STRINGS ONLY!,
Zadar, Croatia (Despalj School of Music)
violoncellist Monika Leskovar
(1981), winner of the prestigious
Tchaikovsky competition in Japan
for 1995 (a student of maestro Valter
Despalj), the third prize at the
1997 Rostropovic competition
in Paris, the second prize at the 1998 Eurovision contest for young
instrumentalists, winner of the 1999 Roberto
Caruana competition in Milano,
Italy, the second prize at the famous ARD
competition in 2001.
Šulić (1987) shared
the First Prize at the prestigious Witold Lutoslawski International
Cello Competition held in 2009 in Warsaw. Its honorary president during
his lifetime was legendary Mstislav Rostropovich.
Luka also won special prize for the best performance of Lutoslawski's
is Croatian pianist born in the town of Čakovec, living with his family
in Liechtenstein. He is artistic director of Musik
& Jugend (Music and
Youth) which organized many master classes and concerts aiming to help
young musicians from Central Europe, with emphasis on Croatia.
pianist Vladimir Krpan
(1938), president of EPTA (European Association of Piano Teachers)
during many years,
pianist Ivo Pogorelic
the pianist Lovro
Pogorelic (1970), Ivo's brother,
pianist Kemal Gekic,
(1962), distinguished horn soloist, playing in the Philharmonic
Orchestra of Berlin,
the Zagreb guitar
trio: Darko Petrinjak, Istvan Römer, Goran
Vidovic (1973) and Ana
(1980), brilliant guitarists (brother and sister); Ana has won the 1998
International Guitarist Competition "Francisco Tarrega" in Benicasim,
Spain, among forty competitors up to the age 32, see Toutes
les qualités d'une jeune virtuose
at Societé luxembourgeoise de guitare classique. She also
won first prizes at "Albert Augustinum International Competition" in
Bath, England, at the "Ferdinando Sor Competition" in Rome. She had
concerts in London, Paris, Vienna, Salzburg, Rome, Budapest, Warsaw,
Tel Aviv, Copenhagen, Tronto, San Francisco, Houston, Austin, Dallas,
St Luis. Ana
entered the Music Academy in Zagreb at the age of 13, as its
youngest-ever student. Listen to her numerous recitals.
(1969), a Croatian classical guitarist, a student of maestro Darko
Petrinjak in his native Zagreb, is one of the most prominent players of
the new generation. He won an amazing number of prizes, more than any
other guitarist in the world. Here are some of them (source www.gitarrist.net):
First Prize "International Guitar
Competition" in Mettmann, Germany 1991.
First Prize "Andrés Segovia"
Int. Guitar Competition in Palma de Mallorca, Spain, 1991.
First Prize "Dakar International Guitar
Competition" in Senegal, 1992.
First Prize "Guerrero International
Competition" in Madrid, Spain, 1992 - plus the special jury prize for
the best interpretation of Spanish music).
First Prize "20th International Guitar
Competition" in Vina del Mar, Chile, 1993 - plus the Prize of the
First Prize "20th Francisco
Tárrega Int. Guitar Competition" in Benicasim, Spain, 1994 -
plus received the Prize of the Public
First Prize "International Guitar
Competition Printemps de la Guitarre" Belgium, 1994 - plus the Special
Prize from the "Belgian Composer's Association"
First Prize "Andrés Segovia
International Guitar Competition" in Granada, Spain, 1996 the only
guitarist to win both of the "Andrés Segovia" competitions -
Granada & Palma
First Prize "De Bonis International
Competition" in Cosenza, Italy, 1997 - plus the Prize of Public
First Prize "Manuel Maria Ponce
International Guitar Competition" in Tredrez-France, 1996
He had solo concerts in more than 30 countries on all five continents.
He is teaching at the Royal Conservatory of Music in The Hague,
Holland, Hochschule für Musik in Aachen, Germany and at the
Escuela Superior de Musica de Barcelona, Spain.
(1982) has been acclaimed in the New York press as "a consummate
musician of grace and stature who turns mere notes into magic."
Croatian guitarist Robert Belinic was the sole winner of the 2001 Young
Concert Artists European Auditions in Leipzig, Germany. In 2002, he
became the first guitarist to win the Young Concert Artists
International Auditions in New York. He is recipient of the Fergus New
Artist Prize, Princeton University Concert Prize and the Beracasa
Mrvica, a young pianist born in
1975 in Sibenik, who has won the Nicolai
Competition of Pianists in Paris in 1999, and the International Pianist
in Paris in 2001 (his second name - Mrvica - means "crumb" in Croatian
He was at the age of 15 when bombs fell almost constantly on his native
city of Šibenik. Maksim remembers "There
were more than 1000 grenades a day. At one point there were seven whole
in the basement and didn�t see the sun. "But you got used to it: you
to go on living."
MAKSIM Mrvica The World Premiere Performance.
of the Bumble Bee.
... For Maksim, living meant playing the piano. He would meet his
Sekso in the basement of Šibenik's music school and forget
the war, losing himself
in the music for hours at a time. ... As well as grenades, there was
the constant threat of being attacked by Serbian
snipers - any time spent outside was a danger.
For three years the whole family slept each night on the concrete floor
of the shelter in their basement. They occasionally were able to escape
to a house on one of the islands off Šibenik's coast, but
although he was away from the bombs, being away from his piano was
tortuous for Maksim and, despite the dangers, he always welcomed the
family�s return to the city.
For more details see
(born in Slavonski Brod, 1914-2002), became ballerina of the Zagreb
Opera (1930-33), studied also in Vienna, and joined the Paris Opera in
1933. In London she danced with Anton Dolin before joining the Ballet
Russe de Monte Carlo (1938-42). She later formed her own company, Ballet Variante.
she established the Slavenska-Franklin
company with Frederic Franklin. In 1950's she was prima ballerina of
the Metropolitan Opera in New York. She had the main female role in the
ballet film "A Streetcar Named Desire". By the end of her career she
teaching in Los Angeles, California. Slavenska starred in a wonderful
French film, La Mort du Cygne (Ballerina, 1938).
Summer Festival, which puts on
dramatic, music and ballet art, was founded in 1950. A special
attention is devoted to the plays of Marin Drzic and William
Shakespeare. Especially famous is the Hamlet
performance on the old tower of Lovrijenac.
Due to its exceptional ambience, offering enormously powerful aesthetic
experiences, it is regarded to be the best stage for Hamlet
The Osor Musical Evenings
(Osorske glazbene veceri ) have been founded in 1976 by Mr Danijel
a well known Croatian film producer (known for having produced "Nase
malo misto"). Osor is a beutiful and very old stone town at the joint
of two islands - Cres and Losinj. The music evenings take place each
year in July and August with classical repertoire, including
masterpieces of Croatian masters, old and new.
Musical Evenings in Donat,
a summer festival in Zadar which began in 1961, include performances of
medieval, renaissance and baroque music. A large number of outstanding
European ensembles participated with masterpieces not only from their
own country, but also with Croatian musical heritage (Skjavetic,
Lukacic, Bosanac and others). See Dr Katarina Livljanic: A
Sketch on a Fulfilled Wish,PDF,
in Croatian and English.
well known musical ``The Canterbury Tales'', which played in London
for quite a long time, was directed by Vlado
Habunek, an outstanding name in
theatrical life of Croatia.
important cultural manifestation held in Zagreb is the Music
devoted to contemporary, experimental and avant-garde music. It has
already a long tradition: in 1995 we had the 18th Biennale. Let us
mention only a few names:
Kelemen, professor of
composition in Stuttgart, who founded the Biennale; his Requiem
for Vukovar, Osijek, Dubrovnik, Sarajevo,...
has been performed in the music hall of the G. Pompidou Centre in Paris
in March 1995 by the 2e 2m Orchestra (conducted by Paul Mefano).
(1937), whose masterpieces attract attention of the European cultural
audience in the recent years: some of them are devoted to the study of
sounds of war he experienced during three and a half year's Greater
Serbian siege of Sarajevo (April 1992- November 1995), capital of Bosnia and Herzegovina.
He also created a music caricature about the UNPROFOR eternal and
unforgettable statement: We do
not know who is shooting.
(1938-2006), distinguished Croatian composer and conductor, known for
his volcanic energy, finding inspiration among others in very old
Croatian glagolitic heritage. We cite his reflections about Croatian
music: Pluralism and rich
diversity of Croatian musical heritage - from the oldest, almost
archetypal times till contemporary musical art - are rare in world's
proportions. It is particularly valuable for us and I am firmly
convinced that we should not neglect, not to say renounce, any layer of
this national heritage. Renouncing would mean disrespect of our
predecessors, and it would not be forgiven by our descendants... (source)
The Sea Organ
in the city of Zadar is a unique musical and architectural object
conceived in 2005 by Croatian architect Nikola
Basic, with assistance of Ivan
Stamać, an expert in audio
engineering. The sea waves produce spontaneous, random music by means
of tubes built under a set of large marble steps along the coast.
Many tourists come to
listen to this musique
aleatoire, and enjoy
unforgettable sunset with a view to nearby islands. In 2006 the Sea
Organ in Zadar, Croatia, obtained the European Prize for Urban Public
Area in Barcelona.
Several masters of
classical music which belong to younger generation are:
Britvic and Mario Penzar
(laureate of the 1989 Flor Peeters International Organ Competition in
Belgium) founded in 1999 in Zagreb the Croatian
which specialized in Baroque music.
outstanding Croatian composer is Frano
Parac. I can recommend you to enjoy
(Progress) from Sarajevo, capital of Bosnia -
has a nice mixed choir called Trebevic.
During the 1992-95 ferocious bombing of the city of Sarajevo, they gave
numerous concert in the ruined city (in conditions that are difficult
to describe), as well as 30 concerts in France, including Notre Dame in
Paris. Napredak also organized very successful postwar international
concerts in Sarajevo, starting from 1998.
founded a French international Dialogos Ensemble
in Paris in 1996. This vocal ensemble has singers from Norway,
Venezuela, Bulgaria, Sweden, France and Croatia, specialized for Middle
Age music and liturgical tradition among Mediterranean cultures. Their
program includes also old Croatian glagolitic
from Istria and very archaic singing from the island of Hvar. The
glagolitic chant from medieval Croatia has been performed and recorded
with great musicological interest.
In 1999 a CD Terra Adriatica
was issued, under the title Chants
sacrés des terres croates et italiennes au Moyen-Age,
Dialogos Ensemble/Katarina Livljanic, Paris, ED 13107. The ensemble has
won prestigious awards of French critiques like Diapason
d'or and Monde
de la Musique.
Example: Puce moj [mp3],
that is, Popule meus, from Poljica.
Katarina Livljanich is
lecturing Middle Age music at Sorbonne in Paris. In 1998 she founded a
department for interpretation of Gregorian coral at the University of
Limerick, Ireland, which is one of very rare in the world. Since 2002
she is artistic adviser of the Festival of Early Music in Utrecht, the
- ensemble vocal de musique médiévale, direction:
(official web site)
Dialogos en concert "Terra Adriatica", chants sacrés des
terres croates et italiennes au Moyen âge
Padjen living in Canada,
McGill, formed the orchestra I Medici McGill's musicians,
playing viola. Half of the orchestra is composed of physicians, medical
students and researchers. Padjen became a McGill professor of
pharmacology via studies in Scotland and a stint at the National
Institutes of Health in Washington. "I became interested in human
destiny," said Padjen, who believes music contains a balance that also
applies to science. "You can't appreciate the parts without the whole -
not the fingering, not the rhythm, not the notes." In a similar vein,
he says, research on cells or molecules is meaningless without a larger
context. Padjen contends that children are hard-wired to learn music as
well as language. Medical school applicants should play an instrument
as a prerequisite for enrollment, he said, "because music is the great
expander." In the interest of linking science and music, I Medici
concerts include lectures on the relationship between music and the
The non-profit I Medici
got off the ground as Padjen's string quartet 30 years ago. "My sanity
valve," says Padjen, who officially formed the orchestra in 1989.
of Early Music, Croatia,
conceived in 2004, has been opened by Katarina Livljanic and her
Dialogos ensemble, Paris, by performing La Vision Tondale in the famous
Euphrasius Basilica in Porec. The organizer of the festival is Udruga
Prosoli "Sveta glazba"/ Associazzione Prosoli Musica Sacra (Association
Prosoli "Sacred Music"),
Zagreb. Directors of the festival are Alojzije Prosoli (Croatia),
Francis Biggi (Italia) i Avery Gosfield (USA). The festival is
traditionally held in Istrian towns, mostly in Dvigrad, a small
mediaeval town abandoned in 1630 because of the plague and malaria. One
of the aims of the festival is to renew the town.
Young, a famous Australian
conductor, has Croatian roots on her mother's side. She was the first
woman in her generation to conduct the Berlin Philharmonic; the first
woman to lead the Komische Opera in Berlin, the NHK in Tokyo, the
renowned all-male Vienna Philharmonic. From 2001 to 2003 she was chief
conductor of Opera Australia in Sydney. She also conducted The Zagreb
Philharmonic Orchestra at the Dubrovnik
Summer Festival in 2000.
her success, then, is 10 per cent inspiration, 90 per cent
perspiration? "Yeah. Otherwise you're just not going to get there."
Young's percentages are probably more even than that. The daughter of
an Australian schoolteacher-turned-lawyer ("Dad's a very strong man;
one day when he was already quite old he just decided to swap careers")
and a Croatian-born dressmaker ("Mum struggled to learn English in the
60s; Dad took Croatian evening classes"), her earliest musical memories
involve tinkering on an ancient piano at her grandmother's house, aged
Jandrokovic, American soprano
married to a Croat, for her Zagreb appearance chose also three songs by
Pejačević (Dear Mother, My Angel
; I Believe, My Dear, and The Scream ).
is distinguished Croatian pianist of younger generation, winner of the
prestigious Cleveland International Piano Competition in 2009. For more
information see here.
Dino Zonic, born and raised in
and Herzegovina, is a winner of
Golden Karma National Awards for 2006. He founded Unity Through Music,
a nonprofit organization. As composer, conductor and cultural
ambassador, Maestro Zonic is dedicated to continuing the expansion of
peace and unity through music, music that bridges cultural, national
and religious barriers to bring the universal message of peace.
us mention a young Bosnian
Croat Dejan Ivanovic
from the town of Tuzla (born in 1976), who took part in the prestigious
International competition for classical guitar in Madrid in 1998 as a
representative of Croatia, and won the first prize and the special
born in 1988 in Frankfurt am Main, started to play piano at the age of
four. He is now a young and very perspective pianist.
Brodosplit male choir
from the city of Split is
conducted by Vlado Sunko, distinguished Croatian conductor and
composer. The coir became the world champion at the 5th World Choir
Games, Graz 2008, in the category of male chamber choirs. It is
especially known for beautiful interpretations of spiritual songs of
Christian inspiration from Croatian and international repertoire.
Ansambl, ensemble composed of
two quintets (string and wind quintet) was founded in Zagreb in 2001.
(Little Stars), all girls' choir, founded in 1985 in Zagreb, conducted
by Mr. Zdravko Sljivac, became two-times world champions of the Llangollen
International Music Festival of
choir music (Llangollen
International Musical Eisteddfod), Llangollen,
Wales, UK, in 2001, and Outstanding Prize at Sligo
Choral Festival in Ireland. They
are often compared with the Vienna Boys Choir. Little Stars were
elected as Cultural Ambassadors of the European Union Parliament. They
had very successful concerts in Norway (Oslo, Stavanger), France
(Paris, Nantes, Auxerre), Italy (Milano, Riva del Garda), Switzerland
(Zürich), Germany (Füssen), Bosnia and Herzegovina
(Sarajevo), Austria (Salzburg), USA (New York, Pittsburgh, Dayton,
Northern Kentucky, Cincinatti, Pittsburgh, Cleveland, Los Angeles,
Chicago), etc. You can listen to their singing of Croatian
Maestro Zdravko Sljivac conducted also the World Children Choir in
Max Emanuel Cencic,
Croatian singing prodigy, is
gifted with the most beautiful countertenor voice of our time. He was a
member of the Vienna Boys' Choir, subsequently pursuing a solo career.
He was awarded as the best new singer of the year 2003 by "Opernwelt"
magazine. His performance of Andromeda Liberata in Tokyo was named the
best concert of the year 2005 in Japan. Since 2007 Max EmanueI Cencic
is recording with the top-label EMI/Virgin Classics.
Svim na Zemlji mir
veselje (Peace and joy to all on the Earth) [mp3]
is important equipment for every cellist, guitarist, hornest etc. The
best, ultralight (3-5 kg) accordcases have been designed using carbon
fibre technology by Mr. Robert
Schenk in Pula, Croatia.
These cases are used by
many outstanding musicians, like Mstislav Rostropovic, Yo-Yo Ma, Valter Despalj,
Sting, Carlos Santana, Al Di Meola, to name just a few. Many thanks to
Mr. Nenad Bach
for this information.
References related to
Kuhac: Ilirski glazbenici,
HSN, 1994 (reprinted from 1893 edition), with afterword of academician Lovro Zupanovic;
on p. 5 Kuhac cites the following Croatian proverb: Po
zveku (glazbi) se vrieme pozna, that
we took as the motto
of this web page.
Stanislav Tuskar: Kratka
povijest hrvatske glazbe, Matica
hrvatska, Zagreb 2000.