Founded in 1953. as an ensemble of the Zagreb Radio and Television under the artistic leadership of the renowned violoncellist and conductor Antonio Janigro , the ensemble Zagreb Soloists managed to achieve their goal through hard work and absolute dedication ? they became one of the prominent chember orchestras in the world.
The Zagreb Soloists have preformed without a conductor since 1968 ( led by the concertmaster Dragutin Hrdjok ), and they found their longtime artistic director and concertmaster, MaestroBORO MARTINICH. In 1997. the same position was filled by Andelko Krpan. In 2002 the artistic director of the ensemble was Karlo Slobodan Fio, while in the jubilee season, which celebrates the 50th anniversary of the ensamble, the role of concertmaster is once again played by their longtime leader Tonko Ninic. For tonight's concert leader of the ensmble is charismatic Concertmaster of the Zagreb Philharmonic Orchestra Orest Shourgot .
Most ensemble members graduated at the Academy of Music in Zagreb and share virtousic mastery of their instruments, remarkable discipline as well as incredibile enthusiasm and love for ensemble playing.
They have given over 3000 concerts in all continents, thus winning recognition as well as public and critical acclaim in the major centres of music and famous concert halls, such as Musikverein ( Vienna ), Concertgebouw ( Amsterdam ), the Royal Festival Hall ( London ), Berlin Philharmonic Hall , Tchaikovsky Hall ( Moscow ), Santa Cecilia ( Rome ), Salle Pleyel ( Paris ), Teatro Real ( Madrid ), Carnegie Hall ( New York ), Opera House ( Sydney), Victoria Hall ( Geneva ), Teatro Colón ( Buenos Aires ), rtc. They have also given regular guest performances in the best known music festivals, such as Salzburg, Prague, Edinburgh, Berlin, Bergen, Barcelona, Istanbul, Prades, Ossiach, Dubrovnik and others. The ensemble has played with many great soloists like Henryk Szeryng, Alfred Brendel, Christian Ferras, Pierre Fournier, Leonard Rose, Sir James Galway, Jean-Pierre Rampal, Aldo Ciccolini, Katia Ricciarelli, Lily Laskine, Zuzana Ru?ickova, Mario Brunello, Isabelle Moretti, Guy Touvron and many others. The extensive repertoire of the Zagreb Soloists includes baroque, classical, romantic and contemporary works, while special attention is given to the opus of Croatian authors, both the past and the contemporary ones. They have recorded over seventy LPs and CDs for Vanguard, EMI, ASV, Eurodisc, Melodia, Hisp-vox, Pickwick and Croatia Records.
The Zagreb Soloists have received recognition and numerous prestigious awards including the following : 1st prize in Mar del Plata ( for the album The 18th Century Concertos ), the Pablo Casals Medal, the Elisabeth Sprague Coolidge Medal ( for the perfoemance of contemporary music ), the Vladimir Nazor, Milka Trnina. Orlando Awards ( for the best artistic achievement at the Dubrovnik Summer Festival ), the Josip ?tolcer Slavenski Award ( for the best performance of a Croatian work ), the Ivan Lukacic Award given by the Vara?din Baroque Evevings, then the Villa Manin and UNESCO Awards, the City of Zagreb Award (twice ), a Silver CD presented by the record company Croatia Records, the Order of National Merits, the City of Zagreb Plaque, several Croatian music awards Porin , a silver plaque of the Juenesses Musicales and many others.
During the Croatian War of Independence the Zagreb Soloists gave about seventy benefit concerts ( to raise founds for Dubrovnik, destroyed schools of music in Croatia, then for the destroyed building of the Croatian National Theatre in Osijek, Children' s Hospital in Zagreb, devastated Croatian churches and monuments ). They also played a series of concerts to celebrate the newly-independet Republic of Croatia.
BORO MARTINICH, Artistic leader / Concertmaster
Mirjam Pusticki Kunjko, Assistant Concertmaster
Ivana Penic Defar
Kresimir Petar Pusticki