Zagreb Philharmonic Orchestra

Zagreb Philharmonic Orchestra (ZPO, Croatian: Zagrebačka filharmonija) is an orchestra based in Zagreb, Croatia.

Zagreb Philharmonic Orchestra


The Zagreb Philharmonic is an orchestra boasting a 147-year tradition of distinguished performing in Zagreb and Croatia. It has been a promoter of the art of music across Croatia as well as  the country's cultural ambassador in the world. As one of the trademarks of the city it operates in, the music institution that boasts a long and notable tradition embodies the image of Zagreb as a Central European urban center of music, art and culture.

The Orchestra started performing in the year 1871 and in 1920 it got its current name.  Ever since that time, it has continually brought to Croatia's capital the best classical music. Its history has been shaped by first-class principal conductors such as Friedrich Zaun, Milan Horvat, Lovro von Matačić, Mladen Bašić, Pavle Dešpalj, Kazushi Òno, Pavel Kogan, Aleksander Rahbari and Vjekoslav Šutej.

Many distinguished conductors and composers including Leopold Stokowski, Paul Kletzki, Sir Malcolm Sargent, Kurt Sanderling, Carlo Zecchi, Jean Martinon, Milan Sachs, Krešimir Baranović,  Boris Papandopulo, Stjepan Šulek, Milko Kelemen, Igor Stravinski, Krzysztof Penderecki and others have performed with the Zagreb Philharmonic.

Among the Philharmonic's more recent guest conductors are Dimitri Kitajenko, Lorin Maazel, Leopold Hager, Uroš Lajovic, Valery Gergiev, Marko Letonja, and Sir Neville Marriner.

The Orchestra has had the honour of hosting famous soloists such as Yehudi Menuhin, Antonio Janigro, Mstislav Rostropovich, Leonid Kogan, Luciano Pavarotti, Ivo Pogorelić, Montserrat Caballe, Alexandar Rudin, David Garrett, Julian Rachlin, and Shlomo Mintz.

The 2011/12 season was marked by strengthened co-operation with maestro Dimitri Kitajenko, one of the greatest conductors of our times. His taking up of the position of music advisor to the Zagreb Philharmonic marked a new era in the Orchestra's history providing it with fresh artistic enthusiasm, outstanding musical achievements, as well as some major concert and discography projects planned for the future.

In July 2012 at Arena Zagreb, the Zagreb Philharmonic and the  Slovenian Philharmonic Orchestra with eight vocal soloists and chorus composed of nearly a thousand singers from the Croatia and Slovenia conducted by Valery Gergiev performed the Symphony No. 8 ("Symphony of a Thousand") by Gustav Mahler.

The Zagreb Philharmonic has performed in almost all European countries, in Russia, the United States of America, Mexico, Japan, Oman, China and Argentina. It has regularly participated at Dubrovnik Summer Festival and Music Biennale Zagreb.

The Zagreb Philharmonic dedicates special attention to bringing classical music closer to children and to engaging their interest, with its annual  Children and Youth Music Week featuring interactive stage and music projects at the Lisinski, attracting a  large number of young people of all ages.

Traditional collaboration with the Zagreb Music Academy is an important activity of the orchestra, which gives future professional musicians an opportunity to prove their abilities and excellence on a big stage, thus winning their position within an orchestra.

Over the past decades, the Zagreb Philharmonic has encouraged artistic creation by performing, staging first performances and recording numerous works by Croatian authors. Particular attention has been devoted to young talented musicians, the best of whom receive 'The Best Young Musician of the Year Award'.

Zagreb Philharmonic opens its doors to all who would like to take a peek at Orchestra and to get to know it from inside - under the slogan "Getting to know our orchestra means- getting to love it!“ the Orchestra nourishes its Doors - Open Day.

In February 2016, Orchestra has performed at the most prestigious American music address, New York's Carnegie Hall. Zagreb Philharmonic concerts in the New Year's morning in Salzburg, have become an indispensable part of its concert season.

The Philharmonic also boasts a rich output of sound recordings released by both Croatian and foreign (e.g. Virgin Classics, Deutsche Grammophon, Naxos) recording companies, and a large number of awards, among them the Croatian discography award Porin. 

In 2017, The Zagreb Philharmonic Orchestra has been awarded yet another in the series of noteworthy recognitions, the 'Zagreb City Award', for its role in  the promotion of culture and the art of music.

Under the leadership of its new chief conductor Mo David Danzmayr and Maestro Dimitri Kitaenko, its artistic advisor, the Zagreb Philharmonic continues to pursue its successful concert activity.


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