The Beginnings of the Development of Professional Musical Activities in Bosnia and Herzegovina

  • Zija Kučukalić


A continuous development of professionai musical activity in Bosnia and Herzegovina cannot be traced until after the Austro-Hungarian occupation of 1878; but, according to Dubrovnik sources, professional musicians, singers and players existed already in the medieval Bosnian state and at the time of its political and economic rise their activity was comparatively intensive. The sixteenth century witnessed the ascent of the doubtless most interesting personality in the musical history of Bosnia and Herzegovina, Franjo Bosanac (Franciscus Bossinensis), but his activity could not have influenced the development of musical culture in Bosnia and Herzegovina. Although born in Bosnia towards the end of the 15th century, he spent his life in Venice and probably died there in the beginning of the second half of the 16th century. It was the Austro-Hungarian occupation, however, that gave rise to a continuous development of professional musical activity: contacts with the currents of European musical culture were established and maintained. On 31 May, 1881 the first concert in Bosnia and Herzegovina was held in Banja Luka, while in Sarajevo the first public concert, a symphonie concert given by the combined army orchestras, was presented on the 11 December, 1881. Such concerts gradually became quite frequent. Before long vocal and instrumental solo performances were also organized. Sarajevo at that time was visited by renowned guest soloists – F. Ondriček, F. Kreisler, Ž. Savić, B. Huberman, and others. Mention is made of Blanda Höller as the first outstanding instrumentalist from Bosnia and Herzegovina. In September, 1882, the Sarajevo audience attended its first opera performance. In due course the city was visited by operatic companies and individual soloists from Brno, Osijek, Milan, Ljubljana, and Zagreb. The first music school in Bosnia and Herzegovina was founded in Sarajevo on 23 July, 1908 by the Czech Franjo Maćejovski. The subjects taught were piano-playing, solo singing, violin-playing, cello-playing, and the basic theoretic subjects. The school carried on successfully until the outbreak of World War I.


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How to Cite
KučukalićZ. (1981). The Beginnings of the Development of Professional Musical Activities in Bosnia and Herzegovina. Musicological Annual, 17(2), 61-68.