PRESENTATION

International cello competition Antonio Janigro

ANTONIO JANIGRO

ANTONIO JANIGRO (1918-1989), cellist, conductor and teacher, was one of the greatest European musicians of our time. He studied at the Milan Conservatory and École Normale de Musique in Paris. While still a student, he embarked on a soloist career that was take him to many of the world`s centers of music; he performed with prominent orchestras and renowed conductors. In 1939 he came to Zagreb where he taught for a number of years at the Music School Beethoven, Zagreb Music Academy, conducted the Croatian Radio Television Chamber Orchestra and founded the Zagreb Soloists. After almost thirty years in Croatia, he moved to Milan where he was conductor of Angelicum Ensemble. This was followed by appointments in Saarbrücken where he conducted the Chamber Radio Orchestra and in Düsseldorf where he taught at the Robert Schumann Conservatory for several years. In Salzburg he was conductor of the Camerata Accademica ensemble and taught masterclasses at the Mozarteum. He spent some time in Portugal, Great Britain and Canada. Near the end of his life he was active in the Romano Romani Foundation in Brescia.

Antonio Janigro deserves great words, he deserves even he paraphrase of Kennedy`s famous words of Churchill: „ Never was so much owed by so many to one man.“ And truly, Croatian people owe a great deal to this Italian musician. He came to Zagreb at very beginning of the World War II. He brought his 21 years of age and two degrees: on from the Milan Conservatory, and one from Casals and Alexanian`s École Normale de Musique in Paris, but he also came with several concert cruises around the world behind him. He needed a peaceful, neutral harbour from which he could set off as soon as the world in war renewed its interests in music. As it usually happens, temporary solutions turn out to be the long lasting ones: Janigro stayed in Zagreb for 30 years. The remaining 20 years he spent in the music centers of Europe (Salzburg, Stuttgart, etc)… In Zagreb, Janigro had no rivals, only partners in making music, and above all in learning. He did not find it underneath him to take lessons with professor Huml, because he felt that the methods used by the founder of Zagreb`s school of cello could improve his own technique of handling the bow. Since Zagreb could not boast with a prominent cellist prior to his arrival, he taught the beginner students, but also decided to become a beginner student himself- a student of conducting. If there is anything worth the Apollonian-Dionysian dichotomy, and if we agree that Rostropovich, for example, belongs to the Dionysian type (because of the extreme dramatics of his musical interpretations, passionate engagment in social events, Faustian anxieties in spiritual actuality), then Janigro is the archetype of Apollonian. To those who heard him play live, only one of his records will suffice to realize it. But Janigro belonged to the Apollonian tribe as a citizen as well, and as an intellectual, a pedagogue, a European, and a business man; he was characterized by clarity, sobriety, clear mindedness, lucidity. Few people in the post-war Europe were able to foresee with such precision what was going to happen to the trends of music and to the concert market: that the baroque masters would become fashionable and the innumerable small, but

perfectly precise chamber ensembles would arise and develop new culture of both performance and listening. Since he knew the Croatian music mentally better than anyone before him, he immediately recognized the incredible opportunity given to the excellent string players, who (either due to the narrowness of social surroundings or to the spiritual narrowness of Huml`s old school) could not rise to the solo status, but rather sank into the anonymity of orchestral ensembles. A way out for all those talents was in a paradoxical dialectic leap: a soloist ensemble. Virtuosi di Zagabria…

(ZVONIMIR BERKOVIĆ, Belgrade, 1928- Zagreb, 2009; publicist, music and film critic, film director, screenplay writer, university professor)

CONTACT US

janigro@glazbena-sibenik.hr

www.glazbena-sibenik.hr/janigro

Glazbena škola Ivana Lukačića Šibenik

Splitska 2, 22000 Šibenik - HR