In 2023, the Dubrovnik Symphony Orchestra marks the 98th anniversary of its ongoing work. As an essential part of the rich and diverse cultural heritage of Dubrovnik and Croatia, the Orchestra continues to perform in the unique ambiances of its City. They present the musical repertoire and inexhaustible source of quality cultural events to their fellow citizens and visitors in spaces such as the atrium of the Rector's Palace, city churches, and squares. In addition, DSO regularly performs with well-known local and internationally renowned artists, interpreting works by classical music masters in Dubrovnik and on their tours around the world.
Dubrovnik Symphony Orchestra continues a long and significant musical tradition that developed in the period of the Dubrovnik Republic (1358-1808). The Orchestra in Dubrovnik has been active since 1924, initially in a semi-professional organization and then in a professional composition. It was founded by young enthusiasts called the Dubrovnik Orchestra, which in 1925 was transformed into the Dubrovnik Philharmonic Orchestra. In the first years, the Orchestra is joined by an increasing number of members. Thus the repertoire itself is enriched with more complex musical works. Along with well-known conductors Tadeusz Sygietynski and Josef Vlach Vruticky, they produce works by the Polish-Dubrovnik composer Ludomir Michael Rogowski.
The City of Dubrovnik has recognized the importance of a diverse tourist offer and visitors' interest in cultural events. Therefore, in 1946, the Dubrovnik City Orchestra was founded as a professional music body that took over the role of the holder of the musical part of the Dubrovnik Summer Festival. For a short time, the Orchestra was called the Dubrovnik Festival Orchestra. With the chief conductor, maestro Nikola Debelić, the Orchestra toured extensively in the 1970s (Switzerland, Germany, Belgium, the Netherlands) and went on a three-month tour to the US and Canada. The Orchestra last changed its name in 1992 and has been operating under Dubrovnik Symphony Orchestra ever since.
The musicians working in the Orchestra have built their academic knowledge and talent mainly at the Music Academy in Zagreb and at numerous academies throughout Europe and the world. As a result, the list of concerts played is very long, including tours in Europe, the USA, and Indonesia. In addition, concerts in the City are regular and form the backbone of the music offered throughout the year. The Dubrovnik Symphony Orchestra has collaborated with famous names: Lovro von Matačić, Antonio Janigro, Zubin Mehta, Kiril Kondrashin, Ernst Marzendorfer, Milan Horvat, Nikola Debelić, Pavle Dešpalj, Anton Nanut, David Ojstrah, Lord Yehudi Menuhin, Mstislav Rostropov Henryk Szeryng, Uto Ughi, Christoph Eschenbach, Stefan Milenkovich, Ivo Pogorelić, Dubravka Tomšič, Dunja Vejzović, Ruža Pospiš Baldani, Monika Leskovar, Radovan Vlatković, Mischa Maisky, Yuri Bashmet, Julian Rachlin, Michel Legrand, Alun Francis, Ivo Dražinić Fedotov, Goran Končar, Maxim Vengerov, Nicholas Milton, Christoph Campestrini, Dmitry Sinkovsky, Emmanuel Tjeknavorian, Gordan Nikolić and many others.
The Dubrovnik Symphony Orchestra has performed in the world's most prestigious halls: Kennedy Center - Washington, New York, Seattle, Kurhaus - Bad Eberbach, Lisinski - Zagreb, Chateu Veves, Versailles, Basel, Medan - Jakarta, Musikverein Goldener Saal - Vienna. In 2005, DSO was awarded the prestigious "Milka Trnina" award; in 2015, the prize for contribution to the reputation and promotion of the Dubrovnik-Neretva County. In 2020, the Dubrovnik Symphony Orchestra was awarded the Orlando Grand Prix for outstanding artistic contributions.
The Dubrovnik Symphony Orchestra organizes festivals and music cycles that cover the whole year. Recognized among domestic and foreign audiences, our cycles and festivals are well attended, offering a diverse and exciting musical repertoire. For example, international Festival of Opera Arias "Tino Pattiera," International Late summer music festival Dubrovnik, music cycles Dubrovnik Music Spring, Autumn Music Muscovite, the cycle of baroque music Orlando Furioso, and Chamber music festival Stradun Classic.
Photo by Vedran Levi