The Zagreb Soloists were founded in 1953 as the ensemble of Radio Zagreb under artistic leadership of the renowned cellist Antonio Janigro.
Over more than six decades – under artistic leadership of equally renowned concertmasters such as Dragutin Hrdjok, Tonko Ninić, Anđelko Krpan and Borivoj Martinić-Jerčić – the Zagreb Soloists have retained their exceptional quality, which they regularly showcase at prestigious international concert halls.
Since 2012, the ensemble has performed alongside famous violinist Sreten Krstić as its concertmaster, who is also the concertmaster of the Munich Philharmonic.
The Zagreb Soloists gave nearly 4000 concerts on all continents, in world's major centres and most famous concert halls, including the Musikverein (Vienna), the Concertgebouw (Amsterdam), the Royal Festival Hall (London), the Berlin Philharmonic Hall, the Tchaikovsky Concert Hall (Moscow), the Santa Cecilia (Rome), the Carnegie Hall (New York), the Sydney Opera House, the Victoria Hall (Geneva), the Teatro Real (Madrid), the Teatro Colon (Buenos Aires), the Versailles etc.
They have regularly performed at major music festivals, including those in Salzburg, Prague, Edinburgh, Berlin, Bergen, Barcelona, Istanbul, Prades, Ossiach, Dubrovnik and others, and alongside numerous distinguished soloists, such as Henryk Szeryng, Alfred Brendel, Christian Ferras, Pierre Fournier, Leonard Rose, James Galway, Jean-Pierre Rampal, Aldo Ciccolini, Katia Ricciarelli, Lily Laskine, Zuzana Růžičková, Mario Brunello, Isabelle Moretti, Guy Touvron, Marc Coppey, Ray Chen and many others.
Their repertoire includes baroque, classicist, romantic and contemporary works, with special focus on Croatian authors from earlier periods as well as contemporary composers.
They have recorded over seventy albums for labels such as Vanguard, EMI, ASV, Eurodisc, Melodia, Hispa-vox, Pickwick and Croatia Records. One of their most significant recent recordings is the album with works of Ernesto Cordero featuring distinguished soloists – violinist Guillermo Figueroa and guitarist Pepe Romero (Naxos, 2010), which was nominated for the Latin Grammy Award. In June 2014, their CD with works of Boris Papandopulo featuring pianist Oliver Triendl was released, and it thrilled both domestic and international critics. A year later, the Zagreb Soloists recorded three Cello concertos with cellist Marc Coppey, released by the German record label audite.
The Zagreb Soloists have received numerous award and accolades, including First Prize at Mar del Plata (for the album Concertos of the 18th Century), the Pablo Casals Medal, the Elisabeth Sprague Coolidge Medal (for contemporary music performance), the Vladimir Nazor, Milka Trnina and Josip Štolcer Slavenski Awards for Best Performance of a Work by a Croatian Composer, the Varaždin Baroque Evenings Ivan Lukačić and Jurica Murai Awards, the Villa Manin Award, the UNESCO Award, the City of Zagreb Award, the Silver CD of the Croatia Records label, the National Order of Merit, the City of Zagreb Plaque, several Croatian Porin Music Awards (Lifetime Achievement Award in 1994), the Silver Plaque of the Croatian Musical Youth and many others.
During the Croatian War of Independence, the Zagreb Soloists held around seventy benefit concerts (for the City of Dubrovnik, for destroyed music schools in Croatia, for the destroyed building of the Croatian National Theatre in Osijek, the Children's Hospital in Zagreb, numerous destroyed Croatian monuments etc.), and they also performed in numerous gala concerts on the occasion of the celebration of Croatian independence. In 2010, the ensemble was awarded the Orlando Grand Prix for outstanding artistic contribution to the Dubrovnik Summer Festival programme.
Sixty years of successful activity of this renowned Croatian classical music ensemble is an accomplishment of numerous excellent musicians who were members of the Zagreb Soloists throughout the years, and all those members – past, present and future, share the highest level of skill and discipline along with inexhaustible enthusiasm and love for music, especially chamber performances.
Permanent members: Sreten Krstić, Krunoslav Marić, Đana Kahriman, Mislav Pavlin, Ivan Zečević, Saki Kodama, Hrvoje Philips, Marko Otmačić, Zlatko Rucner, Smiljan Mrčela, Mario Ivelja, Marija Tonković