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International Cello Competition
Antonio Janigro


Upcoming competitions

12th International violoncello competition
Antonio Janigro


25 Jan – 1 Feb 2020

7th International violoncello competition
Antonio Janigro


1 Feb – 7 Feb 2020

Antonio Janigro

(1918 – 1989)

Cellist, conductor and pedagogue, is regarded as one of the greatest European musicians of our times. He studied at the Conservatory in Milan and at Ecole Normale de Musique in Paris. His career of a soloist started when he was still a student, and led him to many music centers where he performed with distinguished orchestras and conductors as well as with instrumentalists such as pianists Carlo Zecchi, Paul Badura-Skoda, and Dinu Lipatti. In 1939, he settled in Zagreb where he worked for many years, teaching at the Beethoven Music School and the Music Academy. He also led the Zagreb Radio Television (now Croatian Radio Television) Chamber Orchestra and founded the Zagreb Soloists. After almost three decades in Croatia, he left for Milan where he led the Angelicum Ensemble. His next stop was Saarbrücken and the Chamber Radio-Orchestra, followed by Düsseldorf where he remained for many years teaching at the Robert Schumann Conservatory. He spent some time in Salzburg leading the Camerata Accademica Ensemble, and holding master-classes at the Mozarteum, as well as in Portugal, the UK, and Canada. In Turin, he delivered a master class during the Music Meetings, and near the end of his life, he was active in the Romano Romani Foundation in Brescia. Antonio Janigro’s contribution to Croatian music is enormous. He was an artist of subtle taste, a great erudite, intimately familiar with musical literature, a cellist of beautiful tone, luxuriant interpretation and brilliant technique, and a conductor who greatly indebted our country with his masterly stylistic interpretations. As a chamber musician, he played in the legendary piano trio Maček-Šulek-Janigro. His teaching helped rear a whole range of excellent musicians.

In Zagreb, Janigro had no rivals, only partners in making music, and above all in learning.

Antonio Janigro deserves great words, he deserves even the 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 the very beginning of the World War II.
He brought his 21 years of age and two degrees: one 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 harbor from which he could set off as soon as the world in war renewed its interest 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 engagement in social events, Faustian anxieties in spiritual actuality), then Janigro is the archetype of the 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 that innumerable small, but perfectly precise chamber ensembles would arise and develop a new culture of both performance and listening.
Since he knew the Croatian music mentality 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 (1928 – 2009) – publicist, music and film critic, film director, screenplay writer, university professor )

UNISON Competitions
Brozova 8a
10000, Zagreb

Academy of Music
Trg Republike Hrvatske 12
10000, Zagreb

Croatian Music Institute
Gundulićeva ulica 6A
10000, Zagreb

Antonio Janigro


Brozova 8a,
10000 Zagreb


(01) 3668 - 027


Ministry of culture / Ministry of Science and Education / City of Zagreb / Croatian Music Institute / Academy of Music Zagreb /
Croatian Radiotelevision - Symphonic orchestra / Accord Case / Thomastik-Infeld / IMK Classic / Catering Majetić / Amadria Park Hotel Capital


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