The Zadar Concert Office (KUZD) is a public cultural institution founded in 2014 by the City of Zadar to support the city's rich cultural and musical heritage and a need to sustain and grow it even further. The Zadar Concert Office offers a platform for organizing, producing and developing existing long-standing projects such as the Concert Season, Musical Evenings in St. Donat, the International Choir Competition and the Zadar Chamber Orchestra, but also for developing new events.
As part of their work, the Zadar Concert Office compiles a database of music events within the city with the aim of contributing to its growing art scene, involving the locals and especially the youth in the city’s concert life as both concert and workshop participants and audience, bringing first-rate projects with a focus on regional and international cooperation to the city, promoting Zadar's musical history and tradition, creating the city’s cultural identity, contributing to the development of cultural tourism, and constantly building new values.
Zadar music history
- Earliest existing mention of singing in the Croatian language was written down in Zadar for the arrival of Pope Alexander III in 1177
- Zadar is the city harboring the oldest polyphonic sheet music found in Croatia - a Sanctus for two voices
- Teatro Nuovo (later renamed Teatro Verdi), a theater with two concert halls, was opened in Zadar in 1865
- The city of Zadar had three orchestras back in the 19th century, one of which survived to this day, with notable pauses during the 20th-century wars – Zadar Chamber Orchestra
- In 2020, we celebrate the following anniversaries:
- 60 Years of Musical Evenings at St Donatus
- 60 years of the Zadar Chamber Orchestra
- 66 years of Zadar Concert Season
- 73 years of the Blagoje Bersa Music School
- Composers Franz von Suppé and Blagoje Bersa both spent parts of their lives in Zadar
- For 47 years Zadar has been the host of the Choir Festival, which later developed into the International Singing Choir Competition
- The Dešpalj family has been one of the most prominent families in the city’s recent music history: starting with the father and composer Šime Dešpalj, and followed by his children with remarkable classical careers: son Pavle as composer, conductor and founder of the Musical Evenings in St. Donat, son Valter as cellist, and daughter Maja as violinist
- Zadar’s own Katarina Livljanić is one of the world's most respected experts in medieval music
- Zadar local and Chief Conductor of the Zadar Chamber Orchestra Ivan Repušić is one of the most respected Croatian conductors of international renown
Office activities include the organization of festivals, projects, concerts and other events, from program planning, compiling applications and reports, technical execution, administration and accounting, media (PR, web, print).
The events organized by the Zadar Concert Office include:
- Concert season, around 40-60 concerts a year, consists of:
- Subscription Concert Cycle (8-10 concerts a year)
- Bersa Concert Cycle (7-8 concerts)
- Zadar Chamber Orchestra Concert Cycle (6-7 concerts a year)
- Concerts not included in the subscription (about 4 a year)
- Off-program events (Club, Dance, Youth), about 20 a year
- music workshops, about 10 a year,
- Musical evenings at St Donatus, 10-15 concerts a year,
- International Choir Competition, about 20 events every other year,
- Concerts and workshops as part of the KvartART Festival, about 10 a year,
- Other activities (movie screenings, lectures, round tables, book presentations, etc.) on the premises of the Rector's Palace
In total: about 100-180 events a year
Plans for future activities include music publishing in the form of book publication, sheet music editions, and production of music CDs.