The Role of the First Belgrade Choral Society in the Development of Serbian Music


  • Dimitrije Stefanović



It was in 1853, when Turks still kept guards at the Belgrade fortress, that the first Belgrade Choral Society was founded. During their first period the Society's repertoire consisted of Liedertafel pieces composed mainly by German authors. In 1864 new statutes made provision for works by Slavonic and Serbian composers. The idea for the foundation of the Belgrade National Theatre (1868) also grew up within the Society. The choir toured a number of cities which are now on the territory of Yugoslavia, but were then under Turkish or Austro-Hungarian rule and after 1894 tours were organized to different foreign countries. An important contribution to the development of musical culture in Serbia was made in 1899, when the first Serbian Music School in Belgrade was founded under the Society's auspices. – It is interesting to note the Yugoslav character of the Society's policy, especially the activity of the first conductor who was not a Serb, but the Slovenian musician Davorin Jenko. Two Croats were also elected as the Society's presidents. During the hunderd and seventeen years of its existence, the Society's choir has been directed by almost 50 conductors, among them the most prominent conductors, composers, teachers and organizers of musical life in Serbia. By their manifold activities the First Belgrade Choral Society was able to lay solid foundations for the development of musical culture in Serbia.


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1. 12. 1971




How to Cite

Stefanović, D. (1971). The Role of the First Belgrade Choral Society in the Development of Serbian Music. Musicological Annual, 7(1), 48-52.