The Public Music School in Ljubljana 1816–1875


  • Cvetko Budkovič



Because of the lack of able instrumentalists as well as singers, needed by the Bishop's Chapel, the Provincial Theatre and the Philharmonic Society, at the end of the loth and even more at the beginning of the 19th century, the need to organize a music school in Ljubljana had become imperative, especially since two attempts to found such a school had already failed in 1800 and 1803, whereas the music school at the Ljubljana Cathedral had survived for only three years (1806–1809). Inspite of examples from other European capitals the preparations were over and over again postponed because financing, location and teaching staff represented problems still defying solution. The initiative for a new start was given by the provincial government in 1814, after which the Philharmonic Society compiled the rules and list of subjects to be tought, whereas the bishop's consistory and the direction of the »normal« school gave their remarks. At the planned school, singing, violin, piano, organ and through-bass were to be tought. Studies were to last four years for pupils aged from 8 to 12. The school was also intended to take care of teaching probationers and organists. In 1815 the post of the teacher of music was advertized. Twenty candidates put in their names, among them Franz Schubert. The board chose Franz Sokol (Sokoli, Sokal) from Klagenfurt, an able instrumentalist (he played the clarinet very well), a good organizer and composer. Under his leadership the school, founded in 1816, made good progress, the pupils took part at various performances, and future teachers acquired solid musical knowledge for their work at elementary schools. However, after six successful years F. Sokol died. He was succeded by Gašper (Gašpar) Mašek (Maschek), a composer, renowned as conductor of many a concert and opera performance during the Ljubljana Congress in 1821. He was active as pedagogue for thirty-five years, but his work however failed to bear any corresponding results. Inspectors drew his attention to mistakes and deficiencies, but to no avail. Invariably, he put the blame for the failures on the unregulated working conditions. After thirty-two years he retired in 1854. He was succeeded by his son Kamilo, an excellent musician and teacher, who died of tuberculosis at the untimely age of 28. Up to 1875 Anton Nedved tought also at the Public Music School; he was at the same time active also at the newly founded teachers' school; the latter changed the function of the Public Music School, which was finally attached to the Philharmonic Society. Thus it ceased to exist, after having played a certain role in Slovene musical efforts of a considerable part of the 19th century.


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How to Cite

Budkovič, C. (1978). The Public Music School in Ljubljana 1816–1875. Musicological Annual, 14(1), 49–63.