The 1901-1902 Jubilee Concert Season of the Ljubljana Philharmonic Society


  • Primož Kuret



The Philharmonic Society in Ljubljana was from its founding in 1794 until the end of the World War I the central musical institution in Slovenia. With its organization of concerts, its music school and its other activities the Society was virtually shaping (and since the founding of the Glasbena Matica in 1872 helping to shape) the musical life in Ljubljana. It was proud of its status as the oldest musical institution in the currently existing monarchy. Generally taken as the year of its founding was 1702, when in Ljubljana the Academia Philharmonicorum was formed. The 1901-1902 season, which is here dealt with, was a jubilee one, with a particularly festive programme. At this time the musical director of the Society was Josef Zöhrer (1842-1916), from Vienna. For each season he prepared five symphonic and four chamber concerts which were performed by musicians from Ljubljana and, as guests, by recognized foreign artists, notably from Vienna and Graz. The work of the Society was regularly reviewed in the 'Laibacher Zeitung', a German-written newspaper published in Ljubljana. Because the Society had a pro-German orientation, the Slovene-written newspapers did not mention its concerts, At the end of the season the Philharmonic Society prepared in May 1902 a major celebration of the bicentennial. For this purpose it had at disposal a chorus with 152 singers and an orchestra with 78 instrumentalists. The firm Bösendorfer supplied free of charge a piano for the concert by the Vienesse pianist Alfred Grünfeld. The opening concert was performed by the string quartet from Ljubljana, the pianist A. Grünfeld and the singer Agnes Bricht-Pyllemann. The programme of the festive symphonic concert consisted of Bruckner's 4th Symphony, Schubert's cantata "Miriams Siegesgesang", and Brahms' Violin Concerto (first performance in Ljubljana). On the second day a festive assembly of the Society was held at which congratulations and compliments were expressed by representatives of numerous musical institutions from Vienna, Salzburg, Budapest, Augsburg, Kaiserslautern, Hamburg, Wiesbaden, Leipzig, Graz, Klagenfurt, and Maribor. The culminating point of the festivities was the performance of Beethoven's Ninth Symphony, conducted by J. Zöhrer; the programme was finished off by Gluck's overture to "Iphigénie en Aulide". The three-day festivities were reported also in foreign newspapers. The Philharmonic Society brought out a special publication (author: Dr Emil Bock) outlining the development from the old baroque Academia Philharmonicorum onwards, Since the founding of the Glasbena Matica (1872) Ljubljana witnessed an interesting competition between the two musical institutions. The number of musical events was growing and this ranked Ljubljana among the musically lively towns of the Austro-Hungarian monarchy.


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1. 12. 1983




How to Cite

Kuret, P. (1983). The 1901-1902 Jubilee Concert Season of the Ljubljana Philharmonic Society. Musicological Annual, 19(1), 41-50.