Music in the Serbian Orthodox Church in Trieste


  • Danica Petrović



The Serbs had been settling in Trieste as merchants and navigators from Bosnia and Dalmatia since the first half of the 17th century. As early as 1748, they were granted their status of this free town by the court of Vienna. Being members of the Orthodox Church, they remained under the jurisdiction of the Sremski Karlovci metropolitan church to which they were linked in matters ecclesiastical and educational. Although acclimatizing to the Western European bourgeois way of life of their time very soon, they were careful enough to keep their national and religious characteristics. They were one of the first Serbian parishes, under European and Russian influences, to replace the traditional unison church singing with choral part practice. Music for the needs of the newly founded Serbian choir in Trieste was written by Francesco Sinico, an Italian musician and choir-master (1840). He was succeeded in the same post by his son Giuseppe Sinico, who composed masses (liturgies) and some songs for other church services in Trieste church on the basis of the works of Russian 18th-century composers. Thus, the library of the Serbian parish in Trieste was found to contain 20 volumes of choral scores (two of which are handwritten), mostly printed in St. Petersburg to be used by the Court Orchestra. Most of the compositions contained in these volumes are those written by D. Bortnyansky, in addition to those by Berezovsky, Galuppi, Bahmetev, Lvov, and Turchaninov. The compositions by the Sinicos, father and son, as well as those by Russian composers, have become an integral part of the repertoire of other Serbian choirs founded in the 19th century ranging from Pančevo, Kotor, Zemun, Belgrade, throughout many small towns an villages, to Serbia itself, as well as to the Serbs settled in Austria. On this account, the Serbian parish in Trieste acted as an important agent in the development of Serbian church music in the first half of the 19th century.


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How to Cite

Petrović, D. (1989). Music in the Serbian Orthodox Church in Trieste. Musicological Annual, 25(1), 95–105.