Eternal Dora!


Saturday, March 5, 2022 marks the 99th anniversary of the untimely death of one of the most important Croatian composers, Dora Pejačević (Budapest, September 10, 1885 – Munich, March 5, 1923). On this occasion, we remember the beginning of a successful project which today, after 23 years, confirms that perseverance, diligence and consistency are the key to promoting Croatian music.

Namely, in 1999, the Dora Pejačević International Project was launched as a Croatian-Austrian cultural project with the aim of international affirmation of the work of composer Dora Pejačević. The main task was to publish and distribute Dora’s works in music editions and on compact discs. The initiators of the project were the Croatian Music Information Center and the Universität für Musik und darstellende Kunst in Vienna. The trio who laid the foundation for successful work in the promotion of Dora Pejačević’s ouvre were Ivan Živanović, Elena Ostleitner and academician Koraljka Kos, whose valuable musicological research work on Dora Pejačević was, and still is, priceless. Other institutions were also involved, primarily the Croatian Music Institute, the Austrian Cultural Institute and the Department for the History of Croatian Music at the Croatian Academy of Sciences and Arts. Everything was reported by the media at the time, and one of the exhaustive witnesses of the time was an interview entitled Eternal Dora! published in Vijenac by Matrix Croatica.

In addition to promotions and concerts held in the first years of the project (Austria, Croatia, Brazil, Germany, Switzerland), the Croatian Music Information Center has published almost the entire opus of Dora Pejačević in the form of music editions. Therefore, it is not presumptuous to say that thanks to the long-term publishing efforts of the Croatian Music Information Center, Dora Pejačević’s works are increasingly performed on famous concert stages around the world …

This is evidenced by the performances of top world orchestras, including the Gewandhaus Orchestra of Leipzig (February 3, 2022 in Leipzig), the BBC Symphony Orchestra (November 26, 2021 in London), the State Symphony Orchestra of Polish Radio Katowice (November 19, 2021 in Katowice, November 20, 2021 in Warsaw), Malaysian Philharmonic (8 and 9 March 2018 in Kuala Lumpur), Chicago Sinfonietta (March 11, 2018 in Naperville, March 12, 2018 in Chicago) and other. New performances of Dora’s orchestral, chamber and solo works throughout Europe (London, Vienna, Paris, Helsinki, Helsingborg), the United States (Denver, Durham) and Australia (Canberra) await us. In addition to the performances, new discographic releases should be highlighted, including a CD by Chandos Records with a performance of Dora’s Symphony in F sharp minor, Op. 41 and the Piano Concerto in G minor, Op. 33 with Peter Donahue as soloist, while the BBC Symphony Orchestra is conducted by maestro Sakari Oramo.

Academician Koraljka Kos talks about the “late renaissance of Dora Pejačević’s music” in her text entitled New Life of Dora Pejačević, emphasizing: The composer’s monograph, music editions published by the Croatian Music Information Center, encompassed all her compositions in superb interpretations, all of which were events that prepared a new life of almost forgotten music (Koraljka Kos, Vijenac, no. 730 – February 24, 2022).

Even today, as we approach the great centenary of Dora’s untimely death, we can guarantee: the Croatian Music Information Center of the Vatroslav Lisinski Concert Hall will do its best to make Dora’s music live forever!

Ana Unkić i Jelena Vuković