Hladek Josip - Bohinjski, conductor and choirmaster

Symbol: Lyre

Lyre, depicted in an upright tombstone, is an attribute of Muses Urania and Erato. It symbolizes the poetic and musical inspiration of the here buried man, conductor, choirmaster and organizer of musical life of Slovenians in Maribor after the First World War. Josip Hladek - Bohinjski is undoubtedly the man, who in a significant extent contributed to the development of music in the city.

High-quality music in Maribor was cultivated at least from 17. Century, when the noble family Khisl, then owner of Maribor castle maintained its own bandmasters. While the nobility attended high-quality concerts, townspeople were satisfied with so-called "Musikmeisters", who with their assistants played at home parties. In 1825, we witnessed the establishment of the first bourgeois Music Society in the city, named Musikverein and music schools under its wings, which became operational in 1841. Five years later, in the ceremonial hall of Maribor Castle, famous Franz List had a concert for selected audience from Lower Styria. So called Knights' Hall is also the place, where a Slovenian song was played for the first time in the city's public event - anniversary of gymnasium Maribor in 1858. This is mostly the merit of Janez Miklošič, teacher of singing at gymnasium, who later in the context of Slavic Reading Club layed the foundations for Slovenian singing in Maribor. The origins of the first Slovenian music clubs in Maribor date in the early 20. Century, when under the Slovenian trade associations a music club was set up. Ten years later the club transformed into Music Society, but its action dies in the beginning of the First World War. Four years later, after the dramatic battles for the northern border, in Maribor came Oskar Dev and set up a new Slovenian music organization (Glasbena matica Maribor), which subsequently played a leading role in the musical pulse of the city.

Development of organization was especially sped up by the arrival of Josip Hladek Bohinjski. In 1925, he became the conductor of choir and orchestra, and year later the director of the organizations music school. Hladek importantly contributed to the development of choral singing and hosted in the city the first major vocal and instrumental concerts. In 1926, Hladek conducts Haydn's oratorio The Seasons, and year later, at the anniversary of death of Ludwig van Beethoven, his IX. symphony. Hladek also organized  international tours of choir and orchestra. Particularly notable was hosting in Switzerland in 1928.

Unfortunately the development under his leadership was terminated due to a dispute within the organization, which also resonates through stormy debate in the local newspaper. The dispute personally affected Hladek, who firstly withdrew from the post of choirmaster and conductor, and in year 1933 as the director of the music school. So he disappeared forever from the musical beat of the city.

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