Musical culture in Slovenia revisited: The case of the German Philharmonic Society


  • Jernej Weiss


The Philharmonic Society in Ljubljana was the successor to one of the oldest philharmonic societies in Europe, the Academia Philharmonicorum Labacensis, established in 1701. Because of the growing national tensions among the German- and Slovenian-speaking populations of the Slovenian lands in the 1860s, a certain degree of competition between domestic and foreign, more precisely, between the so-called German and Slovenian music societies, appeared in the musical life of Slovenia. But many distinguished Slovenian musicians even later remained members of the so-called German Philharmonic Society. It was therefore not until the end of World War I that nationalism became the prevailing way of thinking in Slovenia. Afterwards, it became necessary to break with everything from the past (especially with the “German” Philharmonic Society and the “German” Opera in Ljubljana), and to rely solely on Slovenian achievements. Slovenian music and later on, unfortunately, also a part of Slovenian musicology thus made an exceptionally dangerous step backward and suppressed a very important part of its musical culture.