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The Triptych ‘Challenges of Life’ concert marks 25 years of operation of the Croatian-American Society under the auspices of the President of the Republic of Croatia and the patronage of the Mayor of the City of Zagreb, Varazdin and Opatija

Violinist Stefan Milenkovich and the Zagreb Soloists, true music alchemists, will perform together again between October 25th to the 28th in a mini-tour of three concerts in Zagreb, Varazdin, and Opatija. Stefan will play on Guadagnini’s violin, from 1783.

In order to mark a quarter of a century of existence, the Croatian-American Society in cooperation with the Croatian Music Youth, Meritum Communications, and Art Hill organized a gala concert of triptych, called the Challenges of Life. The concerts in Zagreb, Varazdin and Opatija will feature a world-renowned violinist with an American passport Stefan Milenkovich together with the distinguished ensemble of the Zagreb Soloists. The concert triptych will be held under the auspices of the President of the Republic of Croatia. Violinist Stefan Milenkovich and the Zagreb Soloists will perform world-famous compositions in Zagreb, Varazdin, and Opatija.

At the concerts in Zagreb, Varazdin and Opatija, visitors will have the chance to hear the performance of the Little Symphony no. 10 in B minor, Felix Mendelssohn’s Elegant Violin Concert, Carmen Fantasy, Pablo de Sarasate and La Campanella, another great musician of Niccolo Paganini. Part of the ticket sales from all the concerts is directed to young people without proper parental care through the implementation of an Outward Bound Experiential Learning Program of Nature whose outcomes are the integration of human values such as perseverance, communion, compassion, and self-confidence required for independent living. The Outward Bound program will be implemented in the area of Lika and Velebit in their Big Vineyard Center near Gospić.


Koncertna dvorana Vatroslav Lisinski
HNK Varaždin
Festival Opatija

The word violin by means of Romanesque language comes from the medieval Latin word vitula which means a wired instrument. Violin is a four-string string instrument, and of all string instruments produces the highest tones and is the smallest dimension. [Source: www.steinwayandsonspiano]

The history of the violin originated in northern Italy in the early 16th century. The first violin builders probably joined the elements of three then well-expanded instruments: Rebecca which was in use since the 10th century (originates from the Arabic instrument called rabab), Renaissance fiddle and Lyra de bracio. One of the earliest detailed descriptions of this instrument, including his tunes, is Jambe de Fer’s Epitome musical, released in Lyon in 1556. By then the violin had already begun to spread in Europe. The oldest documented four-wire violin, like the modern violin, was built in 1555 by Andrea Amati. Other violins mentioned earlier only had three strings. The violin became a favorite instrument amongst street musicians and aristocrats, as evidenced by the fact that King Charles IX of 1560 commissioned 24 violins from Amathy. From this set is the oldest preserved violin known as “Charles IX”, produced in Cremona around 1560. The Violin “Messiah” or “Le Messie” (also known as “Salabue” produced by Antonio Stradivari in 1716) was never used and is still in a mint condition and is now in the Ashmolean Museum in Oxford. The world’s famous violin builders lived between the 16th and 18th centuries:


  • Amati, Italian family of violin builders: Andrea Amati (1500-1157), Antonio Amati (1540-1607), Hieronymus Amati I (1561-1630), Nicolo Amati (1596-1684), Hieronymus Amati II (1649-1740)
  • Guarneri, Italian family of violin builders: Andrea Guarneri (1626-1698), Pietro di Mantova (1655-1720), Giuseppe Guarneri (Joseph Filius Andreae) (1666-1739), Pietro Guarneri (Mlečanin) 1695-1762) and Giuseppe (del Gesu) (1698-1744)
  • Stradivari Antonio, Italian violin, and other string instruments (1644-1737) from Cremona
  • Gagliano, Italian family of violin builders from Naples, are the most prominent members of Alessandro Gagliano (from 1700 to 1735), Nicolo Gagliano I (1730- 1780) and Ferdinand Gagliano (1724- ~ 1795th)
  • Stainer, Jakob, Austrian violin builder (1617 – 1683) from Absam.
  • Guadagnini is an Italian family of string instrument builders. There are 16 members in the 8th generation of XVII. up to the twentieth century. The most important members were Lorenzo I. (circa 1690-1748), worked in Cremona, Piacenza, and Milan, and Giovanni Battista Guadagnini II, called “Cremonensis” (1711-86), Stradivarius disciple, worked with his father in Piacenza and Milan and independently in Cremona, Parmi and Turin. It has made more than 200 violins, several violas and some twenty cellos, highly appreciated high-quality instruments of the finest wood with a specific dark and shiny finish. [source:]