Founded in 1953, as an ensemble of Radio Zagreb, under the artistic leadership of the renowned cellist Antonio Janigro, Zagreb Soloists have gained recognition as one of the world’s most outstanding chamber orchestras. In addition to their prominent tenure with Maestro Janigro, Zagreb Soloists have worked closely with concertmasters such as Dragutin Hrdjok, Tonko Ninić, Anđelko Krpan and Borivoj Martinić-Jerčić – keeping their excellence in playing music, that is regularly being presented at prestigious international concert stages – unchangeable.
Since 2012 the ensemble performs with the famous violinist Sreten Krstić as their concertmaster and who is also the concertmaster of the Munich Philharmonic. Zagreb Soloists gave over 3500 concerts on all continents, in the major centers and most famous concert halls such as the Musikverein (Vienna), Concertgebouw (Amsterdam), Royal Festival Hall (London), Berlin Philharmonic Hall, Tchaikowski Hall (Moscow), Santa Cecilia (Rome), Carnegie Hall (New York), Opera House (Sydney), Victoria Hall (Geneva), Teatro Real (Madrid), Teatro Colon (Buenos Aires), etc.
They have regularly performed at the major music festivals such as those in Salzburg, Prague, Edinburgh, Berlin, Bergen, Barcelona, Istanbul, Prades Ossiach, Dubrovnik and elsewhere, playing with numerous distinguished soloists, for example – Henryk Szeryng, Alfred Brendel, Christian Ferras, Pierre Fournier, Leonard Rose, James Galway, Jean-Pierre Rampal, Aldo Ciccolini, Katia Ricciarelli, Lily Laskin, Zuzana Růžičková, Mario Brunello, Isabelle Moretti, Guy Touvron and many others.
Zagreb Soloists’ performing repertoire entails baroque, classicist, romantic and contemporary music, with particular attention given to Croatian composers – both of those who represent the musical heritage and those of the younger generation.
They recorded more than seventy albums for companies like Vanguard House, EMI, ASV, Eurodisc, Melodia, HISP-vox, Pickwick and Croatia Records. One of the most recent outstanding editions is the album with works by Ernesto Cordero, which Zagreb Soloists recorded with prominent soloists – violinist Guillermo Figueroa and guitarist Pepe Romero (Naxos 2010), which was nominated for a Latin Grammy Award. In June 2014 the ensemble has also released a compact disc with works by Boris Papandopulo, performing with pianist Oliver Triendl – the project which united both local and international music criticism – giving the CD highest rates and numerous commendations.
Zagreb Soloists have received a number of awards and accolades, among which are: First Prize at Mar del Plata (for the album Concerts of The 18th Century), Pablo Casals Medal, Medal of Elizabeth Sprague Coolidge (for the contemporary music performance), the awards Vladimir Nazor, Milka Trnina; Josip Štolcer Slavenski Award for the best performance of a work by a Croatian composer; then awards Ivan Lukačić of the Varaždin Baroque Evenings, Villa Manin, UNESCO, The City of Zagreb Award, Silver CD label of Croatia Records, Order of Merit, several Croatian Music Awards Porin (The Lifetime Achievement Award in 1994), Silver Medal of The Croatian Musical Youth and many others.
In 2010 the ensemble was awarded with Orlando Grand Prix for outstanding artistic contribution to the overall program of Dubrovnik Summer Festival. This renowned Croatian classical music ensemble over sixty years of its successful work can thank the many outstanding musicians who all, in a certain period, occupied the position of the members of Zagreb Soloists. And despite their generation transgression, what unites all its members – those of the past, the present and the future – is the staggering musicians’ discipline and skill, paired with inexhaustible enthusiasm and love for chamber music-making.