Type: P
The stamps have been issued in 20-stamp sheets, and there is also a commemorative First Day Cover (FDC).
Number: 533

CROATIAN MUSIC MBZ - World Music Days in Zagreb

The best and most evident proof of the reputation and popularity of the Biennale is the decision of the International Society for Contemporary Music (ISCM) to entrust the organization of the World Music Days in the year 2005 to the 23rd Biennale. It is a manifestation that has been founded in 1922, when the ISCM was founded in Salzburg.

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Value:2,3 HRK
Design:Dubravka Zglavnik - Horvat, designer, Zagreb
Size:35,50 x 29,82 mm
Paper:white 102 g, gummed
Perforation:14, comb
Technique:Multicolor Offset Printing
Printed by:Zrinski d.d., Čakovec
Date of issue:15.04.2005.
The first MUSIC BIENNALE ZAGREB (MBZ), the international festival of contemporary music, took place, following the incentive of the Croatian composer Milko Kelemen, from 17th to 24th May 1961, a long time ago from the present moment, and its long, uninterrupted, almost half-a-century long tradition classifies it among the oldest festivals of contemporary music in the world. What Kelemen’s intention was, in the first place, to put Croatian music face to face with the most current occurrences in contemporary music, justifiably believing that it can secure its deserving position in the world only on condition that the most contemporary tendencies were accepted. This is the reason that the first festivals were predominantly informative, with performances of the music of 20th century classics that were almost unknown in this environment, but there were also first performances given of musical pieces composed by the members of the younger generation of composers just entering the new 20th century music history (such as the Pole Witold Lutoslawski, the German Karlheinz Stockhausen, the Argentinian Mauricio Kagel, the Italians Luigi Nono and Luciano Berio, the American John Cage, and others). With the passage of time, the Croatian music production also started integrating into this framework, particularly in the 1970s, when members of the older generation, and particularly younger composers, started accepting the Biennale experiences and including them into their individual expression (such as Branimir Sakač, Natko Devčić, Milo Cipra, Ivo Malec, Stanko Horvat, Ruben Radica, Igor Kuljerić, Dubravko Detoni, Silvio Foretić, Davorin Kempf, Marko Ruždjak, Frano Parać and others). This is also the reason why the history of Croatian music of the second half of the 20th century has been indelibly linked to the Biennale and its influence. The historiography justifiably refers to the “Biennale generation of composers” or even the “Biennale music” as one of the profiles of contemporaneity in the 20th century Croatian music. The specific feature of the Biennale could be summarized in two of its main characteristics. Firstly, the Biennale has always been explicitly neutral in terms of ideology, so that in the 1960s, the period of “cold war” and the “iron curtain”, it played a very successful intermediary role between the East and the West. For a number of composers from the “Eastern Block” countries, who have later become very well known, the Biennale was their first successful open door into the world. Secondly, the Biennale attempted, from the very beginning, to present as its contents the contemporary music moment in all its complexity, not limiting it only to the so called “serious” contemporary music. This means that the festivals also welcomed performances of well-known jazz groups, and the doors were open for rock music too. What had been particularly stimulated were experiments with the music stage and other media, particularly those in the borderline area between music and other arts (experimental film, video, etc.). The reputation of the Biennale can best be proved by listing the range of wonderful artists and ensembles that had made their guest appearances: the Arditti String Quartet from London, the Bolshoi Theatre ballet from Moscow, Béjart’s Ballet du XXe siècle, Deutsche Oper from West Berlin, Deutsche Staatsoper from East Berlin, Ensemble Modern from Frankfort on the Main, Groupe Vocale de France, Ballet Gulbekian from Lisbon, L’Orchestra sinfonica della RAI from Milan, L’Orchestre National de Jazz from Paris, L’Orchestre National de l’O.R.T.F. from Paris, the Hungarian State Opera, Oper der Stadt Köln, Piccola Scala from Milan, the Ensemble die reihe from Vienna, Sadler’s Wells Opera from London, the Moscow Philharmonic Orchestra, Sinfonieorchester des SWF from Baden-Baden, Staatsoper Dresden, Staatsoper Hamburg, the Imrat Khan group from India, Art Ensemble of Chicago, the jazz pianists Ibrahim Abdullah Dollar Brand, Tete Montoliu, György Szabados, Paul Bley, Cecil Taylor, the keyboardist ensemble Piano Conclave, Fred Frith, Blixa Bargeld, the rock groups Classix Nouveaux, The Gang of Four, Leibach, Last Few Days, Hallucination Company, Anti Nowhere League, participants of techno and DJ culture To Rococo Rot, Vladislav Delay from Finland, Kim Cascone from the USA, Mikael Stavöstrand from Sweden... The best and most evident proof of the reputation and popularity of the Biennale is the decision of the International Society for Contemporary Music (ISCM) to entrust the organization of the World Music Days in the year 2005 to the 23rd Biennale. It is a manifestation that has been founded in 1922, when the ISCM was founded in Salzburg. This means that this year’s Biennale will run within the framework of the World Music Days that will be taking place parallel to other festival manifestations. There will be some seventy compositions from 35 countries performed, all chosen by the international panel on the basis of applications encouraged by the national sections of the ISCM. (Presently the ISCM numbers 57 national sections). This year’s Biennale will be a veritable feast of contemporary music. Zagreb will, therefore, be the centre of the world’s music map from the 15th to the 24th April 2005.

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CROATIAN MUSIC MBZ - Stjepan Sulek Days in Zagreb

The significance of Stjepan Šulek in the history of Croatian music is many-fold: as a reproductive artist he consistently maintained a high level of interpretation, as a pedagogue he supported fundamental professional foundations in the education of young composers, and by the technical level and power of his artistic expression as a composer he built an autonomous segment into the Croatian music of the past century.
Date of issue: 15.04.2005.

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