Luka Sorkočević

As the programs of the concerts organized by DSO are carefully thought out, it is not by chance that pieces by composer Luka Sorkočević are included. We care to highlight and put forward the work of Croatian personalities, thus emphasizing the rich tradition and culture of the country and City of Dubrovnik.

So, let’s take a few steps back in time and discover more in-depth who was Luka Sorkočević. 

Born in 1734 and died in 1789, Luka Sorkočević was a composer from the Republic of Ragusa, today’s City of Dubrovnik. He was part of one of the most powerful patrician families in Dubrovnik. Therefore, he got to receive a complete musical education, which led him to choose a path where music was a huge part of his life.

Since his love for music was clearly important, he went to Rome in 1756 to continue his education and hence studied musical composition with Rinaldo di Capua.

However, his life was not entirely dedicated to music, though he loved it very much. On top of that, he also took part in the political life of Dubrovnik. He occupied several political posts in the city after he came back from Rome in 1763. 

His position as a politician allowed him to go to Vienna as an ambassador in 1781. But during his stay, he met numerous important people in the musical world of his time, like Gluck, Metastasio, and even Haydn. These encounters influenced him greatly and gave him valuable experiences for his musical pieces.

His most exciting works are the eight symphonies, the violin sonata, and the overture trio for the flute. These works belong to the transitional period between baroque and classicism. His style announced the Vienna classical style.     

He composed works that are considered the first symphonies in the history of Croatian music, which makes him undoubtedly, one of the most well-known Croatian composers. He constitutes the traditional identity of Croatian, and more particularly, Dubrovnik classical music.

Fun -not so fun- fact: In 1789, at the age of 55, he committed suicide because of health problems that caused him depression and threw himself from the third floor of his house.

 You will be able to hear one of his pieces (Symphony No. 1 in D major) for the concert on May 13th!