In the name of Slovenian – Croatian friendship, the Gallus Hall in Cankarjev dom last month hosted a concert dedicated to the memory of the recently departed Croatian composer, writer, poet, singer-songwriter, and translator Arsen Dedić.
The event was marked by Croatian and Slovenian celebrities, in particular Arsen’s wife Gabi Novak, who was the discovery of the Slovenian composer and conductor Bojan Adamič and who with her recognisable voice completely won over the audience of our former common country. An important contribution was made by his son Matija Dedić, who is one of the best jazz pianists in the world and performs internationally with various groups, and writes film and theatre music, while his last album Matija svira Arsena (Matija plays Arsen) was chosen as the best jazz album of 2015.
Croatian performers included Gibonni, who with his unique, melancholy, Mediterranean melodies and intimate lyricism sells out stadiums and music clubs all over the world. The concert was accompanied by an orchestra conducted by Ante Gela. Slovenian artists who paid tribute to Arsen included exceptional performers like Zoran Predin, Vita Mavrič, and Rok Pečečnik. The concert was also attended by Marija Šegvić, a Croatian theatre actress who recited Arsen’s poems between musical performances.
Support for the concert was shown also by numerous Slovenian companies like Accentec, Akripol, Alkatron, Arag SE, EBS Group – Jelovica, Elektrina, Elektro Ljubljana, Europlakat, Finforti holding, Gorenje, IC Elektronika, Iskra, Iskra Telekom, Krili, Krka, Mijaks investicije, Opara Vido, Orbico, Postojnska jama, Riko, Sibo G, Suzohapp, Volo (Star Travel), and Interblock which was the main sponsor.
The honorary patrons of the concert were the Slovenian President Borut Pahor and Croatian President Kolinda Grabar-Kitarović.
The event had a charity note to it since a part of the funds raised was presented to the Red Ball Foundation which directed it to four children in dire need of help. Thus these funds were received by parents of a 4-year-old Lara, 4-year-old Miša, 5-year-old Eva, and 10-year-old Miha, who suffer from cerebral palsy. The money will be used for the therapies they desperately need to improve their quality of life and help them overcome everyday obstacles.
The packed hall of Cankarjev dom was the reflection of Arsen’s popularity among his Slovenian and Croatian audience who through loud applause rewarded the performers who with the help of Arsen’s legacy revived this Croatian musical legend and created a truly magical evening that will be remembered by all, including the four young warriors and their families.