The Slovenian Philharmonic Building

Ljubljana, Slovenia | C.1891

Photo Credit: Megan Elwood

The Slovenian Philharmonic Building in Ljubljana has played host to a score of classical musicians and orchestral performances. Built in 1891, the Building traces its origins back to the early 18th century when the Academia Philharmonicorum – seen emblazoned across its façade – was founded as one of the first musical organizations in the country.

The Academia Philharmonicorum was originally founded to celebrate the festive day of St. Cecilia and to provide honorable funeral services for deceased members. Formed in 1701, members of the Academia participated in religious services and entertained distinguished guests during their visits to Ljubljana. Due to their performances, music became highly valued by the Slovenian aristocracy.

In 1794, the organization became the Philharmonic Society. Its members included classical greats such as Josef Haydn, Ludwig van Beethoven, and Johannes Brahms. Just over a century later, the Philharmonic Building was designed by Austrian architect, Adolf Wagner, and constructed on the foundation of the State Theater.

By the early 20th century, the Philharmonic Society had merged with Slovenia’s Music Society to create the inaugural Slovenian Philharmonic Orchestra. This musical arrangement lasted for five years. In 1947, the orchestra was reestablished and performed its first concert the following year. Slovenian composer Marjan Kozina attended the performance and would go on to become the first administrator of the Orchestra.

Today, the Orchestra carries on the longstanding tradition as Slovenia’s leading symphony orchestra. It has performed in both the U.S. and Europe and has hosted some of the biggest names in modern classical music.

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