Influx of musicians to the Slovene Lands during the long 19th century – their impact and integration

fundamental research project
Basic Info


Slovene ethnic territory has always been a transitional geographical zone that has been open to various kinds of cultural and musical migrations and encounters of different traditions. In the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, the musical impetus came mostly from the neighboring Italian lands or else from the highly Italianized music centers in the Habsburg monarchy. This changed roughly from the mid-eighteenth century, when many proficient church musicians and instrumentalists started to come from other, non-Slovene speaking realms of the Habsburg monarchy, especially from the Czech lands. Until the dissolution of Austria-Hungary, immigrant musicians played a key role in the development of musical culture in the Slovene Lands, and their strong influences are still evident today at various levels. These influences were particularly pronounced in music education, solo performance, composition, and the development of orchestral playing. They brought not only their skills to this, but also their teaching methods, curricula, and teaching materials. They trained the first generation of Slovene musicians, performed the contemporary music repertoire, and took a leading role in the development of chamber music in the Slovene Lands. They composed and performed numerous works for various ensembles and wrote the first teaching manuals for violin, piano, singing, and harmony. In addition to the development of music education, solo performance, and composition, they were also a key factor for the development of orchestras in Slovenia.

In the project, we will present the dimensions of musical immigration, elucidate the reasons for it, and evaluate immigrants’ contribution to the development of music in the Slovene Lands during the long nineteenth century. The central part of the project will be the relational database of immigrant musicians that moved to the Slovene Lands between 1794 and 1914 and were active within various music institutions. The results of the database analysis will be published as synthetic studies and visualized via maps, histograms, pie charts, and line charts. In parallel with building the database, in-depth research will be carried out in the form of case studies and personal research studies.

Because there have been influxes from various origins, this research across all Slovene territory will provide a comprehensive and interesting insight into the phenomenon of the immigrant musicians that tailored the musical and cultural image in Slovenia that is still evident today. This research will also have relevance in the wider European context, since musical flows and impacts came from various parts of Europe. The network of influences and migrations will be elaborated on a map of Europe, which has remained connected in its cultural essence in this respect up to the present day. This research validates Europe’s current ambition to strengthen its unity based on a common cultural heritage. In a not-so-remote past, intensive exchanges in Europe’s art scene were widespread, and they were only temporarily hampered by nationalist movements and other geopolitical evolutions.

Immigrant Musicians in the Slovene Lands
music migration
Music of the 19th and 20th century in the Slovene Lands

Research areas
Musicology H320