The Croatian Music Institute is the oldest music institution in Croatia. Due to the coronavirus pandemic, the Croatian Music Institute closed its doors. Concerts have been canceled, promotions, lectures, congresses and festive dinners postponed, social orchestras are not able to rehearse, and the library is not working.
Time has stopped in the beauty that has adorned Gundulic Street since 1876 when its construction was completed and when the first concert hall in Zagreb was opened.
Photographer Zvonimir Ferina took advantage of the lull and captured with his camera all the beauty of this historic building and, with his unique artistic expression, displayed the stillness that currently rules the “house of music”.
“My parents are the main ‘culprits’ for my love of music and my special connection with the Croatian Music Institute, and I am pleased that as a photographer I have been working intensively with this renowned cultural institution for a long time. Photographing the Croatian Music Institute now that it was closed was really unusual – I missed the sounds of piano, string, harp… the silence was unusually loud,” says Zvonimir Ferina.
Since its founding in 1827, the Croatian Music Institute has repeatedly encountered crises, but never two in such a short time. Following the crisis of 2018, the new management headed by Romana Matanovac Vuckovic managed to recover the institute in a very short time, attract sponsors and donors, renovating part of the building, enhance concert events, bring literary and film art into the space, bringing back audiences and, most importantly, creating a new one. However, due to the current situation, the Croatian Chamber of Commerce had to close its doors and a new crisis has began.
“Unlike other equally important music institutions, the Croatian Music Institute is an association of citizens and is funded by its own revenues. Stopping work is a critical moment for us when all our income ceases and when we do not know how we will pay our workers wages and how we will maintain the building. The management is on ‘our feet’ and we are trying to find a solution for survival,” Romana Matanovac Vuckovic said.
All the important art projects that the Croatian Music Institute and its partners have prepared are currently on hold. A tour in photos below.