Stunned by the sudden passing of Ivan Tasovac, the Belgrade Philharmonic and Chief Conductor Gabriel Feltz will be dedicating this Friday’s concert at Kolarac Hall to their beloved director. Instead of parting with a commemoration, the Belgrade Philharmonic will bid farewell to this great opponent of formalism and ordinary protocols with the very music for which he has lived his entire life.

Every new Belgrade Philharmonic concert performed either at Kolarac Hall or in the future concert hall – for which Tasovac lived – will be dedicated to this legendary visionary and friend of all musicians and the philharmonic audience. At Friday’s concert the orchestra will play the music of Dmitri Shostakovich, and at the beginning it will also play his Jazz Suite, Waltz No. 2, especially dedicated to our beloved Tasa.

Ivan Tasovac was general manager of the Belgrade Philharmonic from March 2001 to September 2013. During that time, the BGF became “one of Europe’s leading orchestras” (The Independent), “a cult Serbian orchestra” (The Financial Times), “the most successful cultural institution in Serbia” (Jutarnji list, Zagreb) and “Serbia’s most powerful PR weapon” (Kvällsposten, Malmö).

In that period, the Belgrade Philharmonic’s building was completely reconstructed, new instruments were purchased, the orchestra was rejuvenated, the best musicians who had returned from schooling abroad were hired, and so on. During his tenure, institutional and regional cooperation improved significantly. In addition to the orchestra’s notable international guest appearances throughout Europe, at his initiative the Belgrade Philharmonic had its first ever tour of the United States in the fall of 2014.

He initiated the Belgrade Philharmonic’s “Zubin Mehta” Foundation in 2004, which is considered as the originator and main promoter of the model of financing culture through cooperation between the private and state sectors in Serbia.

He was Minister of Culture and Information of the Republic of Serbia from September 2013 to August 2016.

The Government of the Republic of Serbia reappointed Tasovac as director of the Belgrade Philharmonic on January 24, 2017. That last period saw the start of a tradition of the Belgrade Philharmonic’s open-air concerts, which have become the biggest events in the history of classical music in Serbia. Significant progress was made in implementing the project of the Belgrade Philharmonic’s new concert hall as an internationally recognized center for art of the highest quality, a regional hub for cultural dialogue, and a new symbol of Belgrade and Serbia.