An outstanding diplomat and an inspired musician !
The Sorkočević Sorgo family was one of those families that held not only musical soirées in their summer manor, but literary academies as well. Literary, historical and philosophical topics were discussed alongside musical issues. The family was notable in Dubrovnik already in 1292. Its most distinguished member was Luka (Lukša) Sorkočević, the composer of the first Croatian symphony. Sorkočević composed a total of seven symphonies, all intended for the same performing orchestra.
During the catastrophic earthquake of 1667, and in the rampaging fire that followed, Dubrovnik lost many cultural buildings, and as a result, musical compositions. Gradually, during the 18th century, musical life regained its former stature. The cathedral became the focal point for musical activities, where singing and music accompanied various ceremonies. At the time, Dubrovnik was influenced by a large number of national and international musicians that represented various groups. The Banda del principa, a smaller brass ensemble, and the Orchestra del Rettore, an orchestra that conducted even more complicated compositions, were especially famous.
Besides public places, music was played in the homes of the nobility. The Sorkočević Sorgo family was one of the families that held not only musical soirées in their summer manors, but literary academies as well. Literary, historical and philosophical topics were discussed along with musical issues. The family was noted in Dubrovnik already in 1229. Its most distinguished member was Luka (Lukša) Sorkočević, the composer of the first Croatian symphony. Sorkočević composed a total of seven symphonies, all intended for the same performing orchestra – string, oboe and tenor horn. All of Sorkočević symphonies have three movements. The central movement is written only for string instruments. Mention should be made here that their content was completely in tune with the latest musical trends of the 18th century. The musical education of Luka Sorkočević began in Rome under the tutorship of the famous Italian composer Rinaldo de Capue.
Luka Sorkocevic summer residence Sorkočević was also a member of the Great Council. As a diplomat of the Dubrovnik Republic, he negotiated with the French in 1776, and with Joseph the II in Vienna in 1781 and in 1782. The vast education, numerous interests and frequent travels of Luka Sorkočević continuously expanded his circle of friends and acquaintances. Of special interest here, we can mention the Italian poet Pietro Metastasio, and the composers J. Haydn and Ch.W. Gluck. Luka Sorkočević transferred his love for the arts, especially music, to his son Antun. Like his father,he was occupied with musical compositions and diplomacy, and is mentioned as the last diplomat before the fall of the Dubrovnik Republic.
The first Croatian female composers, Marina Sorkočević and Jelena Pucić-Sorkočević, are tied to the name Sorkočević. The compositions of Luka Sorkočević are a regular feature in the programmes of the Dubrovnik Symphony Orchestra and the Sorkočević Quartet. The chamber compositions of the remaining musical members of this Dubrovnik family can be heard frequently at various vocal instrumental concerts.
Writen by: Sanja Dražić
Published by: Dubrovnik Tourist Board