Ensemble Capella Zriniana was founded by Croatian lutenist Igor Paro in 2017, with an aim of exploring and promoting baroque music from the time and surrounding of Croatian noble families Zrinski and Frankopan in the 17th century.
Ensemble Capella Zriniana, with the support of Varaždin Baroque Evenings, gathers excellent Croatian musicians with an experience in historically notified performance of baroque music in their mutual effort to revive musical and poetic world of Croatian noble families Zrinski and Frankopan. It is important to mention some unusual, but happy sparks of synchronicity that happened here: the harpsichordist and organist Katarina Javora got her high school degree in piano from “Blagoje Bersa“ High Scool in Zagreb in the class of professor Renata Strojin-Richter, who is a mother of the first violinist in the ensemble, Silvio Richter. She graduated in organ at Zagreb Music Academy in the class of Ljerka Očić-Turkulin and in harpsichord in the class of professor Višnja Mažuran. She got another master degree in organ from University of Music and Performing Arts Vienna in the class of professor Pier Damian Peretti, while she continued her studies in harpsichord with professor Emanuel Schmelzer Ziringer. As if it wasn’t enough, she finished music theory study in Zagreb. While studying in Vienna, she played Alessandro Poglietti’s organ at Croatian Catholic Mission for two years. Silvio Richter is a winner of prestigious study awards and renowned baroque violinist in Croatia and abroad. After he graduated in violin at Zagreb Music Academy (2008) in the class of Anđelko Krpan, he mastered baroque violin in 2010 at Royal College of Music in London, where Nikola Zrinski’s extended biography was published in 1664. He continued his studies in Den Haag, where he graduated in 2013. Soprano Marta Schwaiger graduated singing at Vienna Conservatory and translation studies (German, Russian and Croatian) at The Centre for Translation Studies (ZTW) at the University of Vienna. Actor Zoran Kelava has been intensively working with lutenist Igor Paro for several years on musical and scene interpretation of Zrinski’s and Frankopan’s poetry. Experienced orchestral and chamber musician, oboist Marko Požgaj, grew up with sound of historical instruments, since his father Mladen Požgaj is a passionate lover of early music and a member of famous ensemble specialized in early music from Zagreb, “Universitas studiorum zagrabiensis” from 1970s and 1980s. There are also two younger members of the ensemble – versatile double bass player Marko Radić just graduated in double bass at Zagreb Music Academy in the class od professor Nikša Bobetko; on the other hand, Rupert Čunko was born in Čakovec, the city of Nikola Zrinski Čakovečki, and he is a student of the fourth year at Zagreb Music Academy, the percussion course, in the class of professor Igor Lešnik. He cooperates with the other ensembles specialized in early music in Zagreb. Capella Zriniana‘s special guest is the best Croatian cymbalist, Andrija Maronić from Đurđevac. Maronić embodies an unwritten and uninterrupted tradition of playing cymbal in Podravina, Međimurje and in Hungarian Baranja, the tradition that reaches far back into the past, probably up until the 17th century. Maronić is creditable for survival of this precious cymbal tradition in Croatia – despite older age, he makes cymbals and teaches younger generations how to play, along with tireless concert activities. Although he plays on the original concert instrument of Budapest’s musical instrument inventor, József Schunda, from 1880s, Maronić nurtures an archaic style of playing cymbals, characteristic for Podravina and Međimurje and different from tousled virtuosity of Roman cymbalists, which came to Hungary from Romania at the end of the 18th and at the beginning of the 19th century.
Using a multidisciplinary research into the history of music, as well as the synergy of artistic and traditional music, along with the poetry of Zrinki’s and Frankopan’s, Capella Zriniana offers an unique experience of wider and more complex picture of baroque music, as well as the insight into some less known or misplaced segments of Croatian and Hungarian musical heritage.