ORKESTER SLOVENSKE VOJSKE
THE SLOVENAN ARMED FORCES ORCHESTRA
The Slovenian Armed Forces Orchestra is a musical unit of the Slovenian Armed Forces. It is a brass band which originally worked under the 12th Guard Battalion, and is now a unit of the General Staff of the Slovenian Armed Forces. It meets the needs of the military protocol, and it is an indispensable part of all solemn events of the Slovenian Armed Forces and the Ministry of Defence, events marking anniversaries of SAF units and solemn swear-in ceremonies, burials with military honours, commemorations, independent performances, humanitarian concerts and other events. Annually they perform on average at 160 events in different ensembles, may it be the big concert orchestra or a marching band, the Big Band, wind quintet, brass quintet etc. They regularly attend military band festivals in Austria, Italy, Belgium, Franc, Hungary and Denmark. In 1997, the SAF Orchestra was awarded with the Bronze and in 2008 with the Gold Medal of the Slovenian Armed Forces for its top-level achievements. In 2016, the President of the Republic of Slovenia and the Commander-in-chief of the Armed Forces Borut Pahor decorated the SAF Orchestra with the Order of Merit for preserving the tradition of military orchestras in Slovenia and for its contribution to the Slovenian musical culture.
The orchestra was established on April 1, 1996 to meet the needs of the State Protocol. It was established as a constituent unit of the General Staff, commanded by the Chief of the General Staff Albin Gutman, to perform at the international meetings of visiting Defence Ministers and Chiefs of the General Staffs from abroad. At the beginning, it acted under the 12th Guard Battalion and performed at solemn occasions. Today, the orchestra plays at solemn swear-in ceremonies, national celebrations, events marking anniversaries of SAF units and important historical events in Slovenia. It is mainly composed of graduates from the Ljubljana Music Academy. They are often invited to numerous concerts and festivals in Europe. Their first conductor was Franc Rizmal who led the orchestra until October 2000. The orchestra’s artistic programme was further enriched by the Guest Artistic Director and Chief Conductor Milivoj Šubrek. Besides the concert orchestra, led by Aljoša Deferri, there are other ensembles of the SAF orchestra: marching band under the baton of Gregor Vidmar, the Big Band led by Rufold Strnad and the chamber ensemble led by Fredi Simonič. Together, they form a wide creative opus. The band was strongly marked by the expertise and rich experiences of the composer and conductor Jože Privšek. He was awarded a posthumous SAF Gold Medal For his exceptional work and devotion to the orchestra. The orchestra performs at all solemn events of the Slovenian Armed Forces and the Ministry of Defence, humanitarian concerts, local events and national commemorations. Moreover, they often appear as a guest orchestra in numerous countries (Austria, Italy, Germany, France, the USA, Denmark, Belgium, Croatia, Macedonia, Kosovo and Hungary), where they present works by of different genres written by Slovenian composers. The orchestra has been conducted by many famous names: George Pehlivanian, Jan Cober, François Boulanger, Uroš Lajovic, Gregory Dudzienski, Miljenko Prohaska, Milivoj Šurbek, Tomaž Habe, Simon Dvoršak, Michael J. Colburn and Jose Rafael Pascual Vilaplana.
Contact & information
Barbara Poša Belingar
Contact person and coordinator of the programme
T: +386 5 335 40 13