Marko Munih

Marko Munih was born on 9 January in 1936 in Most na Soči. He finished the study of conducting in 1961 under the mentorship of Danilo Švara at the Academy of Music in Ljubljana and the year 1963/4 attended lectures given by Lovro Matačič in Frankfurt on Main, where he also became his assistant. Upon returning to Ljubljana, he assumed the position of an orchestral and choral conductor. From 1963 to 1972 he conducted the Slovene Philharmonics, from 1972 to 1979 was an artistic leader of RTV Ljubljana’s Chamber Programme, in 1979 he became chief editor of the Music Programme of Radio Ljubljana and Radio Slovenia respectfully, all the while conducting the Slovene Philharmonics and RTV Slovenia’s Symphonic Orchestra. He headed APZ Tone Tomšič for ten years (1965-1975), as well as the Teacher’s choir Emil Adamič. He led both choirs to numerous victories at competitions and guest-appearances.

While still at university, he received the Student’s Prešeren Award for conducting Beethoven’s Seventh Symphony. He received two awards from the Prešeren Fund; in 1969 for the artistic leadership of APZ Tone Tomšič and in 1985 for the performance of Slovene works with the Slovene Philharmonic Orchestra. Apart from Prešeren Awards, he also received the Betett Award for recreated compositions in 1983 and the Silver Honorary Badge of the Republic of Slovenia for a longstanding career in music in 2002. Conducting Slovene or foreign symphonic orchestras, he performed in Italy, Germany, Austria, France, Belgium, Holland, Finland, Denmark, in former Czechoslovakia and the Soviet Union, Bulgaria, the UK and accompanying the RTV Slovenia’s Symphonic Orchestra in the United States and Canada. An important place in his repertoire is reserved for vocal-instrumental works from different periods, particularly from the 19th and the beginnings of the 20th century, expressive romantic symphonic scores, as well as compositions by modern Slovene and foreign composers. An enormous project of his was the rarely complete performance of Hayden’s “The Seasons” (Chamber Choir and the Slovene Philharmonic Orchestra), followed by a long array of modern compositions by Darijan Božič, Jakob Jež, Pavel, Mihelčič, Ivo Petrić and Lojze Lebič. He had extremely high ambitions when it came to devising programmes, these included pieces like: Verdi’s Requiem, Mozart’s Requiem, cantatas “Sonetni venec” by Lucijan Marija Škerjanc, based on the same-titled poems by Prešeren, the top selection of choral pieces from Wagner’s operas, Karol Szymanowski’s Fourth Symphony, Te Deum by Blaž Arnič (featuring soloist Marjana Lipovšek), a Mass with kettledrums by Joseph Hayden, Honegger’s oratorio King David, Marijan Lipovšek’s cantatas The Organist, Frank Martin’s oratorio In terra pax, The Pieta Symphony by Primož Ramovš, “Ekstaza smrti” by Alojz Srebotnjak, Gabriel Faure’s Requiem, Dvořak’s Stabat Mater, Chopin’s Piano Concert Number 2, etc. He was convinced that APZ Tone Tomšič possessed a high enough level of quality and took them to the international choral competition “Cantatas of Europe” in Graz in 1970, and presented the audience with Bruckner’s Mass. Another impressive performance was that of Igor Stravinski’s Symphony of Psalms. Among Slovene conductors, Munih always had a great sense of vocals and vocals accompanied by an orchestra.

He is known as a very sociable, open and honest person. Sensitivity and musicality were trades always emphasized in the flattering criticism that Munih received for his performances. Critic and composer Pavel Mihelčič, who has been following the work of Marko Munih for almost forty years, wrote the following: “His hands are like the breath of the choir, if they breathe, the choir breaths with them, if they make a gentle gesture, the choir will sing gently, softly… It is understandable that this can only be achieved through the collaboration among everyone involved in the performance and this collaboration has produced an abundance of amazing performances.”