Established in 1945, the Big Band RTV Slovenia is one of the oldest orchestras of its kind worldwide. The establishment of the orchestra and its early successes can largely be attributed to conductor and composer Bojan Adamič (1912–1995). In 1961 the baton was taken over by Jože Privšek (1937-1998) and under him the Radio Ljubljana Dance Orchestra evolved into a top quality band which not only dominated the scene within ex-Yugoslavia, but received high recognition abroad. After Privšek’s retirement in 1992 the orchestra was taken over by Lojze Krajnčan, Peter Ugrin, Milko Lazar and Emil Spruk.
Big Band RTV Slovenija frequently hosted musicians from abroad, including some of the biggest jazz conductors (Peter Herbolzheimer, Mercer Ellington, Maria Schneider, Jerry van Rooyen, Carla Bley, Herb Pomeroy, Mathias Rüegg, Miljenko Prohaska, David Murray, George Lewis, Bill Holman, Michael Abene, Bob Mintzer, Rob McConnell, Lars Moller, Ed Partyka) and soloists (Clark Terry, Stjepko Gut, Johnny Griffin, Ack van Rooyen, Toots Thielemens, N.H.Ø. Pedersen, Jiggs Whigham, Albert Mangelsdorf, Bobby Shew, Mario Gonzi, Duško Gojković, Bosko Petrović, Diane Schuur, John Riley, Dennis Mackrel, Jon Hendricks, Mads Vinding, Paquito D’Rivera, Mike Stern, Joe Lovano, Chris Minh Doky, Patti Austin, Ernie Watts, Kurt Elling, Nicholas Payton ) of our time.
Today the band is rejuvenated – the average age of its members is just over 30. Most have studied at various jazz academies abroad and each of them masters their instrument with virtuoso skill. Among the qualities of the Big Band RTV Slovenia are its diversity and the ability to fulfil the needs of various radio and television programmes. It has excelled in musical genres as diverse as film, dance, popular and classical music. But the main interest and dedication the orchestra still shows towards jazz.
Big Band RTV Slovenija