Who is Who in Dubrovnik: Luka Sorkocevic

Lauren Simmonds

Continuing our look at Dubrovnik’s important historical figures, let’s meet the composer Luka Sorkocevic…

(Image credit – DuList)

Luka (Luksa) Sorkocevic was a Croatian composer born on January the 13th, 1734 in the City of Dubrovnik. He received an enviable education from professors of the highest level. His music teacher was the talented Giuseppe Valenti, Italian composer and maestro di cappella of the Dubrovnik Cathedral in the 1750’s. His extensive education took him from Dubrovnik to the Italian capital of Rome, where he went on to study musical composition with yet another well respected composer, Rinaldo di Capua. After his education came to an end, he returned to his hometown and married a member of the Lukarevic family and eventually had a son, Antun Sorkocevic. He held various positions in several areas of local Dubrovnik society and politics. He also briefly took on the role of ambassador to the imperial court in Vienna, Austria, during which time he came into contact with numerous big names of the time, including the Italian poet and librettist Pietro Antonio Domenico Trapassi (better known as Metastasio), the Austrian composer Joseph Haydn and the German composer Christoph Willibald Gluck.

Sorkocevic wrote various pieces, including a handful of vocal ones, but his most valued works are considered to be the eight symphonies, the violin sonata and the overture of the flute. These interesting instrumental works of his belong to the transitional period which took place between Baroque and Classicism.

Luka Sorkocevic suffered from serious health issues and died prematurely on September the 11th, 1789 after committing suicide by throwing himself from the third floor of his palace in Dubrovnik. He was 55 years of age.

His music has been preserved, alongside other Sorkocevic family possessions in the archives of the Dubrovnik Franciscan convent.


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