BBC Radio 3 recently featured three works of Croatian composer Dora Pejačević in their Radio 3 in Concert musical programme.
Named ‘Masterpiece Rediscovered’, this episode centers around Symphony in F sharp minor written by Dora Pejačević. It was broadcast live from the Barbican Hall and performed by the BBC Symphony Orchestra with conductor Sakari Oramo at the helm.
Symphony in F sharp minor op.41 is considered to be the first modern Croatian symphony and one of the most distinguished works of Croatia’s first female composer.
The programme also features another famous work of Dora Pejačević, the piano cycle Blumenleben op.19 (The Life of Flowers). Performed by pianist Nataša Veljković, the opus consists of eight individual pieces inspired by different flowers associated with certain stages of life.
Countess Dora was a member of the House Pejačević, an influential noble family who were based in Slavonia and counted high state officials, military officers and politicians among their ranks.
Born in 1885, Dora Pejačević first received piano lessons from her mother at their family residence in Našice. She went on to study music privately in Zagreb, Dresden and Munich, but considering that she never studied continuously for a longer period of time, she’s considered to have been largely self-taught.
She had written her first composition at the age of 12 and went on to compose 58 opuses with 106 compositions in total between 1897 and 1922.
Her piano concerto (1913) is the first concerto ever written by a Croatian composer.
Even though she’s known as one of the most notable Croatian composers of classical music and was a highly prolific creator, most of her work still hasn’t been published and given the recognition it deserves.
Tune in to listen to the Symphony in F sharp minor on BBC. The recording will be available until December 26th, 2021 and also features Ludwig van Beethoven’s Violin Concerto in D major and two works of British composer Edward Elgar.
Learn more about the family Pejačević and their two castles in Našice in this feature.