Croatian Radiotelevision Jazz Orchestra

Croatian Radiotelevision Jazz Orchestra, formerly known as the Radio Zagreb Dance Orchestra has been in existence for the past sixty odd years and such longevity is rarely seen on a world scale. The RTZ Dance Orchestra, as it was known at the time, was a predecessor of today’s HRT Jazz Orchestra and was founded during season 1946/1947 to meet the needs of the Radio and was made up of best musicians from several ensembles, led by Zlatko Černjul.  The Orchestra was later led by several conductors, but Miljenko Prohaska has a special place in the  history of the orchestra, as he led it for 30 years. After playing at the Bled Jazz Festival in 1962, the Orchestra enters a new era – it turned to its own repertoire.

The person behind the idea was Miljenko Prohaska and he was later supported by many members of the Orchestra. Due to such a type of programme orientation, the Orchestra had created its specific style which differentiated it from other similar orchestras, both in the country and abroad.

The Orchestra held its first international performance in Cologne in 1955. This was followed by tours of Bulgaria, Poland, former USSR, as well as concerts at jazz-festivals in Frankfurt and Nagykanizsa and even in Munich in 1972, as part of the entertainment at the Olympics. Numerous world-renowned musicians have played in Zagreb with the Orchestra as soloist – trumpet players: Art Farmer, Clark Terry and Ted Curson, saxophone players Johnny Griffin, Sal Nistico, Ernie Wilkins, trombone player Kai Winding, pianist John Lewis, percussionist Art Taylor and many others.

Over the past decade, the Orchestra has been successfully led by Silvije Glojnarić who has gradually included the best young musicians (Saša Nestorović, Davor Križić and others) in a bid to keep the highest possible level of music artistry. The HRT Jazz Orchestra maintains a regular concert season in Zagreb. The leader/conductor position was taken over by Saša Nestorović in 2007.


Silvije Glojnarić & Big Band HRT: Portrait (Cantus/HRT, 2006)

Big Band HRT & Ansambl Lado: Jazzlando (Orfej/HRT, 2008) - DVD

Zdenka Kovačićek & Big Band HRT: Jazz Portrait (Orfej/HRT, 2009)

Ladislav Fidri: Memories (Cantus/HRT, 2009)

Massimo & Big Band HRT: Massimo Sings Sinatra (Aquarius Records, 2009)

Miro Ungar & Big Band HRT: Sad ili nikad / Now Or Never (Aquarius Records, 2010)

Big Band HRT: Veselje ti navješćujem / It' s Joy That I Proclaim (Aquarius Records, 2010)

Jelena Balent & Big Band HRT: Avanturo, još nas ima (Croatia Records, 2011)

HRT Jazz Orchestra: U sredi našeg sela / In the Midst Of Our Village (Aquarius Records, 2011)

Radojka Šverko & HRT Orchestra: Still Standing (Croatia Records, 2012) - CD i DVD

Matija Dedić & HRT Jazz Orchestra: Family (Croatia Records, 2012)

Joe & Lela Kaplowitz & HRT Jazz Orchestra: With Every Breath (Aquarius Records, 2012)

Saša Nestorović (Zagreb, 1964) taught classical saxophone at the Music School in Zagreb from 1992 to 1998, as well as jazz improvisation and the principles of improvisation at the Secondary School of Music and Ballet in Ljubljana (Slovenia). He has been active on the German, Croatian and Slovene jazz scene. He leads the Summer School of Jazz on the island of Brač and gives lectures at the Summer School of Saxophone in Dubrovnik. He acted as saxophonist, clarinetist and recording musician with the Croatian Radio Television Jazz Orchestra, as well as composer and arranger with the Zagreb Jazz Portrait quartet. He has worked with eminent jazz musicians like Jesse Benett, Allan Pruskin and Mario de Murier.

He was a member of the EBU Big Band Orchestra during a concert tour in Montreal and other cities of Canada in 1999 and has participated in many jazz recordings in Croatia and Slovenia. In 2007 he took the leader/conductor position at Croatian Radiotelevision Jazz Orchestra.