- Created on Tuesday, 07 February 2017 00:00
At the opening of this year's Long Night of Museums at the atrium of the palace of the Croatian Academy of Sciences and Arts (HAZU) we had an opportunity to hear the virtuoso playing of Orest Shourgot, a Ukrainian national and a senior lecturer at the Zagreb Academy of Music.
Accompanied by Domagoj Guščić on the piano, Shourgot was playing the King Guarneri violin. The violin was donated to HAZU by famed Croatian-American violinist Zlatko Baloković.
This is the violin shown at the exhibition of the finest Guarneri violins staged in 1994 at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York on the 250th anniversary of the death of their builder that experts declared the best instrument ever made by master Guarneri. The value of this musical gem from the workshop of master Guarneri del Gesù (1698–1744) is estimated to be eight million euro. The king violin was donated to HAZU forty-nine years ago by the widow of violinist Zlatko Baloković (1895–1965), who moved to the United States of America 93 years ago.
The foundation named after this internationally acclaimed native of Zagreb and his partner Joyce (née Borden) recently celebrated five decades of successful work, and we consider it an exemplary example of the cooperation of the diaspora and the homeland to the benefit of young people in Croatia. HAZU, as the institution authorised to propose scholarship recipients for the Zlatko and Joyce Baloković Scholarship Fund, invites all students that currently meet the prerequisites to apply for studies at Harvard University in the 2017/2018 academic year. Applications will be received through to the 17th of February 2017. (See: info.hazu.hr).
The Baloković artistic legacy was donated to the Academy by his wife Joyce as Zlatko requested in his will. In establishing the scholarship foundation for the respected Harvard University in 1966 this migrant family left an indelible trace in Croatian culture. Along with his brilliant international career Baloković was an activist in the emigrant community of his time in the USA, serving as president of the Council of American Croatians.
Legend has it that Zlatko Baloković played this same legendary violin, now housed in Zagreb, at the funeral of his friend from the village of Smiljan in the Lika region – Nikola Tesla, playing at the personal request of the genius would brought light to the world.
Text by: Vesna Kukavica