Croatian Conductor Nikša Bareza Has Died, Aged 86

Born in Split in 1936, Bareza was one of Croatia's foremost musicians

Photo Credit: Wolfgang Schmidt


Prominent Croatian conductor Nikša Bareza will be remembered for his long and storied career across the opera houses of Europe, concluding with a stint as the director of the Chemnitz Opera.

Prior to taking up his post in Chemnitz, Bareza lead the Zürich Opera House and held the position of Chief Conductor of the Graz Philharmonic. He also worked at La Scala and the Hamburg Opera, and spent 18 years at the helm of the Croatian Radio and Television Orchestra.

As well as programming frequently-performed operas, Bareza introduced many lesser-known works into the repertoire at Chemnitz, including Mascagni's Iris and Puccini's The Girl of the Golden West. He was also a champion of contemporary music, adding more works from the twentieth and twenty-first centuries, and he had a special love of Croatian music.

Bareza was also the winner of the 2010 Saxon Mozart Prize for his outstanding contribution to musical culture in Saxony.

His final performance came last October when he led a concert celebrating the centenary of the Graz Academy of Music.

Our condolences to Mr. Bareza's family, friends, and colleagues.