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From Reviews

The grenade had pierced the wall behind the piano... But Josip Magdić composes the music of hope. He wrote the national anthem of the new Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina. Between two bombings, his Academy proceeds with the education of virtuosos...The artists from Sarajevo continue with their protest against barbarism. Last Sunday they got together with observers  from France who had arrived because of a broadcast for France 3, so that no one  could say: "One did not know." - Luc Delahaye, PARIS  MATCH, 22nd  December 1992


Two new music editions were presented, the cycle of five string quartets My Childhood by Stjepan Šulek (by MIC) and the shattering collection of The Notes of War 1992 of the composer Josip Magdić from Sarajevo, written, performed and  published (by NAPREDAK) in Sarajevo where the author is still committed to his work. Rahilka Burzevska sang  Ave Maria from the collection, one of the most beautiful Ave Maria compositions in Croatian vocal music. - Nenad Turkalj, VJESNIK, Zagreb, 16th November 1993


With his fulgurating War Picture Postcards, the organist Josip Magdić, professor at the Sarajevo Music Academy made the cathedral organ thunder like never before, while evoking the Mosque, the Cathedral or the Blood Donors' Street... - M. B.-G.,  QUOTIDIEN  REGIONAL, Strasbourg, 27th November 1994


When the last echo of the organ sound of the composition Clustering by Josip Magdić faded out in the Zagreb Cathedral, many listeners stood up. It was a token of respect and an expression of sympathy… His works composed after 1992 are a desperate outcry of the musician who tries to put at least some mental order into the chaos of aggression… - Maja Stanetti,  VEČERNJI  LIST, Zagreb, 14th  June 1995


The organ, the most perfect of all musical instruments, is certainly the best means of expression for a composer who is also an excellent organist, as Magdić proved to be in his concert in Dubrovnik. This proficiency makes it possible for him to be the authentic performer of his own compositions that show an admirable modern and masterly compositional procedure, excellent command of the expressive potential of the organ and interesting musical ideas that give shape to the author’s creative urge… Josip Magdić ended the attractive display of his compositional, but also performing mastery with his most recent composition Storm. Its powerful sound structures gave an impressive boost to the perfectly tuned new organ of the Dubrovnik Cathedral and crowned this unforgettable authorial concert. - Miljenko Jelača, SLOBODNA DALMACIJA, Split, 7th October 1995


…but the kind of sounds, produced  by the Croatian organist and composer Josip Magdić at the Saturday concert, had probably never before come out of that instrument… In the  compositions performed almost everything revolves around the tormented city… The feelings of the people, who were the hostages of  snipers in the city and occupiers on the surrounding mountains, have through multiple shading been translated into an unheard-of musical language… He is a master of expressing innumerable emotions somewhere between quiet resignation, screaming despair and unrestrained will to survive…  There is biting irony towards those who pretend to be peacemakers while trying to hide their incapability behind their seemingly eager activity… Under Magdić’s hands the organ sounds like a gigantic orchestra whose musicians are arranged in a vast space and, with a constantly changing set of instruments, let the listeners be overflown by sounding masses. Consequently, the music spectrum of this instrument acquires quite new dimensions. - Anton Wassermann, SCHWÄBISCHE ZEITUNG, Ravensburg, 22nd October 1996


Let’s begin at the omega: a concert Sunday by Sarajevo composer Josip Magdić, whose work, Motus Saraevoensis, was performed at Saturday’s Concert for Peace, part of events marking the fourth anniversary of the Dayton Peace Accords. Magdić’s organ solo on Sunday evening - the anniversary finale - was discomforting. If one arrived at St. George’s Episcopal Church expecting tranquility to flow from the pipe organ, it was not to be… Magdić’s scores were harsh and disturbing, creating an air of uncertainty. In the church, you could not help but feel the enormity of the crush of cathedrals, of cities and of cultures. You could not help but feel the pain that inspired Magdić to create these “commentaries”, musical expressions of destruction and the outcry against aggression. And always, you could feel the visions of  transforming darkness into light. Weaving in and out of these scores about war were lyrical, hopeful melodies. It was as if the melodies were saying: War cannot extinguish the human spirit. I was thankful to hear Magdić’s performance in a church, where the notes could be contained, thankful that I would be able to walk outside to experience the peace we Americans take for granted… - Kay Semion, DAYTON DAILY NEWS, Dayton, Ohio, 16th November 1999


Contact professor Magdić for organ concert at:      or     

Josip Magdić

The Zagreb University
Academy of Music
Berislaviceva 16
10000 Zagreb, Croatia