Department of Classical Accordion
  • Address: Rovinjska 14, 52100 Pula, Croatia
  • Telephone:+385(52) 377 503
  • Fax: +385 (52) 377 503
  • E-mail: ured.glazba(at)unipu.hr 

Head of the Department

Assistant Professor Franko Bozac M.A.

Study Programmes

About the Department

According to its historical development, accordion belongs to recent musical instruments. It dates from the first half of 19th century, but its intensive development started with the first accordion study programmes in the 1930s in the ex-Soviet Union, and later in some European countries, especially in Germany. At the same time, in Croatia, Pula became one of the most important centres for its development and popularization. This was primarily because of the great enthusiasm and persistent work of Stanko Mihovilović, the pedagogue, conductor and score-writer. It is, thus, understandable why the initiative and desire to provide better education to accordion players was born in Pula, leading to the study programme at the Faculty of Pedagogy, as it was called then in 1993. Besides, the fact that a larger number of Croatian accordion players had been educated abroad (Russia, Ukraine, Belorussia, Germany, Austria) indicated that this was needed in Croatia in order to make education from music school to music academy complete. So, the study programme of Classical Accordion at the above-mentioned institution was established, but it would have not been possible without the study programme of Music Pedagogy (started in 1979), which included theoretical-pedagogical courses and professional teachers. Assistant Professor Vitalij A. Muntjan, M.A., came from one of the leading academies – the Gnjesin Academy of Music in Moscow – when this programme began and, until 1997, taught the following courses: Accordion, Accordion Playing Methodology and Chamber Music. In 1997, the Department was joined by Assistant Professor Slavko Magdić from Maribor, who had also graduated from the Moscow Music Academy above and started teaching Accordion and Accordion Playing Methodology. In the same year, Assistant Professor Denis Modrušan came as a graduate from the Tchaikovsky National Academy of Music in Kiev, where he had studied accordion and symphony conducting, to teach Accordion, Conducting and Accordion Orchestra. More and more students used to come from all over Croatia, and from neighbouring Slovenia, so new teachers were much required. Another two teachers appeared in 2000. Assistant Professor Franko Božac, M.A., the first graduate from Pula, arrived upon completion of the postgraduate study programme at the Ino Mirković Music Academy in Lovran and, later, the postgraduate study programme at the London Royal Music Academy. Assistant Professor Dražen Košmerl also came then as a graduate from the Tchaikovsky National Music Academy in Kiev, where he finished the postgraduate study programme of Classical Accordion. Because of the increased demand for teachers, from 2001 to 2004, Radmila Bikić Magdić taught Chamber Music as an Assistant. She also graduated from the Tchaikovsky National Music Academy in Kiev. Ten years later, after success and promotion of many young concert performers and teachers, new teaching staff was required again. Upon completion of the graduate study programme in Pula and the postgraduate study programme at the London Royal Music Academy, the Department was joined by Assistant Professor Borut Zagoranski in 2003. Today, there are four main course teachers and two assistants, who studied at this Department. They are Marija Vukoja Plavčak and Igor Krizman.

Since Pula is the only Croatian place where it is possible to study this instrument, learners from different cities in Croatia (e.g. Poreč, Rijeka, Delnice, Karlovac, Bjelovar, Zagreb, Vukovar, Osijek, Vinkovci, Varaždin, Požega, Krapina, Slavonski Brod, Križevci) and Slovenia (e.g. Maribor, Slovenske Konjice, Ptuj, Murska Sobota, Lenart, Kotlje) come here. More than 45 students successfully graduated so far. 

It is our practice to observe the advancement of students during studies and follow their artistic development, just as it is their practice to present themselves in public and prove artistic achievements at national and international competitions. Their results confirm that they have chosen right professional orientation and set right goals. On 15th anniversary of the Department of Classical Accordion, in 2008, the first analysis and list of awards since the establishment were made. Today, the Department has a considerable number of more than 170 awards which students have received at national and international competitions for the last twenty years in the categories of soloists, chamber ensembles and orchestras. They regularly participate in competitions in Croatia and Slovenia. But they were also awarded at many important and prestigious international accordion competitions, such as: International Meeting of Accordion Players in Pula, Confédération Mondiale de l'Accordéon – CMA, Confédération Internationale des Accordéonistes - CIA, Citta di Castelfidardo (Castelfidardo – Italy), Fisa…armonie (Trieste, Italy), Der Internationale Akkordeonwettbewerb (Klingenthal, Germany), Rijeka Grand Prix, etc. 

Our graduates, teaching in primary and secondary music schools across Croatia and beyond, show that we accomplished our long-term goals. Among them, we should first mention the education of highly qualified teachers and concert performers who will be able to show their artistic skills. The encouragement of composers to create new pieces for this instrument is also one of them. Our graduates have been increasingly enrolling into the postgraduate study programme in the European Union member countries (Great Britain, Germany, Finland), which additionally confirms quality and good orientation of the Department for the last two decades. Besides, all the results we have obtained can show us our future direction and vision, as follows: preparation and foundation of the postgraduate study of Classical Accordion, more intensive publication activities, stronger relations with graduates, more active cooperation with international institutions of the same type, better relationships of the Department with the narrower and wider community in terms of artistic-scientific music events. These are all pre-conditions for creating the European profile of the study programme, enabling very good achievements in art and research, and achieving competitiveness at a wider regional, national and international level.