189 years since birth of Branko Radicevic

Thu, 03/28/2013 - 18:28 -- MRS
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The celebration of the 189th anniversary since the birth of Serbian poet Branko Radicevic was organized in the oldest Serb high-school, lyceum in Karlovac, which he attended from 1835 to 1841. Starting on March 15, Radicevic’s birthday according to old (Julian) calendar, the organization Brankovo Kolo has set up several events in Sremski Karlovci, Novi Sad and Belgrade. On March 28, the prestigious award “Seal of the town of Sremski Karlovci” was presented to poet Tanja Kragujevic, for her book “Bread of roses”, and to Goran Labudovic for the collection “Secretext”. Milena Gluvacevic has more.

Also organized is a separate program “Poet contest”, and the main program will feature the renowned actress Ruzica Sokic, a long time friend of the Brankovo Kolo, as well as talented young actors from the “Poetry theatre” of this organization – Sonja Mladenov, Nikola Ivackov and Verica Nikolic. They will be reciting the poems of Branko Radicevic, Petar Petrovic Njegos, Milos Crnjanski and Desanka Maksimovic, selected from the capital project “Anthology of Serbian Poetry (1847-2000)”, prepared by Nenad Grujicic.

Some of Radicevic’s poems will also be performed by opera singer Andrijana Kuveljic, with the piano accompaniment by Maja Grujic. Renowned bagpipe player Maksim Mudrinic will be singing the famous song by Jovan Jovanovic – Zmaj, “Branko’s wish”. It was written in 1877, on the occasion of initiating the first, albeit unsuccessful, transfer of Branko’s mortal remains from Vienna to Mt Fruska Gora. Traditionally, the program dedicated to the best known student of the Karlovac lyceum will feature the choir of this school, conducted by Rastko Pavlov. The programs will also be marking the 160th anniversary since Radicevic’s death and 130th since the transfer of his remains to Strazilovo, on Mt Fruska Gora.

Branko Radicevic was born on March 28, 1824, in Slavonski Brod. He was the first to have introduced into the Serbian literature the poems with stressed lyrical motives and mood. They mostly treated the joys and beauty of youth. However, Radicevic wrote the majority of his poems as sad.

He was educated in Zemun, Sremski Karlovci, Timisoara and Vienna. His first book of poems was published in Vienna, in 1847, which is also where he died in 1853. The transfer of his mortal remains to Strazilovo, which was a major cultural event in Europe of that time, took place in 1883. Two years later, a big monument was erected on his grave, with the glod inscription, reading: “To Branko, the Serbian people”. The monument was made of stone blocks coming from the mountains of Fruska Gora, Avala, Klek, Dinara, Velebit, Pljesevica, Vrsacki Breg and Lovcen.

Radicevic wrote only 54 lyrical and seven epic poems, but he left a lasting trace among the Serb people. His verses served as the foundation for more than 90 music arrangements, done by composers ranging from Jovan Pacua and Stevan Mokranjac to Dejan Despic and Kornelije Kovac.