Davorin Jenko

Davorin Jenko (Slovene: Davorin Jenko; Serbian: Даворин Јенко, born Martin Jenko; 9 November 1835 – 25 November 1914) was a Slovene composer. He is sometimes considered the father of Slovenian national Romantic music.[1][2][3] Among other songs, he composed the melody for the Serbian national anthem "Bože pravde" ("God of Justice"), the former Slovenian national anthem "Naprej, zastava Slave" ("Forward, Flag of Glory!"), and the popular Serbian and Montenegrin song "Serbian Marseillaise".

Davorin Jenko
Даворин Јенко
Davorin Jenko
Davorin Jenko
Background information
Birth nameMartin Jenko
BornNovember 9, 1835
Upper Carniolan village of Dvorje, Austrian Empire
(now in Slovenia)
DiedNovember 25, 1914
Ljubljana, Austrian Empire
(now in Slovenia)
LabelsBože pravde
Naprej, zastava Slave
Serbian Marseillaise
Member ofSerbian Academy of Sciences and Arts


Jenko was born as Martin Jenko[4] in the Upper Carniolan village of Dvorje, in what was then the Austrian Empire. After graduating from high school in Trieste, he went to Vienna, where he studied law. During his Viennese stay, he founded the Slovene Choir Society in Vienna, which was sponsored by the national liberal politician Valentin Zarnik.

In 1862, he moved to the town of Pančevo in southern Vojvodina, Serbia, where he worked as the choirmaster of the local Serbian Orthodox Church. He later moved on the other side of the Austrian-Serbian border to Belgrade, where he worked as a composer in the Serbian National Theatre. Jenko was named among the first four members of the Academy of Arts of the Royal Serbian Academy of Sciences, named by King Milan I of Serbia on 5 April 1887.

He lived in Serbia until 1897, when he moved to Ljubljana in his native Carniola. He died in Ljubljana, and was buried in the Žale cemetery in the Bežigrad district. In Belgrade, an international music competition is dedicated to Davorin Jenko.


During his life, Jenko composed several pieces both in Slovene and Serbian.[5] He wrote the first Serbian operetta (The Sorceress, Врачара 1882)[6] and composed the music for the Serbian national anthem, based on the lyrics of Jovan Đorđević.

Most of his Slovene pieces were composed during his stay in Vienna. In 1860, he composed the music for the patriotic song Naprej, zastava Slave for the lyrics written by his cousin Simon Jenko. He also composed several other Slovene patriotic poems, which later became a crucial part of the Slovenian national canon.


  1. ^ Geoffrey Hindley Larousse encyclopedia of music 1994 p576 "Davorin Jenko (1835-1914) is considered as the founder of Slovene national music"
  2. ^ Dragotin Cvetko Davorin Jenko 1980
  3. ^ Karel Mahkota Davorin Jenko 1935
  4. ^ Janez Cvirn -Slovenska kronika XIX. stoletja 2001 - Volume 1 - Page 465 "Davorin Jenko in »Naprej« V Cerkljah pod Krvavcem se je leta 1835 rodil Martin Jenko, ki je pozneje kot Davorin Jenko postal znan vsem Slovencem. Njegov zbor Naprej, zastava slave je bil dolgo časa slovenska himna,.."
  5. ^ Stana Đurić-Klajn A survey of Serbian music through the ages 1972 "Davorin Jenko - Stankovic's work in Serbia was immediately continued by the manifold and beneficial activity of the Slovene Davorin Jenko. The first period of his life and work belonged to the time of Slovene romanticism, "
  6. ^ Donald Jay Grout, Hermine Weigel Williams A short history of opera p. 539 "Among opera composers of importance in Serbia were Davorin Jenko (1835–1914), whose many works for the theater include Vračara (The Sorceress, 1882), the first Serbian operetta ..."

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