Dušan Šestić

Dušan Šestić (Serbian Cyrillic: Душан Шестић; born 1946) is a Bosnian musician and composer; he composed the national anthem of Bosnia and Herzegovina.

Dušan Šestić
Birth nameDušan Šestić
Born1946 (age 74–75)
Banja Luka, PR Bosnia and Herzegovina, FPR Yugoslavia

Early life and educationEdit

Šestić, a Bosnian Serb, was born Banja Luka in 1946.[1] He studied the violin at the Music Academy in Belgrade, Serbia.[citation needed]


Šestić began his professional career at the JNA Symphony Orchestra in Belgrade, Serbia. He was a musician at the Military Orchestra in Split, Croatia, where he lived from 1984 to 1991. During that time, he also performed for the Split Opera. He also composes children's music, popular music, radio music, and TV music. He also worked in theater.[citation needed]

In the 1990s, in need of money, Šestić composed for the state the national anthem of Bosnia and Herzegovina,[2] which was adopted provisionally in 1998 and formally in 1999. After its adoption, some Bosnian Serbs denounced him for composing a national anthem for a country whose existence they were opposed to,[2] whereas some Bosniaks and Bosnian Croats disliked that a Bosnian Serb, such as Šestić, composed it instead of one of their ethnic kinsmen.[3][4] It is wordless, despite efforts spanning nearly two decades to get lyrics adopted for it. Šestić has expressed his disappointment at its lack of lyrics, having written proposed ones for it which were never adopted.[5][6] In 2008, he and Benjamin Isović had written lyrics for the composition but they were not adopted.[2] Though he was promised monetary compensation for those lyrics, he had not received payment as of 2015.[2] In the late 2000s, commentators noted an aesthetic similarity of the Bosnian national anthem to Elmer Bernstein's instrumental piece "Faber College Theme" that serves as the introductory music to the 1978 film National Lampoon's Animal House,[7][8][2] leading to accusations of plagiarism and calls for the composition to be replaced as a result. Šestić defended himself against accusations of plagiarism, saying that he could not have plagiarized Bernstein's work as he was unaware of the latter's composition.[2]

In 2008, when the Republika Srpska was looking for entries for a new regional anthem, Šestić along with Benjamin Isovic submitted an entry, "Мајко земљо" (English: "Mother Earth") as a contender, though ultimately it was not chosen.[citation needed]

Šestić taught violin at the strings department of the Vlado Milosevic Music School in Banja Luka.[citation needed]

Personal lifeEdit

Šestić's daughter, Marija Šestić, is also a musician and represented Bosnia and Herzegovina at the Eurovision Song Contest 2007 in Helsinki, Finland.[9][10]


  1. ^ "Lena Nordin- Albums, Pictures â€" Naxos Classical Music". www.naxos.com.
  2. ^ a b c d e f "How many national anthems are plagiarised?". United Kingdom: British Broadcasting Corporation. Retrieved 26 August 2015.
  3. ^ "ZaÅ¡to je DuÅ¡an Å estić najveći svetski baksuz meÄ'u kompozitorima". Blic (in Serbian).
  4. ^ "Bosnia and Herzegovina". nationalanthems.info. 28 May 2012.
  5. ^ https://www.klix.ba/vijesti/bih/himna-bih-napokon-dobila-tekst/090220055
  6. ^ "Dušan Šestić: Tekst himne ćemo dobiti onda kada to budemo istinski željeli". Klix (in Bosnian). Bosnia and Herzegovina. 2015. Retrieved 17 January 2019.
  7. ^ Pavkovic, Aleksandar; Kelen, Christopher (28 October 2015). Anthems and the Making of Nation States: Identity and Nationalism in the Balkans. Bloomsbury Publishing. p. 181. ISBN 9780857726421 – via Google Books.
  8. ^ Marshall, Alex (5 May 2016). Republic Or Death!: Travels in Search of National Anthems. Penguin Random House. ISBN 9780099592235. Retrieved 5 May 2016 – via Google Books.
  9. ^ Eurovision Radio International. "Eurovision Live Concert 2015: Interview with Marija Sestic (Bosnia & Herzegovina)" – via YouTube.
  10. ^ Smigalovic, Ismar. "Marija Šestić: I always knew that I would make music my profession - visitbih.ba".

External linksEdit