The event was held under the auspices of the Croatian Embassy in Austria while the organiser of the visit was the Dubrovnik branch office of the Croatian Heritage Foundation. Co-organisers were Heimatwerk of Salzburg and the Croatian-Austrian Society of Dubrovnik.

“With Croatia’s accession on July 1st to the great community of the European Union a Croatian dream has become a reality,” said minister counsellor for culture at the Croatian Embassy in Vienna Zdenka Weber. Ms Weber was speaking at a welcome gathering of Croatians in Salzburg held at the Residenzplatz and organised by the Croatian Dream Culture & Arts Society, led by Vera Papič, on the occasion of Croatian accession to full EU membership.
The event was held under the auspices of the Croatian Embassy in Austria while the organiser of last weekend’s visit by Dubrovnians to Mozart’s native city was the Dubrovnik branch office of the Croatian Heritage Foundation. Co-organisers were Heimatwerk of Salzburg and the Croatian-Austrian Society of Dubrovnik.
In a lavish six-hour music collage of the most diverse musical styles the gathered Croatians, their Austrian friends and numerous foreign tourists were delighted by the performances of the Amfora women’s klapa band of Dubrovnik and two excellent young Croatian musicians—pianist and winner of the Večernji List daily newspaper’s 2012 Domovnica Award for Most Popular Croatian Musician Abroad Željka Caparin and Dubrovnik violinist Tara Horvat—and the children’s choir of S. S. Kranjčević Elementary School in Zagreb.
The Austrian Flutisimo ensemble also garnered the delighted applause of the audience, as did the guitar duo of Sara Gröschl and Birgit Islek, the St. Elisabeth women’s church choir, the Sorinata international ensemble and Gemischte Jaus’n of Salzburg under the leadership of Zagreb piano professor Ksenija Čengić.
Also on hand for the festivity were many Salzburg city and state officials, including Salzburg State Governor Wilfried Haslauer, Andrea Blöchl Köstner of the department of special culture projects in the Salzburg State government, the chairman of the Salzburg Chamber of Labour and deputy chairman of the Austrian Chamber of Labour Siegfried Pichler, and a member of the board of the Salzburg chamber Đuja Bećirević.
CHF Dubrovnik head Maja Mozara said that it was delightful to be a part of a festivity in Salzburg focused on Croatia and its artists. Amfora band leader Marija Manjić thanked the CHF Dubrovnik and the hosts for choosing the klapa band she leads for the Croatian promo event in Salzburg.
Pianist Željka Caparin and violinist Tara Horvat once again reaffirmed their reputation for excellence. They joined forces to perform the 1st movement of Parać’s Sonata for Violin and Piano and each performed one other work: Caparin performed President Ivo Josipović’s Diabolezza, while Horvat performed the work of a Russian composer.
The festivity also featured two interesting exhibitions: an exhibition of drawings by the pupils of Zagreb’s S. S. Kranjčević Elementary School and an exhibition of posters of some of the tangible and intangible heritage under UNESCO protection and—as Croatia is the home of the cravat—the entire exhibition space was decorated with some eighty different neckties.
Ante Papić of the Croatian Dream association saw to the promotion of Croatian culinary delights.
“It was our wish to celebrate this, for Croatia, historic moment and present to the people of Salzburg the wealth of diversity in Croatia’s cultural heritage, soon also to grace the EU,” said Delfa Papić on behalf of the organisers at the close of the festivity. Ms Papić is the spokesperson for the Croatian Dream association and the candidate of the Austrian People’s Party (ÖVP) for Salzburg city council at the elections slated for next year.
Fra’ Zlatko Špehar, the parish priest at the Croatian Catholic parish of the Blessed Alojzija Stepinac in Salzburg, also on hand for the festivities, told the Večernji List daily newspaper that another event was upcoming.
“This will be an informative and culture gathering of Salzburg Croatians and other Austrian associations sympathetic towards Croatia and its people that is planned for Saturday, June 29th, and organised by Croatian umbrella organisations, the Croatian Centre and the Croatian Catholic Parish at its premises in Salzburg,” said Fra’ Špehar, adding that the Parish maintains contacts with some nine thousand people in about three thousand families.
“Our pastoral mission includes gathering together Croatian youth, and we have established a Croatian language supplementary school attended by some one hundred forty pupils whose diplomas are also recognised in Croatia,” noted Fra’ Špehar.
The Croatian Catholic Parish of the Blessed Alojzija Stepinac and Fra’ Zlatko Špehar also played host to the Amfora women’s klapa band at one of its festive Sunday masses. The band’s rendition of spiritual songs once again reaffirmed the indisputable musical talent and voices of Silvana Bjelovučić, Ina Botica, Nikolina Đangradović, Mara Manjić, Marina Šegetin, Vera Skaramuca, Ana Stabile and Marije Ursić-Beusan.
The festive mass at the Croatian Parish of the Blessed Alojzija Stepinac was recorded by the Austrian national TV corporation ORF.

Text by: Snježana Herek & Maja Mozara