Mokranjac foundation has organized concerts in Kragujevac and Belgrade in the year marking the 100th anniversary of the death of Stevan St. Mokranjac, in cooperation with the Ministry of Culture and Information of the Republic of Serbia, the Belgrade City Hall and the Music Centre Kragujevac, as a part of the event Echoes of Mokranjac days 2014, on which performed Mokranjac Choir - The First Belgrade Singing Society.
This is the oldest choir in Serbia, whose rich history also represents the history of cultural and spiritual edification of the country, was founded back in 1853. From Choral Society, which was founded by a group of citizens at the time of the Principality of Serbia, the choir has grown into a national institution that preserves and continues the long tradition. Its golden age choir has experienced over thirty years of work by Stevan St. Mokranjac as artistic director and conductor, which is why it has over time been identified as Mokranjac choir. Led by him, Horus was not performing only in Serbia but also in European cultural centres, and it has carried the beauty of Serbian folk music artistically processed by Mokranjac and introducing to the world to the national and spiritual treasures of our people. As a royal ambassador of Serbian culture, the choir sang in front of the greatest rulers of Europe, held charity concerts, educated talented musicians, helped poor students, and solders from wars of liberation. Under the guidance of Mokranjac, Choir sang at the celebration of 900 years of Orthodoxy in Russia, and has founded in 1899 under the auspices of the Mokranjac Society, with Stanislav Binicki and Cvetko Manojlovic, the first musical - pedagogical institution in contemporary Serbia - Serbian Music School (now called Music School Mokranjac in Belgrade). Besides Mokranjac, the First Belgrade Singing Society was led by some of the most important figures in our music of the 19th and 20th centuries (K. Stankovic, J. Marinkovic, D. Jenko, S. Binicki, K. Manojlovic S. Hristic, M. Milojevic, V. Ilic, S. Pascan-Kojanov, A. Vujic, B. Sudjic, V. Milosavljevic et al.). In recent years, the Company has made a number of very successful performances at home and abroad and achieved great success at prestigious international festivals. Since 2004, the conductor and artistic director of the Society's is Svetlana Vilic.
At both concerts, the First Belgrade Singing Society, conducted by Svetlana Vilic, carried out a nicely designed program dedicated to Mokranjac in this year of his anniversary, made with the works of Marinkovic, Balakirev, Mokranjac, Tchaikovsky, Govedarica, Bortnjanski and Bajic.
Concert in Kragujevac was held 14.09.2014. in the hall of the First Grammar school, and the arrival of the audience wasn’t stopped by large storm that swept Kragujevac just before the start of the concert. In front of quite filled hall, Choir has extremely expressed the authentic spirit of the music Orthodoxy, guided by the steady hand of an inspired conductor Svetlana Vilic, leaving a strong impression on the audience. Especially notable this evening was the performance of the Tebe pojem from Mokranjac LiturgyRadujtesja pravedniji by Demetrius Bortnjanski and Serb by Isidor Bajic.
Concert in Belgrade, was held on 16.09.2014. at City Hall with the same program. In the hall where the choir is a frequent guest, execution of the program passed in a solemn tone worthy of the jubilee year of the great Serbian composers. Performance of the First Belgrade Singing Society was greeted by audience with loud and long applause.