Leading Croatian conductor, facing trial, is dead at 51

Leading Croatian conductor, facing trial, is dead at 51


norman lebrecht

October 12, 2015

Musicians in Croatia are in mourning for Sasa Britvic, an enterprising conductor whose life is reported to have ended under severe financial pressures.

Making his name as conductor of the Ivan Goran Kovacic Academy choir, Britvic founded the Croatian Baroque Ensemble before going into the music business to become director of the Zagreb Concert Management.

But a 2006 tour cancellation by the Rolling Stones, which he apparently failed to insure, left Britvic facing huge costs and a forthcoming trial.

Britvic was a champion of living composers and a successful opera conductor.

photo: Marko Jurinec/Pixsell


  • Neven P. says:

    Norman, I said I would not comment on your site anymore. However, this post touches the new low. You have no idea how difficult life is for the ordinary people in Croatia. It is even harder for musicians and artists since the state support is minimal and private funding non-existent. You are extremely lucky to be living in the UK, just remember that!

    That being said, may God bless the soul of this good man. I had a privilege of meeting him in 2011 at the press announcement of Wagner’s Parsifal. He has never seen me before, but he was extremely gracious and friendly as if he knew me for a long time.

    Sasa Britvic has done a lot of good in his life and will be missed by many. May his soul rest in peace.

  • Harold Lewis says:

    A “new low”? What a strange, and to my mind unjustified, response.

    • John says:

      Agreed. There is nothing negative in Norman’s notice.

    • Neven P. says:

      A good man has died. Do the circumstances have to be mentioned? Dignity and compassion seem to be in short supply these days.

      • Hans-Dieter Glaubke says:

        Mr. Lebrecht is without boundaries within the field of cruelty and decorum. He reminds us steadfastly of predatory journalism.

        • Harold Lewis says:

          So now you know, Norman! I wonder how Herr Glaubke can speak with such authority about “boundaries within the field of cruelty and decorum”.

          • Branimir says:

            Just because it all remains here, for future visitors: the mentioned trial was nothing imminent, old thing and totally irrelevant for tragic death of our dear colleague and great musician Saša Britvić. Also to be mentioned and remembered, he was the co-founder and artistic director of a great festival, Korkyra Baroque in Korčula, the island of Korčula, Croatia. He was also conductor at the Croatian National Theater Opera here in Zagreb, as well as the professor at the Music Academy.

            PS. It will remain a mystery to me how did Mr. Lebrecht of all previous news in Croatian media about culture and music events, also including those relevant for Saša Britvić still alive, picked up exactly this article, just another example of trashy and un/half-informed journalism.