With almost 200 recordings to his credit, Anton Nanut was one of the most prolific conductors in the world. Foto: Stane Sršen
With almost 200 recordings to his credit, Anton Nanut was one of the most prolific conductors in the world. Foto: Stane Sršen

Anton Nanut had an extraordinary international career that spanned decades. He conducted more than two hundred orchestras in his conducting career, and recorded almost as many records. He conducted and recorded all of Mahler’s symphonies. He conducted Mahler’s Eighth Symphony three times, and Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony a number of times – at home as well as abroad.

Honorary conductor of the RTV Symphony Orchestra
His colleagues from Koper described Nanut as a conductor "with music in his soul". For 18 years, he was in charge of the RTV Slovenia Symphony Orchestra. Under Nanut’s baton, the RTV Slovenia Symphony Orchestra gave the Slovenian premieres of a number of famous classical works. He continued conducting the RTV Slovenia Symphony Orchestra even after his retirement, and became the orchestra’s honorary conductor in 2002.

In his role as guest conductor, Nanut conducted a number of Italian Orchestras, the Leningrad Philharmonic Orchestra, the Warsaw Philharmonic Orchestra, the Prague Philharmonic Orchestra, the Monterrey Symphony Orchestra, the Vienna Symphony Orchestra, the Budapest Philharmonic Orchestra, and the Buenos Aires Philharmonic Orchestra.

Almost 200 studio recordings
The conductor’s personality came through in his performances, and his legacy survives in almost 200 studio recordings. In 2011, his efforts earned him the prestigious Prešeren Prize for Lifetime Achievement, Slovenia’s top award for artists.

Nanut was also an accomplished pedagogue and cultural worker, and he served as professor of orchestral conducting at the Academy of Music in Ljubljana. He taught a number of successful conductors, among them Stane Jurgec, Marko Gašperšič, Višnja Kajgana, Nikolaj Žličar, Alaksandar Spasič, Marko Vatovec, Stojan Kuret, Marko Letonja, Borut Smrekar, and Andraž Hauptman.

Throughout his career, he promoted the creation of new classical works, especially in Slovenia. Together with the late composer Marjan Gabrijelčič, he founded the “Kogojevi dnevi” festival. Named after the Slovenian expressionist composer Marij Kogoj, the festival aims to promote contemporary Slovenian music.

Nanut was a respected and honorary citizen of Kanal ob Soči, where, at the tender age of 11, he replaced his father as choirmaster and organist after the latter was sent to a concentration camp. He will be laid to rest there on Sunday.

A. K.; translated by D. V.