Zaytz, Giovanni von (real name, Ivan Zajc)

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Zaytz, Giovanni von (real name, Ivan Zajc)

Zaytz, Giovanni von (real name, Ivan Zajc), Croatian composer; b. Fiume, Aug. 3, 1831; d. Zagreb, Dec. 16, 1914. He was trained by his father, a bandmaster in the Austrian army, then at the Milan Cons, with Stefano Ronchetti-Monteviti, Lauro Rossi, and Alberto Mazzucato (1850-55). Returning to Fiume, he conducted the municipal band; then was a theater conductor in Vienna (1862-70). Upon entering professional life, he changed his name to Giovanni von Zaytz. In 1870 he settled in Zagreb; was conductor of the Zagreb Opera (1870-89) and director of the Cons, there (until 1908). He composed about 1,200 works of all descriptions (among them 20 operas), and was the author of the first Croatian national opera, Nikola Subric Zrinski (Zagreb, Nov. 4, 1876). He also wrote several Italian operas, of which Amelia, ossia II Bandito (Fiume, April 14, 1860) enjoyed considerable popularity. Other operas and operettas (all first perf. in Vienna) were Mannschaft an Bord (Dec. 15, 1863), Fitzliputzli (Nov. 5, 1864), Die Lazzaroni vom Stanzel (May 4, 1865), Die Hexe von Boissy (April 24, 1866), Nachtschwärmer (Nov. 10, 1866), Das Rendezvous in der Schweiz (April 3,1867), Das Gaugericht (Sept. 14, 1867), Nach Mekka (Jan. 11, 1868), Somnámbula (Jan. 21, 1868), Schützen von Einst und Jetzt (July 25, 1868), Meister Puff (May 22, 1869), and Der gefangene Amor (Sept. 12, 1874). In addition, he wrote incidental music for 22 plays, 60 cantatas, 250 choral works, sacred and secular, 40 overtures, symphonic poems, more than 200 songs, chamber music, and numerous piano pieces.


A. Goglia, I. Z. (Zagreb, 1932); H. Pettan, I. Z. (Zagreb, 1971).

—Nicholas Slonimsky/Laura Kuhn/Dennis McIntire