Exhibition concept: Zrinka Jelčić
Exhibition design: Nikolina Jelavić Mitrović
Poster design: Viola Šebalj
The married pair Rudolf and Margita Matz, two prominent musicians, gave to Zagreb City Museum their flat in Mesnička Street 15 and bequeathed it the whole of their estate. With this generous act they wanted the things they had achieved to be able to encourage future generations and in the shape of a memorial collection to preserve the ambience in which they had lived and worked. This exhibition presents part of the diverse holdings of the Rudolf and Margita Matz Collection, in which there are their instruments, portraits, photographs, diplomas, commendations, posters, commemorative ribbons, sheet music and printed editions of Rudolf Matz’s compositions, as well as archives rich in correspondence and other documentation. It is hoped that the exhibition will encourage their home to be renovated for the Collection to be presented in its original setting and for ancillary events to be arranged.
In the exhibition marking the 115th year of his birth, Rudolf Matz is presented as an all-round musician, of great importance for the musical life of Zagreb in the 20th century and in cello teaching. He was educator, cellist, conductor and composer. In several thematic units, the exhibition tracks his artistic and personal life from his musical beginnings, taking in his prowess as an athlete and his contributions to chamber music playing, as well as his greatly admired educational work, which earned him world renown and calls to join the juries in the most important cello competitions. The Matz method of cello teaching, as exemplified in his major work First Years of the Violoncello assured him great respect in cello circles. He also made a major contribution to the development of music therapy.
Rudolf Matz, photo Gjuro Reputin, ca 1943 Rudolf Matz, ca 1960
Rudolf Matz directing the Zagreb Youth Chamber Orchestra at a concert marking the 40th anniversary of his work, on June 8, 1960
Rudolf Matz teaching at a chamber music kruzhok in Bayreuth, 1963
Also emphasised is the part he played in the promotion of choral singing and his dedicated work in important events and occurrences in the arts at home and abroad. Matz’s composing work, mostly inspired by folk music, is illustrated by important concerts and works from his oeuvre.
Witty and sociable, he was much liked by students, and the Matz home was a cult place in the musical and intellectual life of Zagreb.
There are many written traces of Matz’s equable family life with his wife Margita, a piano teacher and harpsichordist, who was in danger because of her Jewish descent during World War II, as a result of which the couple moved out of the public eye during that time.
When their flat is put into suitable order and the memorial collection is opened, the artistic personality of Matz will be presented in its authentic environment. And so his bequest will remain current, an important part of the Croatian music heritage, and the intention of his bequest will be fulfilled.
Pictures from the exhibition
photo Miljenko Gregl, ZCM