Rad o Koncertnoj dvorani Vatroslava Lisinskog predstavlja koncepcijski novum u istraživanju kulturnih ustanova u Hrvatskoj budući da se Dvorana ne shvaća isključivo kao glazbena lokacija već kao složena organizacija koju oblikuju prostorna rješenja, društvene prakse, kulturne politike, ljudska iskustva, upravljačke smjernice i specifični nepisani uzusi. Cilj rada bio je istražiti programsko-prostorne aspekte i društvenu ulogu Lisinskog od idejnih začetaka do danas pri čemu su korištene metode analiziranja arhivske i medijske građe te terensko istraživanje na „domaćem terenu“, odnosno radnoj lokaciji istraživačice u kojoj je autoričina autoantropološka pozicija sudionika-insajdera (istraživača) i sudionika-svjedoka (sugovornika) omogućila sveobuhvatnije zahvaćanje istraživačke teme. Uvodna poglavlja pojašnjavaju društvene prilike, odnosno postojeću infrastrukturu koncertnog života Zagreba koja je prethodila budućoj Dvorani, kronološki je popraćena izgradnja Lisinskog, odabir imena i svečano otvorenje, a gusto ispisanim etnografskim opisom prolazi se po njezinim prostorima, pojašnjava njihova funkcionalnost i prakse koje se ondje odvijaju, ali i odnos priredbi prema prostorima Dvorane. Rad daje uvid u uzuse poslovanja, produkcijske uvjete i proces realizacije priredbi. Izvedbe u Lisinskom razložene su ovisno o načinu korištenja prostora, pri čemu se posebna pozornost posvećuje priredbama koje koriste mnogostruke aspekte prostornosti. Društvena uloga Lisinskog propituje više aspekata: poticaj Dvorane umjetničkom stvaralaštvu hrvatskih autora, njezinu ekskluzivnost i istovremenu dostupnost svim društvenim slojevima te Lisinski kao brend. Polivalentnost prostora, odlična akustika i programska koncepcija, Lisinskom nije omogućila samo daljnji razvitak i širenje glazbene kulture, već je Dvorana postala trajna vrijednost za hrvatsku kulturu.
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Vatroslav Lisinski Concert Hall is one of the most significant national cultural institutions. It has been the centre of musical and cultural life in Zagreb and Croatia for more than 45 years. This PhD study represents conceptual novelty in the research of cultural institutions in Croatia since the Hall is not perceived exclusively as a musical location but as a complex organization formed by spatial solutions, social practices, cultural politicies, human experiences, management guidance and specific unwritten codes of conduct. Main goal of the thesis was to explain programme and spatial aspects, and social role of Lisinski from inception until today using data analysis methods in archival and media research, and fieldwork on a „home field“, i. e. within a working place of the researcher; auto-ethnographic position of participant-observer and participant-informant enabled a more comprehensive examination of the subject. Alongside the existing publications and relevant articles about the Lisinski Hall, this thesis provides historical overview of the concert venues in Zagreb in comparison to the development of musical life in former Yugoslavia and other countries (chapter 3). Building on the existing literature and especially archival sources, the thesis also chronologically traces the process of the building's construction, from the initial concept and the selection of the location, through the “Conceptual Design Competition” for the Croatian Heritage Foundation in 1957, to the choosing of the Hall’s name and the two-day gala opening on December 29 and 30, 1973 (chapter 4). Thick ethnographic description allows the reader to walk through the Hall spaces and to observe their interior decorated with many art works such as sculptures, busts, tapestries, wall inlaids made of wood and aluminium, etc. (chapter 5). It also allows to gain insights into the organizational structure, business practice, distribution and coordination of work, production conditions and realization of different events, and the relationship with the City of Zagreb as the owner of the Hall (chapter 6). Particular attention is paid to the Concert Management Zagreb, the leading concert organizer and promoter in the Lisinski during the 1970s and 1980s and to its business methods, emphasizing in particular a successful cooperation with the former Soviet Union, German Democratic Republic (DDR) and other countries of the former Eastern, as well as Western Europe and other parts of the world. As for performances taking place in the Hall, it has been used as a space for concerts, multifunctional space, scenery space, and space for screening of (animated) motion pictures and musical-theatrical works, along with the events that combine its different capacities, in particular the Saturday at Lisinski and the Kindergarten on Sunday series. An extensive chapter delineates in detail the various series and individual events belonging to these different categories of performances (chapter 7). The following chapter deals with the social role of the Hall (chapter 8). One aspect pertains to its technical and acoustic capacities which stimulated the creation of new musical and theatrical works; a large number of works had premiere there, and management of the Hall founded award for the best classical music composition of Croatian authors. Following a longlasting discussion about the Hall’s exclusivity versus its promotion of cultural diversity, this research has revealed a constant care for the redistribution of cultural goods to all social classes, the attention given to social and educational components of the programmes, and the endeavour towards democratization of culture, disclosing thus the perception of the Lisinski as a place for high-class people as incorrect. Further on, the Hall has initiated numerous programmes related to humanitarian aid, especially as a response to tragedies and war consequences. It has also continuously stimulated young musicians, providing them concert space and creating special programmes for the youngest audience. In that, it has collaborated with numerous art groups. At the same time, Lisinski is a representative place of power, connected to and dependent on the state and local governments. It is a ceremonial place which has hosted countless events associated with state holidays, politically important dates, commemorative performances and memorial concerts. On the other hand, the following subchapter deals with the Hall as a sort of market-driven place of power, revealing the most popular artists and best sold concerts held in the Hall, and referring to the ongoing public discussions on this issue. Eventually, Lisinski is recognized as a brand; it has become an expression of social power and an agency in forming social relations. In conclusion (chapter 9), the thesis recapitulates how the spatial versatility and excellent acoustics of the Hall have enabled growth and popularization of classical music in the country, high-quality performances, programme diversity, higher production and organizational standards, wider audience of classical music and cultural programmes in general. The Hall is of ultimate importance for the musical and cultural life in Zagreb, as well as for Croatia as a whole. As a result of quality programmes and eminent artists, it has outgrown the city and the state, and has itself become a powerful asset of Croatian culture.