The Full Wiki

More info on Goran Bregović

Goran Bregović: Map


Wikipedia article:

Map showing all locations mentioned on Wikipedia article:

Goran Bregović (born 22 March 1950) is a Yugoslav/Bosnianmarker musician and one of the most internationally known modern composers of the Balkans. He currently lives in Belgrademarker, Serbiamarker, where he came after civil war in ex Yugoslavia had started.

Bregović has composed for such varied artists as Iggy Pop and Cesária Évora. He rose to fame playing guitar with his rock band Bijelo dugme. Among his better known scores are Emir Kusturica’s films (Time of the Gypsies, Arizona Dream, Underground).

Musical Style

Bregović’s compositions, extending Balkan musical inspirations to innovative extremes, draw upon European classicism and Balkan rhythms.

Bregović's music carries both South Slavic and Romani themes and is a fusion of popular music with traditional polyphonic music from the Balkans, tango and brass band.

Although he is a very popular musician in Eastern Europe, Bregović has been accused on several occasions of "stealing" original Romani and folk music of the Balkans and ultimately rewriting and branding it as his own creation.

Early life and career

Bregović was born in Sarajevomarker, Bosnia and Herzegovinamarker (then SFR Yugoslaviamarker). His father was an officer in the Yugoslav People's Army. When his parents divorced he remained living with his mother in Sarajevo.

Goran played violin in a music school. However, deemed untalented, he was thrown out during second grade. His musical education was thus reduced to what his friend taught him until Goran's mother bought him his first guitar in his early teens. Bregović wanted to enroll in a fine arts high school, but his aunt told his mother that it was supposedly full of homosexuals, which precipitated his mother's decision to send him to a technical (traffic) school. As a compromise for not getting his way, she allowed him to grow his hair long. Upon entering high school, Goran joined the school band "Izohipse" where he began on bass guitar. Soon, however, he was kicked out of that school too (this time for misbehaviour - he crashed a school-owned Mercedes-Benz). Bregović then entered grammar school and its school band "Beštije" (again as a bass guitar player). When he was 16, his mother left him and moved to the coast, meaning that other than having a few relatives to rely on, he mostly had to take care of himself. He did that by playing folk music in a kafana in Konjicmarker, working on construction sites, and selling newspapers.

Spotting him at a Beštije gig in 1969, Željko Bebek invited 18-year-old Bregović to play bass guitar in his band Kodeksi, which Goran gladly accepted.

Eventually, Kodeksi shifted setup so Goran moved from bass to lead guitar, resulting in Kodeksi having the following line-up during summer 1970: Goran Bregović, Željko Bebek, Zoran Redžić and Milić Vukašinović. All of them would eventually become members of Bijelo dugme at some point in the future. At the time, they were largely influenced by Led Zeppelin and Black Sabbath. During the fall of 1970, this resulted in departure of Željko Bebek, who (both as rhythm guitar player and singer) got phased out of the band. At the end of the year, Goran's mother and Zoran's brother arrived to Naplesmarker and took them back to Sarajevomarker.

Then in the autumn of 1971, Goran entered university and decided to study philosophy and sociology. He soon quit, however. At the same time, Milić Vukašinović left for Londonmarker, so Goran and Zoran started playing in a band named Jutro ("Morning"). In the next few years, the band changed lineups frequently, and on 1 January 1974 changed its name to Bijelo dugme ("White Button").

Bijelo dugme

Bregović played lead guitar and composed most of the music for the rock group Bijelo dugme (White Button). They were one of the most popular bands in SFR Yugoslaviamarker right from their arrival on the scene in 1974 until their folding in 1989.

After Bijelo dugme

At the time Bijelo dugme was falling apart, Goran entered the world of film music. His first project was Emir Kusturica's Time of the Gypsies (1989). This turned out to be a great success (both the film and the music from it). Goran and Emir's collaboration continued, and Goran composed music (which was performed by Iggy Pop) for Emir's next film Arizona Dream (1993).During a war in Bosnia And Herzegovina Goran lived in Paris but he also lived in Belgrade. His next major project, music for Patrice Chéreau's Queen Margot was again a great success, and the film won two awards on the 1994 Cannes Film Festivalmarker. Next year's Golden Palmwent to Underground, for which Goran Bregović composed the music.

In 1997, he worked with Turkish singer Sezen Aksu on her album Düğün ve Cenaze. After that album, he continued making composite albums with other musicians that were based on his music and singers' lyrics.

He made an album with George Dalaras in 1999 named Thessaloniki - Yannena with Two Canvas Shoes. In the same year, Bregović recorded an album called Kayah i Bregović (Kayah and Bregović) with popular Polishmarker singer Kayah which sold over 650,000 copies in Polandmarker (six times platinum record).

In 2001, he recorded another album with another Polish singer, Krzysztof Krawczyk, titled "Daj mi drugie życie" ("Give Me Second Life").

In 2005, Bregović took part in three large farewell concerts of Bijelo dugme.

A number of works by Bregović can be heard on the soundtrack to the 2006 film Borat: Cultural Learnings of America for Make Benefit Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan, most notably "Đurđevdan." The film itself actually features more Bregović samples than the soundtrack.

Weddings and Funerals Orchestra

Bregović performs with a large ensemble of musicians. A brass band, bagpipes, a string ensemble, a tuxedo-clad all-male choir from Belgrademarker, and traditional Bulgarianmarker and Roma singers make up his 40-piece band and orchestra.

Since 1998, Bregović has been performing his music mainly in the form of concerts all over the world with his Weddings and Funerals Orchestra. This consists of 10 people (in the small version) or 37 (in the large version, although at some instances this number will be different, depending on participants from the host country).

The small orchestra consists of Alen Ademović (vocals, drums), Bokan Stanković (first trumpet), Dalibor Lukić (second trumpet), Stojan Dimov (sax, clarinet), Aleksandar Rajković (first trombone, glockenspiel), Miloš Mihajlović (second trombone), Dejan Manigodić (tuba) and Goran himself. The uniqueness of the orchestra comes from the voices of the Bulgarian singers Daniela Radkova-Aleksandrova and Ludmila Radkova-Traikova. The large orchestra usually has singers from the Belgrade Orthodox male choir, string performers from Poland, or from the country in which they perform, as well as other local performers.


In 1993, Bregović married his long-time girlfriend Dženana Sudžuka. The wedding ceremony held in Parismarker featured film director Emir Kusturica as the groom's best man and longtime Bijelo dugme backing vocal Amila Sulejmanović as the bride's maid of honour.

The couple has three daughters: Ema (born in March 1995), Una (February 2002) and Lulu (May 2004).

Bregović owns real-estate properties all over the world, but spends most of his time between Belgrademarker, where most of his musical collaborators reside, and Parismarker, where his spouse lives with their three daughters.

He also has a daughter named Željka (born out of wedlock from a previous relationship) who gave birth to Goran's grand daughter, Bianca. He has a brother named Predrag who lives in New York Citymarker and sister Dajana who lives in Splitmarker.

On 12 June 2008, Bregović injured his spine in a fall from a tree. He fell four meters from a cherry tree in the garden of his home in Senjak, a Belgrademarker district, breaking vertebrae. However, according to the doctors, his condition was "stable without neurological complications." After surgery, he made a quick recovery and on 8 July and 9 July, he held two big concerts in New York City, where for more than two hours each night, he proved his performance skills had not suffered from the accident.

Bregović prefers to avoid delving into politics. "Yugoslavia is the intersection of so many worlds: Orthodox, Catholic, Muslim," says Bregović. "With music, I don't have to represent anyone except myself -- because I speak the first language of the world, the one everyone understands: music."

List of film scores

List of solo and movie soundtrack albums


  1. Lincoln Center Festival website
  2. Balkan musician Bregovic 'injures spine in tree fall', AFP, June 12, 2008
  3. Goran Bregovic plays in New York
  4. Goran Bregovic to perform at PlayhouseSquare

External links

Embed code:

Got something to say? Make a comment.
Your name
Your email address