Croatian prime minister, Croatian composer

Croatia has elected a remarkable man for their prime minister. Ivo Josipovic is an accomplished lawyer (a favored occupation for politicians) who represented Croatia before the International Court of Justice. But he’s something else. Ivo Josipovic is a respected musician and composer. He’s written over fifty works, including music for chamber groups and orchestras. His most famous work, “Samba di Camera” has won prizes in Croatia and Europe.

Of course, Josipovic isn’t the first head of state to write or perform music. Famed pianist and composer Ignacy Jan Paderewski served as Poland’s prime minister in 1919. And Frederic the Great was dabbled in the art as well, as did Queen Elizabeth I, and her father, Henry VIII, to name a few.

Still, there’s something heartening about having a political leader who understands the value of classical music firsthand — and to have one that’s good at it is just an added bonus.

In an interview Josipovic said, “My musical philosophy is based on the idea that art is something nice, something the author, performer and listener should enjoy. I am happiest when I see that the musicians play with enthusiasm, with a smile on their face, and when someone in the audience taps their feet or sways to the rhythm of the music.”

So will any of these compositional tendencies spill over into Josipovic’s administration? One can hope.

Plato said ““Music is a moral law. It gives soul to the universe, wings to the mind, flight to the imagination, and charm and gaiety to life and to everything.”

And who wouldn’t want a leader who had experienced that first-hand?

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