As the guitarist for Bijelo Dugme, one of the most famous rock bands Yugoslavia ever produced, Goran Bregović had already written his name in the history of South Slavic pop music, but his career only moved up from there, primarily through his work creating soundtracks for the films of Emir Kusturica. Time of the Gypsies (1988), Arizona Dream (1993) and Underground (1995) all catapulted him to the first echelon of cinematic composers. This makes for a highly diverse oeuvre, and now we will get to hear his most popular songs performed here in Hungary not only with his own band, but also presented in symphonic arrangements with the Budafok Dohnanyi Orchestra.
Bijelo Dugme was Yugoslavia’s most popular rock band, and the vast majority of their songs were written by Bregović right from the start, making him responsible for many of the country’s hits from the ’70s and ’80s. Back then, though, he still hardly suspected that one day he would get the chance to write songs for his heroes and other greats, artists like Iggy Pop, Cesária Évora and Scott Walker. Although he had already written a film score or two during the band’s existence, after they broke up this is the genre he focused on the most, and the music in Time of the Gypsies, directed by Kusturica, immediately boosted his career internationally. Since then, he has recorded dozens of soundtracks, released several joint albums (for example, with Sezen Aksu, George Dalaras and Kayah) in many styles ranging from Balkan and Gypsy music to Greek songs, and with his group Goran Bregović & his Wedding and Funeral Band he has also visited the world’s major concert stages. These include Carnegie Hall, the Royal Albert Hall and, in Paris, the Olympia. At Müpa Budapest, we have been able to watch and hear them six times, with their various projects: Carmen (2007), Alkohol (2009), Margot (2010, 2011) and Sarajevo (2014, 2017). What he is bringing this time is a “best of” show, for which symphonic arrangements have been created for his most popular songs. Here in Hungary, they will be presented with the addition of the Budafok Dohnanyi Orchestra, conducted by Gábor Hollerung.