Life and works
Mladen Bašić studied piano, conducting and composition in the Zagreb Conservatory. His music career began in 1940, first as a répétiteur and since 1945 as conductor of the Opera of the Croatian National Theatre in Zagreb (from 1955 to 1958 he was also opera director). In 1959 he was invited as Opera Director by the Salzburger Landestheater in Salzburg and a year later he was employed as main conductor of the Mozarteum Orchestra of Salzburg. From 1962 to 1972 he was permanent invited conductor in the prestigious Gran Teatre del Liceu of Barcelona. In 1967 and 1968 Bašic was appointed as main conductor of the Frankfurt Opera. From 1968 to 1970 he worked again in his country, this time as music director of the summer festival „Splitsko ljeto" and as opera director of the Croatian National Theatre in Split. From 1970 to 1978 he was permanent director and programming supervisor of the Zagreb Philharmonic Orchestra, where he had a successful cooperation with the main conductor of that time, Lovro von Matačić. In 1978 he was invited to Mainz, where he worked until 1990 as music general manager.
As a conductor Mladen Bašić performed in many European concert halls. His accurate scores selection and quite accurate preparation of each performance made that his music performances were always more refined and richer in content. He had also an special recognition in his country because of his premieres of many works of Croat contemporary composers, such as the premiere of Boris Papandopulo's dramatic oratorio Marulova pisan. He also received a lot of recognition for the first performances in his country of the best known works of Maurice Ravel, Benjamin Britten, Sergei Prokofiev, Igor Stravinski, Florent Schmitt and Béla Bartók.
- In 1997 Mladen Bašić received the Vladimir Nazor award, which is given by the Croatian Ministry of Culture, as an acknowledgement of his professional career.
- In 1998 he received the Tito Strozzi prize from the Croatian National Theatre of Zagreb for the performance of Benjamin Britten's opera The Rape of Lucretia.
- In 2006 he received the "Lovro von Matačić" prize, which is given by the Croat Association of Academical Musicians (in Croatian: HDGU), as an acknowledgement of his music career.
- Kovačević, Krešimir: „Bašić, Mladen". In: Kovačević, K. (Ed.), Muzička enciklopedija, Zagreb: JLZ, 1971, Volume 1, p. 149. (In Croatian).
- Požgaj, Višnja: „Karijera ostvarenih želja". In: Šeput, L. & Jelača, M. (Ed.), Vijenac, Zagreb: Matica hrvatska, 2006, Nr. 312. (In Croatian).
- Umro poznati dirigent Mladen Bašić, dalje.com, 22 November 2012, (in Croatian)