Ivan Padovec – self-taught guitarist of European voice – 1800.

Ivan Padovec – self-taught guitarist of European voice – 1800.

A 10-string guitar was made according to his designs.

Guitarist and composer Ivan Padovec was born in Varaždin on July 17, 1800. As a self-taught man he learned the violin and guitar and at the same time took piano lessons from J. K. Wisner-Morgenstern. He progressed quickly, and soon began to teach guitar and violin. He enrolled in a teacher’s school in Zagreb, but as he gained a reputation as a music teacher, he dropped out of school and devoted himself to guitar and composition.

Padovec founded the Zagreb Sextet, whose concert in 1927 marked the beginning of the activities of the Music Society (today the Croatian Music Institute). In the same year he went on tour to Rijeka, Zadar and Trieste. He then lived in Vienna for ten years, where he had a successful concert career, gaining fame as a guitar virtuoso. Playing guitar he has toured in many European countries (Austria, Germany, Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland, England ().

Due to his deteriorating eyesight, he returned to his native Varaždin. Until 1848, when he became completely blind, he taught, composed, occasionally gave concerts in Varaždin and Zagreb, and constructed guitars. According to his designs, a guitar with 10 strings was made in the workshop of the Viennese instrument builder Staufer (today it is kept in the Zagreb Museum of Arts and Crafts). His oeuvre includes over 200 works, the most numerous of which are those for guitar (original and arrangements). He also wrote the manual Theoretical and Practical School for Guitar.

Ivan Padovec died in 1873 in Varaždin. His funeral was modest, and later worshipers erected a monument to him.

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