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Goran Bregović

The Bosnian musician and composer Goran Bregović emerged out of the Eastern European rock milieu to become an important orchestral and film composer. Born in Sarajevo in the 1950s, Bregović was thrown out of music school, where he played violin, after second grade. He was sent to a technical high school and joined the school’s band, Izohipse, on bass guitar. He was expelled for bad behavior and joined the band at his next school, Bestije. When he was sixteen, Bregović’s mother left him to fend for himself, which he did by performing folk music and working odd jobs. In 1969, Bregović was invited to join Kodeksi by the band’s lead vocalist, Željko Bebek. By the fall of 1970 he had been phased out of the band and enrolled at the University of Sarajevo in 1971, where he joined Jutro. The group changed its name to Bijelo Dugme and, from 1974 until 1989, Bregović was a primary creative force and lead guitarist through all nine albums of the seminal Yugoslav rock band. As the band began to fall apart, Bregović focused on film composing. Despite having scored one film in 1978, Bregović’s professional relationship with director Emir Kusturica ignited his composing career. He lived in Paris for a period during the Bosnian crisis in the 1990s, where he continued his composing work and collaborated with artists across Eastern Europe. From 1998 through the 2010s, he performed across the globe with his Weddings and Funerals Orchestra.