Slavko Avsenik, Slovene composer and musician, Died at 85


Slavko Avsenik was born on November 26, 1929, and died on July 2, 2015.

He was a Slovene composer and musician.

Beginning in 1953 with the formation of the Avsenik Brothers Ensemble, Slavko produced more than 1,000 songs and enjoyed success both in Slovenia and in other parts of Europe and America, and is viewed as a Slovenian cultural icon.

Over forty years, the Avsenik Ensemble’s original “Oberkrainer” sound became the primary vehicle of ethnic musical expression for Austria, Croatia, Germany, Slovenia, Switzerland, northern Italy and the Benelux countries, spawning hundreds of Alpine orchestras in the process.

The Ensemble, known as “Ansambel bratov Avsenik” or “Slavko Avsenik und seine Original Oberkrainer” has performed before millions, including heads of state, on radio and television, and in thousands of concerts.

Selling about 12 million records, Slavko has earned thirty-one Gold, two Diamond, and one Platinum record.

The “Johann Strauss of the twentieth century,” Slavko Avsenik collaborated with his brother, Vilko, to produce nearly 1000 original compositions and an integral part of the Cleveland-Style legacy.

The Avsenik saga began in 1953 with a band formed in Slovenia, broadcast on the Slovene Hour from Austria, and dubbed the “Musicians of the Oberkrain” by a Vienna disc jockey.

Growing in popularity, they soon began appearing in broadcasts, movies, and concerts in West Germany.

Slavko Avsenik passed away at age 85 in December 2015.