The Slovenia Times

Oberkrainer Polka Pioneer Slavko Avsenik Laid to Rest


The official ceremonies started with mass given Bishop Anton Jamnik in the Begunje parish church and will be followed by a ceremony in front of the historic Avsenik family home.

Slavko Avsenik will be buried with military honours in a small cemetery near his home.

Also attending the mourning ceremonies was President Borut Pahor, who is due to address the event in front of the Avsenik house, a 150-year old tavern in the centre of the village.

Other top officials have expressed their condolences, with Prime Minister Miro Cerar stopping in Begunje before leaving for the eurozone summit in Brussels later today.

Avsenik died last week at the age of 85. He is the creator of Oberkrainer music, a distinctive polka, very popular in central Europe and among European expats in the Americas and Australia.

The band he started with his brother Vilko in 1953 sold more than 30 million records across the world and recorded some 670 songs.

The Avsenik brothers produced more than 1,000 songs and their band played in front of millions of fans at thousands of concerts.

One of their first songs, a polka entitled "Na golici" (Trompetenecho in German, Trumpet Echo in English), is believed to be the most often played instrumental song in the world and has become an iconic piece of Slovenian music.


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