Wednesday, 19 February 2014

In memoriam STJEPAN MIHALJINEC (1935-2014) (

On February 13th, 2014, Stjepan Mihaljinec passed away, aged 78. He conducted the Yugoslavian entry to the 1990 Eurovision Song Contest held in Mihaljinec's native Zagreb. The song, 'Hajde da ludujemo' performed by Tajči, finished seventh amongst twenty-two competitors.

Pianist, composer, and arranger Stjepan Mihaljinec graduated from the Zagreb Music Academy in 1963. For years, he worked for RTV Zagreb, writing music for television and radio programmes. He composed over 200 songs, interpreted by artists such as Ivo Robić, Vice Vukov, Mišo Kovač, and Đani Maršan. As an arranger, he also worked with Krunoslav Slabinac. He conducted in many editions of the Split Festival and performed with international stars such as Domenico Modugno, Sergio Endrigo, and Johnny Logan.

Stjepan Mihaljinec conducted many songs in the Yugoslavian and Croatian Eurovision preselections, the last time being in 2001. As a conductor, he represented Yugoslavia in the international festival once, in 1990, with ‘Hajde da ludujemo’. The entry was composed by Zrinko Tutić, arranged by Nikša Bratoš, and performed by the group Tajči. Mihaljinec rewrote the studio arrangement into an orchestration suitable for a live performance. In the festival in Zagreb, 'Hajde da ludujemo' finished seventh.

More information about Stjepan Mihaljinec and all other conductors of the Eurovision Song Contest can be found on, home of All Conductors of Eurovision.

Wednesday, 5 February 2014


The biography of Danish trumpet player, arranger, and kapellmeister Helmer Olesen has recently been published online @ 


Helmer Olesen (1934-1997) started his career in music as a vibraphonist and trumpeter, playing in different dance bands and going on a world tour with Bob Azzam’s orchestra, which scored a huge European hit in 1960 with 'Ya, Mustapha'. In the 1960s, he returned to Denmark and became a much sought-after studio musician and arranger. Olesen arranged almost all of the hit successes by Johnny Reimar and Birthe Kjaer in the 1970s, whilst he also teamed up with Otto Brandenburg, Peter Belli, and American gospel legend Clara Ward. Until his untimely death, Olesen led his own big band which played in Copenhagen's Tivoli Park each summer season.

Helmer Olesen arranged and conducted the 1978 Danish entry, ‘Boom boom’ by boy band Mabel, which finished 16th in the Eurovision Song Contest in Paris. It was the first Danish participation since 1966.

Find out much more about Helmer Olesen's career and Eurovision involvement by clicking