Born: September 17th, 1925, Zagreb (Kingdom of Serbs, Croats, and Slovenians; nowadays Croatia)
Died: May 29th, 2014, Zagreb (Croatia)
Miljenko Prohaska studied the double-bass at secondary music school, graduating in 1951; after that, he got himself a licence in music teaching at the Zagreb Conservatory (1956). From the 1950s until his retirement as an active musician in 1989, Prohaska played contrabass in many different orchestras and bands, including, most notably, the Radio Zagreb Symphony Orchestra and the Zagreb Philharmonic Orchestra. In the 1960s, he started working as a composer and arranger in the jazz and light entertainment industry. Prohaska penned arrangements for well-known Yugoslavian pop stars and composed the music to fifteen movies, as well as to many TV and theatre shows. Between 1967 and 1969, he was the musical director of the then highly popular Zagrebfest, a light entertainment song contest. He won several prizes for his work, including the 1968 Golden Arena for best film music and two different awards for his oeuvre as a whole (in 1988 and 1995). During two spells (1967-’68; 1988-’90), Prohaska served as the president of the Croatian Composers’ Society (HDS).
Miljenko Prohaska was involved as a conductor in the Eurovision Song Contest on five occasions. He made his debut on the Eurovision stage in 1963, when he led the orchestra in London for Vice Vukov, the Yugoslav representative; Prohaska made further appearances with other Croats who represented Yugoslavia: Dubrovački Trubaduri (1968), Ivan (1969), and Krunoslav Slabinac (1971). ‘Jedan dan’, the 1968 entry, went on to become a hit record in several Western European countries. In 1994, after an absence of no fewer than twenty-three years, Prohaska returned to the Eurovision Song Contest, conducting the second-ever Croatian entry, ‘Nek’ti bude ljubav sva’, performed by Toni Cetinski.
In due course, a more extensive biography of Miljenko Prohaska will be published on this website
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