Establishment of the first art school in Albania

In the memory of the prominent conductor Milto Vako who passed away today

(Jordan Misja Art High School)

The efforts to create a system of artistic musical education have started in Albania since early, through the activity of various artistic associations, in the main cities of the country and mainly the Franciscan priests of Shkodra. These efforts had a turning point with the opening of the  Normale of Elbasan (1909), then; The “Nena Mbretneshe” Institute in Tirana (1933), and the School of Music at Radio Tirana – (1938), in which Italian musicians in music classes did a professional musical didactic work.

After the World War II and the establishment of communist regime, realizing the importance of art, it arose the need to establish an artistic high school. For its establishment, all the pedagogical forces in the country gathered, which included a number of foreign pedagogues who had remained in Albania from the war period, or others who came as guests. The school included Musical Art (in the theoretical, vocal and instrumental sectors), Figurative Art and Dramatic Art.

As a national high school near the Lyceum of Arts was set up and dormitory in addition to the library and phonoteca.

The first director was appointed the choral conductor Kostandin Trako (in the years 1946 – 1950).

Piano- Tonin Guraziu and Mario Etore (Italian), Carmen Nako (Italian),

Violin – Baldovino (Italian), Ludovik Naraçi

Kanto – Jorgjia Truja and Marie Kraja

Çelo – Celeti (italian)

Viola – Miranova (italian)

Thus, the branch of music relied basically on Italian and generally European school traditions. Only later (1949-51) there were the specialists coming from the Russian school come to give their contribution: Skablov – cello, Utkin – violin and Njizhnjikova – canto)

Year after year the brass instruments were added, the necessary conditions with texts, literature and musical instruments. In 1958, with the arrival of teachers from Bulgaria – Gardev (wooden) and Teodorov (brass), the sector of wind instruments began to be completed. The Czech pianist Topinka also made an outstanding contribution to the piano class.

After 1956, with the return from higher education of the first students from the Soviet Union and other schools of the socialist countries, the didactics of the Eastern schools became decisive. In 1957 the choreographic branch was opened on the basis of our students who had studied in Russia.

In 1962, the Artistic High School was finally placed in the building specially built for it, where it is today, with all the necessary facilities: concert hall, dormitory, etc.

In the 80’s the school would reach the largest number of students and at the same time the highest level of artistic achievement, based on a pedagogical body chosen over the years. Some of the prominent teachers of the time were R. Papavrami, Gj. Lazri, Zh. Ciko, R. Xhoxhi, D. Tartari, P. Skënderi, B. Denisi, T. Truja, A. Dizdari, N. Nako, E. Koço, R. Sokoli, E. Aliaj, S. Sulo, I Gaqi, E Paparisto, I Spahiu etj.

In 1990 the choreography branch was separated from the Aristik High School as a separate school.

The artistic life of this school gradually came to the fore. The girls’ choir with conductor Milto Vako (1959-1973), the Symphony Orchestra with conductor Mustafa Kranten, Rifat Teqjen and Eno Koçon (1977 – 1985), the mixed choir with conductor Zana Turkun, the Strings Ensemble of the Chamber conducted by Didi Tartari, Ensemble “Virtuosos of Tirana” under the direction of Zhani Ciko, 1986-2000) and many prominent concerts such as R. Ripo T. Papavrami, A. Selita, K. Skënderi, M. Sopiqoti, I. Mula, E Laro, K. Sahatçiu, et al.

Nestor Kraja

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