Folk Music Thrives in Slovenia
Hinko Sernc has been practicing Slovenian folk music since before the Great Depression.
December 31, 2014
Matjaz Tancic is a fashion, portrait and 3D photographer who is passionate about life and photography. Born in Ljubljana, he studied in London and is living in Beijing.
Hinko Sernc, 87, is a folk musician. Born in the village of Sveti Areh on north-eastern Slovenia’s Pohorje Massif in 1926, his parents owned a small village restaurant where music was an ever-present feature of birthdays, weddings, anniversaries and other celebrations.
Amateur musicians themselves, they started teaching him to play various instruments when he was four. At six, he took weekly lessons in a village three hours’ walk away, carrying his accordion there and back. In the Second World War, he fought with partisans, always carrying an instrument as well as his gun.
In the seven decades since the war, music has been his life – teaching, performing and organizing groups. For more than 40 years he has played in the Frajhajm Brass Band. In 1995, he was named folk fiddler of the year, and he has long been an instructor at the Šmartno Tambura Orchestra.
Text and photographs by Matjaz Tancic
As well as playing 10 different instruments, Hinko composes folk songs and other pieces for the groups he plays with.
Hinko relaxing with a glass of wine in his home.
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