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Elan Vitae


  • J Bristol


“How you are perpetuating yourself in life will come back to you sooner or later” - Dino Zonic

As he led his squadron of 35 men through the war-torn streets of Bosnia in the early 1990s, after years of fighting, but nothing changing, Dino Zonic knew it was time to put down his rifle and pick up his conducting baton.

Already an educated musician and conductor, Dino fled to Croatia where he began to heal from the invisible wounds of war.  It was his own healing journey that set him on the path of creating the changes through music that were never accomplished on the battlefield.  “Being creative, unloading such a heavy sediment - helped me to heal my soul, and become a stronger, better man than I was before.”, Dino says.

The first production that emerged from this internal recovery, ultimately named Circle, became a new sort of uprising  - one of human capacity and human goodness.  Its initial run filled all two thousand seats of a Croatian concert hall seven times before going on to be performed across Europe and eventually making it’s way to Broadway in New York City.

This highly acclaimed majestic musical, conceived through the example of his squadron - an unlikely brotherhood of Orthodox Jews, Christians, and Muslims who, together, cared for each other, families, neighbors, children and elders through horrific war-time conditions, became a musical expression of unity that bridged cultural, national, and religious divides to foster hope and harmony in all parts of the world. 

In 2006, Dino was recognized for his contribution to uniting the world through music and joined the likes of Muhammad Ali, Robert Redford, Angelina Jolie and Jessica Biel as a recipient of the Golden Karma Award.  He continues to carry that torch into what he creates today and plans to create for tomorrow.  He also serves as a cultural ambassador of Bosnia and Herzegovina, leading musical collaborations around the globe. 

His subsequent list of collaborations and creative leadership include a Youth Symphony Program for at-risk youth in Compton, CA, a US tour for girls choir “Little Stars” from Zagreb, Croatia, and most recently, a symphonic poem “Fatima”, composed to commemorate the 25th Anniversary of the Srebrenica Genocide and named for its youngest victim who was born and lost her life on the same day.

But when sitting across from Dino Zonic, it’s not the trauma or even the accolades that capture your attention.  The pain that was once behind his eyes and fueled his creativity has long since fallen into the background and it’s a giddy grin that takes over his face now as he begins to talk about unity, beauty, and how music connects us all.  There is an innate hopefulness that radiates from the being sitting across from me.  His presence is strong and his commitment to sharing his gifts for the betterment of humanity, unwavering.

It is from this place, from this deep connection to purpose, and commitment to making an impactful contribution to humanity, that Dino is writing A New World Rhapsody.  This project includes a vision of 195 countries around the globe contributing 3-5 musicians each to create a wave of resonance so vast it will shift our capacity for peace and unity to a new standard.  

Harkening the days of music when creators were competing for how to describe the emotion of love and how to appreciate beauty, this projects seeks to remind each of us of our highest capacity for love.  Stay tuned for new announcements about A New World Rhapsody coming soon.

In the mean time, catch my full interview with Maestro Dino Zonic below. In it, you'll hear his first-hand account of the key moments that sealed his creative destiny, the subtleties of energy and frequency that underlie his writing, and how he will honor his purpose in 2021 and beyond.


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