Musical beginnings of Gianni Rijavec go back many years. He does not really remember his first steps in music already in the years before primary school. His mother enrolled him to music school when he did not even know how to write so his schoolmates wrote for him. He comes from a musical-educational family and royal art is virtually in his blood. Apart from classical music he was very early attracted to pop music as well. Together with his friends he formed a vocal quartet Big Ben singing spiritual and folk music and the works of classical music composers. Later on, a pop music group Big Ben emerged out of this quartet.
That's how the rise to the stars was launched!
With Big Ben
he released 10 CDs
and just as many cassettes. Gianni Rijavec is the author of most of the band's songs
. With the vocal quartet Big Ben he recorded one CD and two cassettes. Many tours followed, pop music festivals and TV shows at home as well as abroad.
The ensemble and the quartet Big Ben took Slovene music all over the world. Among the most important tours are: Australia, Canada, the USA, Russia, Sweden, Germany, Austria, Italy, Spain, former Yugoslavia …
Among the most important appearances is the singing of the vocal quartet Big Ben is a reception held by Pope John Paul II in the Vatican City and the concert of the quartet at the admission of Slovenia to the Council of Europe.
In 1995 Gianni decided to go on his own. He was drawn by television and so he became a host of many entertaining TV shows.
His first solo CD
and cassette came out in 1996 with the title “Najlepše balade” (“The most beautiful ballads”). Two years later a new CD and cassette followed on which there are many duets and which has a significant title “Sentimenti” (“Sentiments”). Such is also the musician's nature – sentimental and therefore some people say that he is an everlasting romantic.
All the way his music is intertwined by the choral music. His family gave him the sense of beauty of the vocal–choral music. He was loyal to it and has been a conductor of the mixed choir since 1997. At times he also writes choral compositions.
The year 1999 was a turning point for the musician. He was a guest at the international pop music festival FORTE 99 in Sarajevo
. He represented Slovenia. The encounter with the mine victims impressed him. He wrote the song “The White Dove” - the international anthem of peace
. He got the idea from the former US president Mr. Bill Clinton, who spoke about Dr. Prešeren's “Zdravljica” on the main square in Ljubljana as of the poem which should unite all nations in Europe.
Gianni invited some singers from Europe and the USA to join him. The European Band Aid was formed (Toto Cutugno - Italy, Fernando Pereira - Portugal, Helena Vondračkova – Czech Republic, Petar Grašo - Croatia, Alexis - Germany, Waterloo & Robinson - Austria, The Platters – the USA, Gianni Rijavec - Slovenia), who sings the song “The White Dove”.
The song is made up of two verses of “Zdravljica” and the refrain, which was written by Gianni.
Together with his adherents he established the international music-peace foundation “The White Dove”
, whose first and principal goal is to spread the idea of peace in the world.
Gianni Rijavec was personally welcomed by Pope John Paul II in the Vatican City and by the leader of Tibetan Buddhists the Dalai Lama in India. He gave them each a porcelain white dove – a symbol of the international music-peace foundation and the project “The White Dove”. We should also mention Gianni’s solo concert in the Vatican City (13th December 2002) for the Vatican diplomatic assembly.
Gianni Rijavec – more photos in the photo gallery
Photo by Jani Batič
Gianni tries to spread the idea of peace in the world through music.
MUSIC ADDRESSES A PERSON FASTER AND DEEPER THAN A SPOKEN WORD!