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The Avsenik Brothers Ensemble

Begunje na Gorenjskem is the cradle of a special musical genre: the world renowned 'popular folk music'. Invented by two brothers, Slavko Avsenik and Vilko Ovsenik, it is maintained and imitated by over ten thousand performers today.
Slovene popular folk music night's

Throughout the year, Avsenik’s restaurant organises concerts by the best Slovene popular folk music ensembles. Check the dates on their website.

The Avsenik Brothers Ensemble is considered a unique musical phenomenon, a fact which is mostly to the credit of the brothers, Slavko Avsenik and Vilko Ovsenik. In the village of Begunje, where they were born, they often listened to string bands playing in their family-run inn and grew fond of music.

As well as Vilko and Slavko, the first of Avsenik's ensembles from 1953 comprised a trumpeter, a guitarist, a baritone, and a bass. They added brass band elements to the then-standard string trio, which resulted in the music achieving a completely new and different sound.

Slavko Avsenik's method of playing the piano accordion was equally innovative. The accordion was no longer used merely as an accompaniment, but instead provided the rhythm, while Slavko Avsenik also introduced a new method where the accordion would be shaken so as to intensify the rhythms.

In German-speaking countries, the term Oberkrainer Muzik was chosen to describe popular folk music, and the Avsenik Brothers Ensemble was known as the 'Original Oberkrainer'.

During thirty-seven years of performing at home and abroad, 37 million records were sold, many of which earned golden record status. Their records were sold throughout the world, as the ensemble had achieved international recognition through its music and concerts. The song entitled Trumpet Echoes (1957) is considered one of the most frequently played instrumental tunes in the world and Slavko Avsenik was proclaimed the international king of polka. He is considered by many to be the Johann Strauss of the twentieth century.

Avsenik's music is powerful and original. As many as 600 versions of the Trumpet Echoes polka have been recorded and Avsenik's tunes are played by a variety of performers, ranging from large orchestras to solo performers. The Avsenik Brothers Ensemble has been awarded with thirty-one golden records, two platinum records and one diamond record, and won the recording industry's European Oscar.

The family tradition is upheld by the Avsenik family's younger generation: Savko's grandson Sašo with the Sašo Avsenik Ensemble.

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