Martin Glavaš, Pula, 1923-2011

Martin Glavaš Martin Glavaš in the workshop working on a lathe. From the private collection of Zdenko Glavaš.

The role of Martin Glavaš with the resurgence of traditional Istrian music in the 1960s was invaluable. Still today most of the musicians play on instruments made by Glavaš. He was born in the village of Bičići in the Barban area in a family of good players and singers. In the fifties, he moved to Pula and was employed in the Uljanik shipyard. In 1970 he made his first sopela and at retirement, two years later, he started to build them constantly. He made all the Istrian wind instruments of the older tradition. Unlike most other makers, he didn’t inherit the craft from his father, so he began to make the sopele, the instrument he knew the least, imitating the works of other masters, especially Miro Blažina Pikutar. In time, he perfected his craft and obtained premium quality. As a very good player he played many times at home and abroad, and especially noteworthy is his cooperation in the jazz project by Bosko Petrovic Istria in my heart. Of a peaceful nature, but creatively restless, he was constantly looking for possible qualitative progress and was keen on experiments in the making of traditional instruments. He became a legend already during his life.