The core of the ensemble are two quintets: the string quintet and the wind quintet. Both instrumental ensembles have been together almost from the very beginning. This ensemble has performed and has given first performances of the greatest number of works, both by Croatian and foreign composers.

For many years a large number of Zagreb ensembles filled a years-long gap between two Music Biennales Zagreb (MBZ) in their own ways - by giving individual performances and occasionally also by giving first performances of works by Croatian composers. This was also the reason why it was necessary to found, over and over again, a resident ensemble of a flexible and non-standard line-up that could comply with the heterogeneity of scores and the peculiarities of composers' demands. An unconventional instrumental ensemble could not be created out of the existing ensembles, hence in 2001 Berislav Šipuš, who was at the time the artistic director of the MBZ, chose the most prominent Croatian musicians and with the support of MBZ's General director, Ivo Josipović, founded Croatia's first permanent esnemble for contemporary music - Cantus Ensemble.The success of the ensemble at the MBZ 2011, with a cycle of four concerts day after day, presenting ten first performances (24-27 April) was met with a powerful response, such that their parent organization, the Croatian Composers' Society, has decided to support the ensemble as its long-term project. Having filled out a decades-long void reserved for performances of the extinct production of contemporary music that included work on new compositions and their promotion, i.e. the interpretation of the compositional heritage of the last century (mainly from the 1950s onward), the Cantus Ensemble established its own place and became a representative participant on the Croatian contemporary music scene. It has now become a usual practice for Croatian composers to dedicate their new compositions to the ensemble directly, not only by means of expected commissions.

Year of foundation
Instrument types
Brass, Keyboard, Percussion, Strings (bow), Strings (plucked), Woodwinds
Ivan Novinc, concert-master
Mislav Pavlin, violin
Tvrtko Pavlin, viola
Jasen Chelfi, cello
Nikša Bobetko, double bass
Mirjana Krišković, harp
Dani Bošnjak, flute
Branko Mihanović, oboe, English horn
Danijel Martinović, clarinets
Ricardo Luque Perdomo, bassoon
Bánk Harkay, horn
Vedran Kocelj, trumpet
Mario Šincek, trombone
Srebrenka Poljak, piano
Marko Mihajlović, percussion
Artistic director
Berislav Šipuš
Street Address
Petra Berislavića 9
Landline phone(s)
+385 (01) 4872-370, +385 (01) 4872-369