Zdenko Runjić

Oct 26, 1942 - Oct 27, 2004(62)

Self-taught master of handcuffs

About the sea, love and seagull.

In the collective memory of the Balkans, there would be no sea, no fish, no seagulls on the rocks, and no stalinada or mandolin without Zdenko Runjić. The well-known composer inspired the popular music scene with his Adriatic motifs. For those unfortunates who remained on the city concrete, his songs bring to mind memories of salt in the hair and summer romances.

Paragraph image 1264

This talented composer achieved his forty-year musical career without formal musical education. Namely, Runjić graduated in electronics in Split. Nevertheless, in his career he successfully composed for the biggest names in Croatian music, some of them being Tereza Kesovija, Mišo Kovač, Josipa Lisac, Ibrica Jusić, Goran Karan, Novi Fosili, Doris Dragović and many others. He wrote more than seven hundred songs, and he had a special collaboration with Oliver Dragojević, with whom he published as many as two hundred compositions.

He said that he did not come from a musical family, but that he was fascinated by the sea from his childhood, which he could not even see from his native Labin. During his elementary schooling, he started playing the mandolin at the KUD "Filip Dević". He said that composing was not his decision. The desire created itself.

One summer evening he was listening to the San Remo final on the radio. That year, Domenico Modugno appeared at the festival with the song "Volare", which delighted Zdenka. At that moment, he also wanted to compose. He decided that he too would compose such amazing songs. And that's how it all started.

He started composing relatively late, and everything he knew about music, he learned on his own by reading textbooks, researching and asking questions. He was an excellent mathematician and believed that mathematics helped him in composing. The first song he sent to the Split festival was called "Ćakule o siromaij".

He wrote the lyrics of his first songs himself, and all of them were about the realistic life of people in Dalmatia and, because of that, they were different from other popular music songs. This was followed by victories at various festivals. His songs were sung by Arsen Dedić and Tereza Kesovija, and the young engineer, for whom music was not in the foreground, rose to fame.

Tributes Wall

Share this Memorial

View Memorial Share via email

Share Memories

Enrich the memorial with you story.

Memory Guardian

Dino Jerković

Remind me

You will receive a memo on new stories and anniversaries.


Life is much more than names and dates written in a stone.

Life is about memorable stories your loved ones left behind. Preserve memories on the most beautiful, secure, and easy-to-use digital memory platform out there.

3000+ Memory Guardians
150+ positive 5.0★ reviews
Ensuring eternity through blockchain
Google Play StoreApple Store
Download mobile app
©2024 Spiritus Memoria. All rights reserved.