And his idea of Center of Excellence

Murtidjono, an artist with creative idea, since 1981 is the Director of Taman Budaya Surakarta T.B.S, Surakarta Cultural Center, an official professional position directly involved in the fields of art and culture which to some extent matched with his call of life.
The graduate of philosophical Sciences of Gajah Mada University, Yogyakarta is also a famous artist in various fields of art. For 10 years, he was a guitarist, who always accompanied the poetry reading of popular poet Umbulandu Paringgi. He learned to paint from Pak Mitro, his high school teacher, an elder brother of the well-known painter of Yogyakarta , Saptohudoyo.
He has produced some paintings and sketches until 1982.
Murtidjono is also known as a poet and columnist. So far he had written two books of poetry "Umpatan Tuyul" "Curse of Tuyul" (Tuyul a spirit in the form of a small boy, assigned by the owner to steal) and "Kaca Buram" " Unclear mirror".
To improve his knowledge of art management, in 1992, he studied art management with subject of Social and Cultural Research in Monash University, Australia, and in 1993 for Teather Technical Production in Banff Art Center and Education Canada. Murtidjono started to study with determination Javanese art in 1976 in Solo. He began with gamelan, Javanese traditional music and letter on, He chose to be "penggiring swara" singer accompanied by gamelan a hobby he is involved with since 1986 up to now. He is delighted to take part in some exclusive performances. His teacher in this subject is the famous guru of Surakarta Royal Palace, Mr. Tarman.
He has joined also the Javanese art activities in Sasono Mulyo, Baluwarti, Surakarta Royal Palace under the Coordinator of the late Gendon Humardani.

T.B.S Surakarta Cultural Center is a place to organize all kinds of art activities. It assigned by the Government to facilitiate art performances in the region. In 198o's, the government built a cultural center in every province of the country, with the purpose to cover art performances, in an effort to help develop the "booming" Culture.
Wether our art is booming, it is a big question mark for Murtidjono. For him, culture is a tool to improve the value of mankind, so that our children and descendants shall live in a better condition.
The appreciation of art is entirely in the hands of society. His long years of experience in his field, based on direct involvement, so he dares draw a conclusion that condition of our art is sick nowadays, he is very much concern.
We have to improve this conditions , the sooner the better. Time has changed, we can not always ask support from the government. Up to now, within his authority, as Director of T.B.S., with limited budget, he welcomes all parties who whish to perform arts. T.B.S. gives the facilities free of charge including the stage, building, electricity, lighting, instruments etc. needed to stage art performance, even revenues from ticket sales are entirely for the artists. The art foundation has to take care of the cost of production and the show. But reglecfully, with this kind of facilities offered, the artists are still facing difficulties, revenue of the show can not cope the expenses! This kind of situation discourage many art foundations, as well as some artists.


Murtidjono is of the opinion that to put back the glory of javanese art in Solo needs a hardwork, it is a challenge from all art lovers. He has a genuine idea to establish a Center of Excellence with members consist of individuals who have money, who care of anykind of traditional art. It's a fact that art development urgently needs financial donators, as aid from government are very limited.
The members of the center, let say would have a monthly discussion of art, during a dinner where they can enjoy gamelan music or javanese classical dance.
He openly admits, that the wish to love again traditional art and then to preserve and perform it regularly has to be build anew, based on love and conciousness. He has maked a detail of his plan and he is confident that it well revive Javanese traditional art in Solo in the right track.
Reviewing his positive track record in the world of art performance, many peoples believe Murtidjono should be able to realize his enthusiastic plan. Some still remember that since his student years in Yogya, he has a great talent as a prominent entertainer, he can make a show alive.

Murtidjono, who was born in Salatiga in 1951, is a family man, lives with his wife and three children in the art and antique town of Solo. His contact address is :

Taman Budaya Surakarta (T.B.S)
Jl. Ir. Sutami 57
Phone : +62 271. 635414
Fax : +62 271.637215
e-mail :

(Suryo S. Negoro)

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