Lado Orchestra consists of fourteen musicians, all of whom are multi-instrumentalists as they play almost all the traditional instruments that exist in Croatian culture. During a single concert, the Lado Orchestra musicians effortlessly transform from a string orchestra with a dulcimer (guci, pilari, jegeduši, mužikaši), common in Northwestern Croatia, into a tamburitza ensemble, common in northeastern plains. It is important to note that, out of several different tamburitza systems, our musicians use the oldest - the so-called farkaš’ and the most modern - srijem. Both systems are often combined with violins and a dulcimer.
When presenting the musical traditions of parts of the Adriatic, the musicians perform as a mandolin ensemble, only to be able to transition into a type of band called bandist. This bandist type of band is an ensemble of brass musicians from Northwestern Croatia. Our orchestra’s musicians also play other traditional instruments. Woodwind instruments represented are the sopele from the Island of Krk, Istrian roženice, ciganjske from Banovina, bagpipes from Slavonia and Baranja, dude from Podravina and Bilogora, Istrian mišnjice, šurlice and vidalice, mih from Lika, Dalmatian and Herzegovinian diple and a variety of dvojnice, diplice, jedinke, ocarinas and strančice. In addition to the tamburitza, other string instruments used are the Slavonian samica, Lika’s dangubica, Kordun’s kozarica and Bosnian šargija. Several musicians play the lijerica, an instrument which has accompanied dancing in many parts of Southern and Central Dalmatia, together with a small accordion called triješina or botunjera.
The orchestra is an essential element of the entire repertoire of Ensemble LADO. For more than a decade, the Lado Orchestra has organized numerous independent concerts with different programs, and has published three records.