Anton Nanut has been among the leading Slovenian conductors of his generation, and while he has never been considered in the front rank of European maestros, he has drawn much acclaim for his interpretive acumen in a wide range of repertory. He has also been quite prolific in the recording studio, making over 160 recordings for various labels.
Nanut was born in Kanal ob Soci, Slovenia, on September 13, 1932. He enrolled at the Ljubljana Music Academy, and shortly after graduation there began conducting the Dubrovnik City Orchestra. In the 1950s and 1960s, Nanut gradually built his career, appearing as guest conductor mostly in Eastern Europe but also in London and elsewhere, while remaining with the Dubrovnik Orchestra. Nanut served as conductor of the Slovenian Philharmonic Orchestra in Ljubljana in 1980-1981, and around this time began teaching conducting there at his alma mater. He made a successful tour of several European cities with the SPO, as well as one of the United States.
In 1981 he was appointed chief conductor of the Slovenian Radio Symphony Orchestra, then known as the Ljubljana Radio Symphony Orchestra. Nanut stepped down from this post in 1998, but still maintained his connection with this ensemble as of 2006, serving, however, as honorary conductor. Nanut made a number of tours with the SRSO during his tenure, encompassing Europe (Austria, Poland, Italy, Germany, and the Soviet Union) and the United States, where he appeared at, among other notable sites, Carnegie Hall.
While based in Ljubljana Nanut has also served as conductor of the Slovenian Chamber Orchestra, as well as the Slovenian Octet, a vocal ensemble. Nanut's repertory has encompassed a broad and varied range of composers, including Vivaldi, Beethoven, Mahler, Bizet, Mascagni, Prokofiev, and Shostakovich. While most of his recordings have been found on budget or lesser-known labels over the years, his work has generally received favorable critical response.