Petar Konjović

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Petar Konjović on a 2009 Serbian stamp
Engraving of Petar Konjovic by Tomislav Krizman

Petar Konjović (Serbian Cyrillic: Петар Коњовић, pronounced [pɛ̂tar kɔ̂ːɲɔʋit͡ɕ], 5 May 1883 – 1 October 1970) was a Serbian composer.

He was born in Čurug (Bačka). While a pedagogy student in Sombor, Konjović self-taught himself the art of compositure and conducting. He finished his education at the Prague Conservatorium in 1906. In 1907, he traveled to Belgrade, following an invitation from Stevan Mokranjac to teach composition at the Belgrade Music Academy. He was an active adherent of the idea of Yugoslavia. He was manager of numerous cultural institutions: head of the Serbian National Theater in Novi Sad, director of the Zagreb Opera, and head of the Croatian National Theater in Osijek.[1] He was also a Rector of the Music Academy in Belgrade, a Serbian Academy of Sciences and Arts (SANU) member, and a founder of the SANU Musicology Institute. His contemporaries were Petar Krstić, Isidor Bajić, Miloje Milojević, Stevan Hristić, Stanislav Binički, Bozidar Joksimović, Kosta Manojlović, Vladimir Đorđević (brother of folklorist Tihomir Đorđević), and others.


Konjović is the most significant representative of the nationalism of the Serbian modernism in music. His most famous works are his operas. The period between two world wars was defined by Konjović who introduced several genres into Serbian music.[2]

His Czech experience encouraged his natural inclination toward folk sources and he began developing melodies, like Janáček, out of the inflection of speech. Konjovic's mature style strives for direct communication with broad audience while incorporating a sophistical harmonic vocabulary. His work includes over one hundred folk songs arrangements and twenty original choral pieces. [3]


  • Vilin veo (The vila’s veil) also known as Ženidba Miloša Obilića (The Marriage of Miloš Obilić) 1917,
  • Knez od Zete (The Prince of Zeta), a realist drama based on the play Maxim Crnojević by the Serbian poet Laza Kostić (1841–1910) itself based on a folk poem The Marriage of Maxim Crnojević. Opera first performed in Belgrade, 1929, conducted by Lovro von Matačić.[4]
  • Koštana 1931, realist opera,
  • Seljaci (Peasants) 1951, comic opera
  • Otadžbina (Fatherland) 1960. opera in oratorio style

Song collections

  • The Lyric 1902–1922
  • My Country 100 folk songs. 1905–25

Selected recordings[edit]

  • Songs from 'My Country' Mila Vilotijevič, Francesca Giovannelli. Chandos 1999[5]


  1. ^ Djurić, Dubravka; Miško Šuvaković (2003), Impossible histories: historical avant-gardes, neo-avant-gardes, and post-avant-gardes in Yugoslavia, 1918–1991, Cambridge, Mass.: MIT Press, p. 439 
  2. ^ Randel, Don Michael (2005), The Harvard Dictionary of Music, Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, p. 771 
  3. ^ Strimple, Nick (2005), Choral Music in the Twentieth Century, Pompton Plains, NJ: Hal Leonard Corporation, p. 182, ISBN 1-57467-074-3 
  4. ^ Mosusova Nadežda Prince of zeta by Petar Konjović: Opera in five/four acts on the 125th anniversary of the composer's birth
  5. ^ with Croatian texts and translations

External links[edit]