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Darijan Božič was born to Ivo and Ana Nuša in Slavonski Brod (then Yugoslavia, today Croatia) as the younger of two children. When he was 7 years old, the family moved to Ljubljana, the capital of Slovenia, then a Yugoslav republic.
He attended the Ljubljana Academy of Music, completing his studies with Lucijan Marija Škerjanc (composition) in 1958 and with Danilo Švara (conducting) in 1961. He joined the Pro Musica Viva group of composers in 1962, and won the Prešern Award of the Ljubljana Academy. Shortly thereafter, he became assistant conductor of the Slovene National Theatre Opera and Ballet Company in Ljubljana and from 1970 to 1974, was artistic director of Slovenian Philharmonic Orchestra. Between 1980 and 1995, he held a teaching position at the University of Ljubljana and the University of Maribor. In 1995, he became a manager and artist director of The Slovene National Theatre Opera and Ballet Ljubljana. He retired in 1998.
Works, musical style, and innovations
Božič's music was strongly influenced by jazz and a keen sense of musical drama. His early concertos for trumpet, trombone and saxophone and his Sonatas in cool show clearly the jazz influence (similar to that on Tippett), and his use of extended tonality and traditional forms. From 1963 he adopted new methods, including a form of serial working and free rhythmic coordination, but with no loss of melodic interest. His frequent use of speakers is well illustrated by the collage tape work Trije dnevi Ane Frank ('Three days in the life of Anne Frank'), Polineikes and, above all, Jago, a musico-dramatic characterization derived from Shakespeare. Even in chamber works such as Kriki ('Screams') and Collage sonore, speakers are included in the ensemble. Although Božič made only modest use of electronic sounds, he frequently used collage rather than musique concrete tape techniques, as in the bitterly ironical but magnificent reinterpretation of the funeral rite in his Requiem of 1969.
Works (selective list)
Dramatic: Mali prodajalci (ballet), 1957; Baletska jednočinka (ballet), 1957; Humoreske (opera, R. Dorgeles), 1958; Spoštovanja vredna vlačuga (opera), 1960; Gluha okna (television ballet), 1967; Jago (happening, W. Heinrich, after Shakespeare), 8 performers, tape, 1967-8; Ares-Eros (musical drama, Božič), 1970; Lizistrata (opera, after Aristophanes), 1975
Orchestral: Pf Conc., 1956; A Sax Conc., 1958; Humoreska, hn, orch, 1959; Trombone Conc., 1960; Tpt Conc., 1961; Improvizacije, 6 groups, 1963; Sym., 1964-5; Audiografika, cl, trombones, pf, perc, str, 1970; Audiospectrum, 1972; Audiostructurae, pf, orch, 1973
Vocal: Ciganske pesme [Gipsy songs], cantata, reciter, solo vv, chorus, ens, 1962; Sedmina, 4 reciters, orch, 1966; Šesta pesma iz ciklusa Blaznost [Madness] (G. Strniša), reciter, b cl, tpt, str qnt, 1965; Collage sonore (S. Makarović), 2 speakers, cl, tpt, str qnt, 1966; Kriki [Screams] (T. Šalamun), speakers, brass qnt, tape, 1966; Polineikes (D. Smole), 5 reciters, orch, tape, 1966; Slovenske pesmi, cantata, 2 speakers, Mez, orch, 1973, rev. 1975
Chamber: Conc. grosso, ens, 1960; Sonata in cool no.1, fl, pf, 1961; Sonata in cool no.2, cl, pf, 1962; 5 Sketches, tpt, pf, db, 1963; Sonata in cool no.3, fl, b cl, harp, 1965; Elongacije, pf, ens, 1967; Polyrhytmia, wind qnt, 1968; Pop art I, pic, str qt, 2 metronomes, watch, 1969; Pop art II, str qt, tape, 1971; 3 D, tpt, hn, trombones, 1972; ABA 72, cl, pf, 1972; Pop art III, str qt, 1973; Audiogem I-IV, str, qt, 1974
Tape: Trije dnevi Ane Frank [Three days in the life of Anne Frank], reciter,6 insts, elec, all on tape, 1963; Requiem spominu umorjenega vojaka – mojega očeta [Requiem to the memory of a murdered soldier – my father] (R. Roždestvenski), 5 reciters, chorus, ens, all on tape, 1969
Principal publishers: Društvo slovenskih skladateljev, Gerig
This article includes a list of references, related reading or external links, but its sources remain unclear because it lacks inline citations. (March 2008) (Learn how and when to remove this template message)
- The Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians
- Internationales chronologisches Lexikon Klaviermusik
- Slovenska glasbena dela, DZS 1979
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