(b Belgrade, 1 May 1924). Yugoslav composer of Jewish origin. He graduated from Milenko Živković’s composition class at the Belgrade Academy of Music (1954) and completed his studies in Rome (1961–2). He was professor of composition at the Belgrade Academy (1957–89) and was elected corresponding member of the Serbian Academy of Sciences and Arts in 1991.
His compositions draw upon Baroque and medieval sounds and forms, placed in correlation with a modern musical idiom. This sense of balance is reflected also in the contrast of dense and transparent sonorities, and homophonic and polyphonic textures, as in the Lirska simfonija (‘The Lyric Symphony’) and the Piano Concerto. The original version of Smrt Stevana Dečanskog (‘The Death of Stevan Dečanski’, 1956) evokes the age of organum, the motet and gymel, while its stage version aims at total theatre. Other representative works are the Sonata antica, with its Preludio–Ricercar, Sarabanda–Fughetta–Giga and Aria–Passacaglia, and Tri psalma (‘Three Psalms’), a piano piece noticeable for its psalmodic recitative and organum-like rhythms. Many of his works are richly orchestrated and contain acrid harmony; they are marked by dramatic tension and formal unconventionality.
Stage: Ptico, ne sklapaj svoja krila [O bird, do not fold your wings] (ballet, after R. Tagore), 1970; Stevan Dečanski (dramatic chronicle, after Serb. medieval texts), 1970, Belgrade, 7 Oct 1970 [based on Smrt Stevana Dečanskog]
Orch: Sinfonietta, 1955; Sonata antica, 1955; Lirska simfonija [Lyric Sym.], 4 fl, hp, str, 1956; Pf Conc., 1959; Sym. in 1 Movt ‘Monoptych’, 1965; Monolog i koral [Monologue and Chorale], vn, str, 1981; Iz osame [From Solitude], 1989
Vocal: Smrt Stevana Dečanskog [The Death of Stevan Dečanski] (motets), reciter, solo vv, chorus, chbr orch, 1956; Rusticon, A, male chorus, orch, 1962; Kameni spavač [The Stone Sleeper], A, orch, 1990