Stamp of the Month: May 2021

Croatia 28.3.1996
Josip Štolcer-Slavenski

The Croatian composer Josip Slavenski was born on May 11, 1896 in Čakovec (then Austria-Hungary). He died in Belgrade on November 30, 1955. May 2021 will mark his 125th birthday.

After his first music lessons from his father, Slavenski studied from 1913 to 1916 at the Budapest Conservatory with Zoltán Kodály and
Béla Bartók, among others. After military service in World War I, he was a student in Vítězslav Novák’s master class at the Prague Conservatory. After completing his studies, he taught at various music schools in Zagreb and Belgrade and, from 1937, at the Belgrade Music Academy, where he was appointed professor for composition in 1945.

Slavenski first attracted attention as a composer in 1920 when his “Orchestra Notturno” op.1 was performed in Zagreb. His first string quartet was premiered at the Donaueschingen Festival in 1924 and Erich Kleiber conducted the world premiere of the symphony “Balkanophonia” in Berlin in 1927. Slavenski was the first composer from the former Yugoslavia to make a name for himself internationally.
His compositional work, in which he made

Yugoslavia 29.4.1985
extensive use of indigenous folk music from his homeland, includes three symphonies, a symphonic poem, a violin concerto, dances from the Balkans for string orchestra, chamber music, cantatas, choral works, songs and drama music.

The video shows the accordion orchestra of the “Josip Slavenski” music school in Novi Sad with a folk dance by Josip Slavenski. The concert took place on May 11th, 2009 on the occasion of a school anniversary in the synagogue of Novi Sad.