What is New is Old: Croatian Contemporary Chamber Music at the Crossroads of European Artistic Expression

Document Type

Grant Proposal

Date Accepted

Spring 2009

Project Description/Abstract

The Croatian people have a long history of interest in and appreciation for classical music. It has been said that Franz Joseph Haydn, one of the most significant composers of the classical period whose music contains elements borrowed from the fold music of his locality in Austria-Hungary, was ethnically Croatian. This project represents an exploration of changing currents in contemporary classical music in modern Croatia, a music though forward looking remains bound to its folkloric roots. What appears to be constant in these musics is the necessity of connecting with folk music and a fascination with simplicity and balance. This is music that seeks to establish itself in the avant-garde while maintaining a link to lyricism and traditional form. Through researching the chamber music of composers including Bruno Bjelinski (1909-1992), Miroslav Miletíc (b. 1925) and Davorin Kempf (b. 1947), and Frano Parac (b. 1948), one can begin to understand the development of contemporary musical style in Croatian music. Research will be conducted through first person interview in the case of living composers, attendance at the CMS International Conference in Croatia and research at the Croatian Institute for Ethnology and Folklores in Zagreb.

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