Through the prestigious recognition of the world’s largest composer award “The Grawemeyer Award”, the Serbian-Swedish composer Djuro Zivkovic has quickly established himself as one of Europe’s leading composers of his generation. He has been played and commissioned by many of the world’s leading orchestras and ensembles. These include New York Philharmonic, Chicago Symphony Orchestra, Klangforum Wien, ASKO|Schönberg Ensemble, BBC Symphony Orchestra, and Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra, among others.

Even though Djuro Zivkovic always had a strong connection with the central European sound world, his prime inspiration and artistic incentive has always sprung from his faith and the Byzantine music he experienced in his childhood Serbia. In a similar way to composers such as Bach and Bruckner and the 20th century’s Gubaidulina, Messiaen and Takemitsu, the importance of mysticism, faith and belief is the most central element in his creative and artistic work. Central passages on meditation, spiritual practice and the eternal light from the Eastern Orthodox Church’s prominent collection of mystic texts the “Philokalia” have formed the starting point and often the main subject matter of most his major compositions from works such as “On the Guarding of the Heart”, “Ascetic Discourse”, “The White Angel”, “The Mystical Sacrifice” to the most recent large liturgical drama “Bogoluchie” and the violin concerto “Chandangel”.

In a time when more and more people seek spiritual proximity in their lives, while moving away from the traditional church, Djuro Zivkovic creates an immersive, ritualized and stylized production where the audience is offered a profound and abstract space to reflect on the subject matter of mysterium, ecstasy and transcendence.

Maria West
June 14 2019