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 young composers. He has been played and commissioned by many of the world’s most significant orchestras and ensembles. These include New York Philharmonic, Chicago Symphony Orchestra, Klangforum Wien, ASKO|Schönberg Ensemble 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 similar way to the classicals such as Bach, Bruckner and of 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 practise and the eternal light from the Eastern Orthodox Church’s prominent collection of mystic texts the “Philokalia” has formed the starting point and often the main subject matter of most his major compositions from works On the Guarding of the Heart, Ascetic Discourse, The White Angel, The Mystical Sacrifice to the most recent large liturgical drama/ritual Bogoluchie.
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, ritualised and stylised production where the audience is offered a profound and abstract space to reflect on the subject matter of mysterium, ecstasy and transcendence.