Ivana STEFANOVIC, composer
Belgrade, 1948.

Ivana Stefanović completed her studies of composition at the Belgrade Music Academy with Professor Enriko Josif in 1975. In parallel to her studies of composition, she studied the violin with Professor Aleksandar Pavlović. In 1979, Ivana Stefanović obtained a two-year scholarship from the French government to pursue advanced studies of composition at the Institut de Recherche et Coordination Acoustique/Musique (IRCAM) in Paris. In 1981, she attended Professor Maurice Kagel’s composition class in Aix en Provence.

Ivana Stefanović’s first public concert came in 1966 at the Belgrade Music Academy when her composition Tree movements for piano were performed. Since then, Ivana Stefanović’s musical and radiophonic compositions have been performed in France, Denmark, Finland, England, the Netherlands, Romania, Croatia, Slovenia, Syria, Germany, Spain, the USA, Austria, Italy, Israel, Kazakhstan, and other countries. Her music has been played at a number of festivals, including Gaudeamus (the Netherlands), Bemus (Belgrade Music Festival), Bitef (Belgrade Theatre Festival), the Zagreb Biennale, the International Composers’ Tribune (Serbia), Wings of Sound (Finland), the Pula Composers’ Tribune (Croatia), Roma Europa (Italy), Madrid – World Capital of Culture, Music Temisoara (Romania), Prix Italia, Music Harvest (Odense, Denmark), International New Music Week (Bucharest, Romania), International Society for Contemporary Music (ISCM) and others.

Ivana Stefanović has written music scores for more than 40 plays. She has worked in many Belgrade theatres, including the Serbian National Theatre, the Yugoslav Drama Theatre, Atelje 212… She has also composed for theatres in Celje, Novi Sad, Budva… Highlights of plays she has written for include Aeschylus’s Oresteia, Shakespeare’s Macbeth and Romeo and Juliet, Rain snakes by Per Olov Enquist, Long day’s journey into the night by Eugene O’Neill…

Work in the media.

Ivana Stefanović started working at Radio Belgrade in 1968. She edited and led In Euterpe’s gardens, If you like music, and other programmes. Soon after, she started conducting research in the sphere of sound and radiophony (The epistle of birds, 1974), and later started composing for the theatre. In 1975, she started working as a Music Assistant and later as Music Editor of the Radio Belgrade Drama Department. She worked there for many years, editing the music side of several hundred radio programmes. She selected, improvised and composed pieces for these programmes. Ivana Stefanović was the first editor of the Sound workshop programme when it was started in 1985 by the Radio Belgrade Drama Department. From 1989 to 1991, she acted as Music Editor in Chief of Radio Belgrade One. She resigned from this position in August 1991.

During all this time, Ivana Stefanović also worked on many programmes in her position as Associate at Belgrade Television Music Department. She also worked as a music editor and journalist at the Belgrade Television Cultural Department (Studio 3, Kult, and other programmes).

Ivana Stefanović started working in radiophonics and other fringe music movements, such as Ars acustica, as early as 1968. Her radiophonic works, Lachrymosa, Metropolis of Silence/Ancient Ras, Lingua/Phonia/Patria… have been broadcast on Serbian and international radio stations. Lachrymose hase been produce by ÖRF (Austrian Radio) and broadcasted on ÖRF, Vienna, 1993. as well as First Eastern Dream, produce and broadcast on Chanel ÖRF, 8 October 1998.  

Other professional work.

1986, acted as artistic director at Muzika Festival of Contemporary Music in Serbia

1992, co-founded the International Composers’ Tribune, a new festival organised by the Serbian Composers’ Union.

1992, took part in Ars Acustica at the European Broadcasting Corporation (EBU), and participated in the Radio Beyond London Festival 

1993, was member of the Board of Directors at the Soros Foundation 

1992-1995, taught Applied Music at the Belgrade Music Academy 

1993-1994, lectured at the Centre for Women’s Studies in Belgrade 
2000, became Director of Culture Projects at the Centre for Democracy Foundation in Belgrade 
2001-2006, acted as Artistic Director of the Bemus Music Festival

From 2001 has been a member of the Serbia and Montenegro UNESCO National

Commission Cultural Board

2007, served as President of the Serbian Composers’ Union

2007-2008, served as State Secretary for Culture in the Ministry of Culture of the Republic of Serbia

2010, Program Committee Member of the Radio Television Serbia. 
2011, A member of the National Council for Culture of the Republic of Serbia. 
2011, President of Music Action Center (MAC).

2013, cofounder of Music festival BUNT (Belgrade New Artistic Territory).

Literary work.

Ivana Stefanović has published numerous texts about music and culture in different newspapers and magazines, including: Politika, Scena, Ludus, Vreme, Danas, Novi zvuk, Književne novine, Radio Belgrade Three.

In 2001, her book of essays about Syria, The Road to Damascus, was published by Geopoetika, compilation of essays Music Made of Anything (published by Arhipelag 2009) and book A private story - based on a suitcase full of letters (published by Službeni glasnik and Arhiv Srbije 2012).

A member of the Composers' Association of Serbia and the Serbian Literary Society.

International experience.

Ivana Stefanović lived in Damascus, Syria, between 1995-1999, Ankara, Turkey, between 2001-2005, and between 2009-2013, in Bucharest, Romania.

Most important awards (selection):

As part of the celebration 90 years of Radio Belgrade, Ivana Stefanović got the Golden Microphoneaward for special contribution to the program. (2014)

Award of the City of Belgrade for 2013, Special recognition for an exceptional contribution to an event of special value to the City of Belgrade, The organisation of the first edition of the a classical music festival BUNT. (April 2014)

Vitomir Bogić Lifetime Achievement Award for an exceptional contribution to radiophonics, (2010)

Extraordinary scenes from Homer’s grave in Smyrna – New additions for Hans Christian Andersen, Stevan Mokranjac Prize for Composition, 2008.

The Road to Damascus (published by Geopoetika), Milos Crnjanski Prize for Prose, 2002.

The Tour, Atelje 212 theater play directed by Goran Marković, Sterija Prize for Music, Novi Sad, 1997.

Play Strindberg String Quartet, Belgrade City Parliament Cultural Fund Prize, 1994.

Four nighttime notes, First Prize at the Second International Music Tribune, Novi Sad, 1993.

Lachrymosa, SLABBESZ Prize Austria, 1993, and FEDOR Festival Prize, 1993.

Isidora, balet, Belgrade City Parliament Cultural Fund Prize, 1992.

Metropolis of Silence/Ancient Ras, FEDOR Festival First Prize, 1992.

Lingua/Phonia/Patria, FEDOR Festival Prize, 1991.

Hommage à Villon, Serbian Composers’ Union Prize, 1972.

Harmonies String Quartet, Yugoslav Radio and Television Prize, Ohrid, 1977.

Kabana Oratorio, October Prize for Young Artists, 1976.

The epistle of birds, Jean Antoine–Triômphe varitété Prize, Monte Carlo, 1974.

Most important pieces (selection):

Harmonies, string Quartet No.2, 1976.

For  Irene, for solo flute. Dedicated to Irena Grafenauer. 1976.

Incantations, for soprano and chamber orchestra. Text from The Egyptian Book of the Dead, 1978

Interpretation of a dream, for solo flute and tape. Text by Rosa Luxemburg and Vesna Krmpotić, 1984.

Lullabies, for mezzo-soprano, harpsichord and strings, without words 1988

Four nighttime notes, for solo viola and 13 strings 1992

Play Strindberg, string Quartet No.3 1993.

Tibullus against war. For mixed choir and timpani. Text by Tibullus 1995.

Tree of life, for strings. 1997.

Over the water, for soprano, flute and piano. Texts by Hellenic poets Sappho, Alcman and Alceaus. 2003.

Extraordinary scenes from Homer’s grave in Smyrna – New additions for Hans Christian Andersen, for flute, piano, percussions, strings and narrator. Text by H.C. Andersen. 2005.

She, for flute, violoncello, piano, female voice and clock. 2008.



IVANA STEFANOVIC_Zoran Raš.JPG Fotocredit: Zoran Raš

PLAY STRINDBERG, my third string quartet, written in 1993.  

Play Strindberg differs from my earlier pieces for two main reasons.

First, it was written in 1993, a year that proved most difficult for many of us. It happened, therefore, that I eliminated any “description of the ugly” from my music around that time. Life itself was looking for consolation, not for description.

Second, this piece of music was originally written for a theatre play. At the time, rehearsals for August Strindberg’s The Father were being held at the Atelje 212 Theatre in Belgrade – in an unheated auditorium. I surprised myself with the way I wrote the music for the play. Instead of writing segments that could be used in particular scenes or in between scenes as I usually would, I wrote a piece of music for the entire play, for the entire drama. I decided to use only the segments that I needed but, even so, I felt compelled to write a piece that would describe that cold space in its entirety. And the time. And the length of time.

The Play Strindberg string quartet was first performed by the Camerata Academicaa Quartet in May 1994 as part of a retrospective concert dedicated to my work. It was later performed by several other quartets – Rubikon, TAJJ, Quarteto Il Belpaese… In addition, the CD version of the 14th edition of the Novi Zvuk (New Sound) international magazine includes a performance of the piece by the Serbian string quartet Mokranjac.

Ivana Stefanović