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Ivo Josipovic, Croatia’s new president, to write an opera on John Lennon
By Nenad N. Bach
Published on 01/13/2010
Croatia’s new president, Ivo Josipovic, who won in a runoff on Sunday, is a bona fide classical composer. He majored in composition at the Zagreb Music Academy, graduating in 1983. From 1987-2004 he was a lecturer at the same school. Since 1991, he has been director of the Zagreb Music Biennale, one of the more prestigious contemporary music festivals.

First president of the country and a composer.

Croatia’s new president to write an opera on John Lennon

Croatia’s new president, Ivo Josipovic, who won in a runoff on Sunday, is a bona fide classical composer. The 52-year-old Social Democrat majored in composition at the Zagreb Music Academy, graduating in 1983. From 1987-2004 he was a lecturer at the same school. Since 1991, he has been director of the Zagreb Music Biennale, one of the more prestigious contemporary music festivals, which has hosted such luminaries as Messiaen, Cage, Stockhausen and Maderna.

“My musical philosophy,” Josipovic says, “is based on the idea that art is something nice, something the author, performer and listener should enjoy. I am happiest when I see that the musicians play with enthusiasm, with a smile on their face, and when someone in the audience taps their feet or sways to the rhythm of the music.”

Read an interview with the composer Josipovic here.

Josipovic has written a number a of compositions, including works for symphony orchestra and chamber music, and reportedly plans to use his spare time while president (will he have any?) composing an opera on the life of John Lennon.

The video above shows a performance of one of his best known pieces, “Samba da camera,” obviously of a progressive bent. It takes a little bit to get going, but it does.

Source: ... non/24029/

A Composer is the new President of Croatia

Posted by Jeff Harrington on January 12, 2010 at 7:59am

The new president of Croatia, Ivo Josipoviĉ, is a composer! And not just any composer a composer of serious concert music. We should be so lucky... At least we wouldn't be worried about the bankers taking all of our money. The orchestras and music groups would be getting it all!

The New York Times writes

In a Canadian Press article Snjezana Vukic reports from Zagreb on Monday that Mr. Josipovic apparently has no intention of letting his new job get in the way of his own creative work: “His friends say he still plans to use his spare time to compose his first opera, about the life of John Lennon.”

Alex Ross writes in the New Yorker:

Although certain monarchs of bygone years wrote music in their spare time—Henry VIII and Frederick the Great come to mind—the jobs of classical composer and head of state have seldom overlapped in the modern era. It happened in 1919, when the legendary Polish pianist and composer Ignacy Paderewski served briefly as the first prime minister of the newly independent state of Poland. It happened again in Lithuania, in 1990, when the musicologist and composer Vytautas Landsbergis became the chairman of the Supreme Council, effectively running the country. Now, from Croatia, comes news that the composer and legal scholar Ivo Josipoviĉ has been elected president. Mr. Josipoviĉ has written dozens of works in various media and for many years has overseen the Music Biennale Zagreb. He has been described as a “refined and, in the opinion of some, insufficiently temperamental professor” who nonetheless “drinks copious quantities of coffee.” I’ve found two of his pieces on YouTube: “Samba da camera” and “Ars diaboli.” Congratulations, Mr. President-elect!


Ivo Josipovic, Croatian Opposition Figure, Wins Presidential Vote
ZAGREB, Croatia — Legal scholar and leftist opposition candidate Ivo Josipovic won Croatia's presidential elections, upsetting the capital's popular mayor and confirming the country's pro-Western course.
The state-run Electoral Commission said Monday Social Democrat Josipovic had 60.29 percent of the vote compared with 39.71 percent for Zagreb Mayor Milan Bandic, with 99.6 percent of the vote counted.
Comparing his election to a "victorious symphony," Josipovic – who also is a classical music composer – said that "every citizen who aims for a better, more just Croatia has won."
Bandic congratulated Josipovic and said he's going back to work at the city council on Monday.
Though the presidential role is somewhat limited in Croatia, the vote was seen as a test on whether Croatia would maintain its pro-Western course and fight against corruption.
In Croatia, the cabinet and parliament are the key decision-makers, but the president is the supreme army commander, co-creator of foreign policy and hires and fires chiefs of intelligence services.
Josipovic's victory is also a boost for opposition Social Democrats, who only ruled from 2000 to 2003 and sets up a possible showdown with the government over how to battle corruption and revive the economy, though Josipovic is expected to support the government's push to join the European Union in 2012.
Both Josipovic and Bandic had pledged to nurture good relations with Washington and Brussels, though Bandic's backers include rightists and nationalists who detest the government's pro-Western course. Bandic had campaigned as a patriot, tapping into the traditional rivalry with Serbia that erupted during the war for independence from Yugoslavia, and some worried that he could challenge the country's EU goal.
"The vote was a referendum on whether Croatians want a European, modern Croatia, or the other one," Josipovic's campaign manager Mirando Mrsic said.
Analysts said Josipovic won points by vowing to bring justice and root out corruption among officials – promises that resonated with Croats who are disappointed with the government's stumbling efforts to revive the economy and fight graft in the nation of 4.5 million that gained independence in 1991.
A new face in politics, Josipovic also appealed to voters tired of politics as usual. But voters supporting the country's EU aspirations were also keen to keep any obstacles out of office.
Josipovic "will cooperate with (Prime Minister) Jadranka Kosor, but he won't abandon his critical review of her Cabinet's work," Social Democratic colleague Milanka Opacic said. "He will primarily take care of the citizens and how the economic situation can be improved."
Josipovic – a 52-year-old music composer as well as an international law professor at the Zagreb Law Faculty – left politics in 1994 to pursue legal and music career, but returned seven years ago, becoming a national lawmaker. He has an untainted resume, but even his supporters say he lacks charisma.
Final turnout was 50 percent.

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  Marko Puljiĉ
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