Contacts between Slavko Osterc and Miloje Milojević


  • Dragotin Cvetko



Contacts between the Slovene composer S. Osterc (1895-1941) and the Serbian composer M. Milojević (1884-1946) began toward the end of the 1920's, and became stronger and stronger in the course of time, to reach their highest level both in amount and outspokenness between 1933 and 1941. Both composers had come from the Prague school, Osterc as a student of composition, and Milojević as a student of musicology. They were both of modern art orientation, Osterc being slightly more radical in his views than Milojević, who (no doubt under the influence of his study of composition in Munich) felt closer affinity to more liberal stylistic views. The relationship between the two composers was further consolidated by their mutual affiliation to the International Society for Contemporary Music, which was an important and, above all, a useful instrument for both of them to enhance their international connections and promote performances of their compositions abroad. Correspondence testifying to their contacts is abundant, especially with Osterc. He kept informing Milojević in detail on everything he would do: on compositions under preparation, their performances in Slovenia and abroad, and his concern for musical pieces by Milojević and others who kept close to his general conception, or belonged to his immediate circle. Furthermore, he wrote to Milojević about connections he had made abroad with foreign composers (e.g. A. Honegger, Dallapiccola, A. Hába, J. Fitelberg, K.A. Hartmann, S. Prokofiev), as well as artists performers (e. g. K. Ančerl, L. Fuchsova, K. Reiner, S. Rascher, G. Fitelberg, H. Scherchen), who all valued his works, and in many cases performed them as well. Osterc would report to Milojević not only about his successes but also about his unpleasant experiences and troubles that never ceased to accompany him (one of these being his illness). Not only is their correspondence (letters and post-cards) extensive and valuable in its own right, but also very informative relating the musical situation in Slovenia, Yugoslavia, and to some extent Europe, in the 1930's. This was the time when Slovene music, mostly owing to Osterc, reached a high point in its development, making a stylistic break with the immediate past. Finally it managed to join the contemporary European trends, which neither the second world war nor the short-lived post-war reorientation towards traditionalism could erase. All this can be forefelt in the correspondence between Osterc and Milojević during the musically animated 1930's, when Osterc undoubtedly exercised strong influence well beyond the borders of Slovenia and Yugoslavia, too.


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1. 12. 1986




How to Cite

Cvetko, D. (1986). Contacts between Slavko Osterc and Miloje Milojević. Musicological Annual, 22(1), 39-52.