March26, 1925 – January5, 2016

Pierre Louis Joseph Boulez, a French composer, conductor, writer and founder of several music institutions, was born on this day in Montbrison.He was a leading figure in avant-garde music, playing an important role in the development of integral serialism in the 1950s, aleatoric music of the 1960s and the electronic transformation of real-time instrumental music in the 1970s.Along with his composing activities, Boulez was one of the most prominent conductors of his generation.In his career of more than sixty years, he was the director of the New York Philharmonic and the BBC Symphony Orchestra.He has often performed with many orchestras such as the Vienna Philharmonic, the Berlin Philharmonic and the London Symphony Orchestra.He founded several musical institutions, including the “Domaine Musical” Concert Association (1954–1957), the Ensemble Intercontemporain (1957) and the L’ircam Institute for Music and Sound Research (Institut de Recherche et Coordination Acoustique / Musique) during the 70s. He has received a number of awards, including the prestigious Grawemeyer Award for his forty-minute work Sur Incises (2000).


March 25, 1881 – September 26, 1945

Béla Bartók, a Hungarian composer, pianist and ethnomusicologist, was born on this day in Veliki Semikluš. He is considered one of the most eminent composers of the 20th century because his influence contributed a lot to the development of ethnomusicology, anthropology and ethnography in music. He worked as a professor at the “Franz Liszt” Academy of Music, and at the same time he was a passionate collector of folk original music from the countries of Central Europe. In 1940, due to the war, he left his home and went to the United States, where he taught at Harvard University. He loved the work of Johannes Brahms, and with the support of Zoltán Kodály, he researched the folk music of many nations. Influenced by Franz Liszt, Richard Strauss and Claude Debussy, he accepted folk music and applied it in his works. Combining folklore, traditional elements with contemporary sound, he managed to create a natural blend of melodies that possess an authentic style enriched with lavish musical motifs. His oeuvre includes many works of various genres and forms, of which stand out: the opera Bluebeard’s Castle, works for piano Allegro barbaro and the Romanian Folk Dances, Mikrokosmos

Romanian Folk Dances

Advent Chamber Orchestra, CC BY-SA 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Translation: Jelena Čolović


March 24, 1681 – June 25, 1767

Georg Philipp Telemann, a German baroque composer, organist and kapellmeister, was born on this day in Magdeburg. He lived at the same time as Johann Sebastian Bach, who was four years younger than him. Bach was less well known than Telemann at the time, and he greatly appreciated and supported his work. Telemann wrote over 3600 works and according to that it would be said that he left behind a rich opus consisting of over 40 operas, 145 cantatas, 15 masses, 40 passions, 6 oratorios and more than 600 concert works. He was equally dedicated to writing vocal and instrumental works. With folklore elements, as well as the permeation of the French and Italian spirit, his works possess a lavish palette of sound colors, dialogues between melodies, dynamic rhythmic flow and original sound of one time.

Georg Philipp Telemann (1681-1767) – Concerto for Recorder and Viola da Gamba, TWV

Phillipwserna, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Translation: Jelena Čolović


March 23, 1826 – December 7, 1917

Ludwig Fyodorovich Minkus, a Czech violinist, conductor and composer, was born in Vienna on this day. Although of Czech origin, and born in Vienna, the place where he received his musical education and spent a good part of his life, was in Russia. His first recognized compositional work, now forgotten, was the ballet Paquita, which had its premiere in Paris.


March 22, 1948

Tracey Nolan from Toronto, Canada, CC BY-SA 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Sir Andrew Lloyd Webber, a British composer and author of world-famous musicals that have been performed in London’s West End and New York’s Broadway for decades, was born in London on today’s date. He wrote twenty-one musicals, various cycles of songs, a string of
variations, two film scores and a requiem mass, and numerous songs achieved great success outside of musicals.


March 21, 1685 – July 28, 1750

Johann Sebastian Bach, a German composer, harpsichordist and organist, was born in Eisenach on this day. Many people like to write and talk about the most important name of baroque music, a lot could be said about him, but here we will only briefly remember one of the most important creators of polyphonic, polyphonic music. He transformed his modesty, piety, meticulousness and generosity into works that were a model for many great composers of classical music, such as Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, Ludwig van Beethoven, Frederic Chopin, Robert Schumann and many others. He passed on his love for music to his twenty children, of whom Wilhelm Friedemann and Carl Philipp Emanuel Bach remained notable. Thanks to them and his second wife Anna Magdalena Bach, as well as later and modern editions of his works, today we have preserved a large number of compositions and methodology of the work of Johann Sebastian Bach. He highly respected and appreciated the work of his contemporaries, he admired Antonio Vivaldi, Georg Philipp Telemann, Georg Friedrich Handel, whom he failed to meet in Germany, and he regretted it all his life. He has written over a thousand works, vocal and instrumental, the most famous of which are Toccata and Fugue in D minor, The Well-Tempered Clavier I and II books, Brandenburg Concertos, Suite in D major, Suite no. 3 for cello, Christmas oratorio, Goldberg variations… He said that he creates for the glory of God, so it is not surprising that his works exude purity, intellectual depth, precision and timeless melodies, which were an inspiration to many artists of later epochs.

Bach – Brandenburg Concerto No. 1 – 1. Allegro

Johann Sebastian Bach, CC BY 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Translation: Jelena Čolović


March 21, 1839 – March 28, 1881

On this day, the Russian composer Modest Petrovich Mussorgsky was born in Karevo. The work of this composer had the greatest influence on the development of Russian music. During his artistic career, he worked on five operas, four of which he did not complete. He has written a number of symphonic works, cycles of vocal and piano music, many romances and choral compositions. He was an officer by profession, but he left the service to join a group of nationally oriented composers, the so-called “Five”. He attracted attention with his artistic poetics and originality, with the use of folklore elements in his works. Due to his unusual and modern way of composing, his quality and work were not recognized during his lifetime, and today his two operas Boris Godunov and Khovanshchina are recognized masterpieces of the World Musical Theater, as well as the piano suite Pictures at an Exhibition. The dramaturgy of his opera music influenced the composition of Leoš Janáček, Igor Stravinsky, Dmitri Shostakovich, Alban Berg, Olivier Messiaen and many others. Rimsky-Korsakov, a friend of Mussorgsky, was the first to perform his work publicly, and in addition, Korsakov devoted several years of his life to editing his friend’s musical heritage.

Modest Mussorgsky – Pictures at an Exhibition, movement 2

Modest Petrovich Mussorgsky, CC BY-SA 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Translation: Jelena Čolović