Ivan Jevtić (1947, Serbia/France), earned his BA and MA degrees in composition in Belgrade, supervised by Stanojlo Rajičić; he continued his education in Paris and Vienna. For a number of years now, he has been living and working in Paris. He is a regular member of the Serbian Academy of Sciences and Arts. In his work, Jevtić focuses on instrumental forms, especially in chamber and concertante genres. His rich oeuvre, comprising about a hundred works today, has been exceptionally well received by performers and audiences alike. His works have been performed on almost all continents. His music is published by one Swiss and three French publishers (a total of 65 scores have been published thus far), sound recordings of his pieces have been released in seven countries, and his music has been performed in concerts entirely dedicated to his music in Vienna (1978), Paris (1979, 1993, 2003), and Belgrade (1991, 1993, 1996, 2003, 2013). Works by Jevtić have been performed at prestigious festivals in Serbia and abroad, as obligatory pieces at international competitions, as well as in regular concert repertoires. He has won numerous national and international awards, including the 1999 Mokranjac Award and the 2005 Vuk Award.
In the domain of symphonic music, one should note his Prva simfonija (Symphony No. 1, 1973), the symphonic poems Uzdah zemlje (The Sigh of the Earth, 1976), Kad sedmi anđeo zatrubi (When the Seventh Angel Sounds His Trumpet, 1994), and Izgon (Expulsion, 2000), and Svečana uvertira (Gala Overture, 2003, commissioned by the BEMUS festival). A prominent work in his vocal-symphonic oeuvre is Zadužbine Kosova (The Legacies of Kosovo, 1989). Jevtić has composed concerti for numerous instruments: the piano (three works, in 1971, 1985, and 1991), the trumpet (two works, in 1973 and 1986), piccolo trumpet (1985 and 1991), French horn (1993 and 1994), tuba (1992), flute (with piano and string orchestra, 1975, and another one in 1999), viola (Vers Byzance, 1984), violoncello (Koncert, 1982; Čelo simfonija, 1995), and violin (1986). His Divertimento za dve trube (Divertimento for Two Trumpets, 1980), Koncert za klarinet, klavir i kamerni orkestar (Concerto for Clarinet, Piano, and Chamber Orchestra), and Divertimento for two violoncellos and string orchestra (1997) exhibit a peculiar treatment of the concertante genre influenced by the baroque concerto grosso tradition. His chamber music is distinguished by a suggestive expressivity and an expert treatment of instruments, which makes it especially interesting for performers. In this regard, one should ноте his three string quartets (1970, 1974, 1980), a series of cello pieces – Prva sonata za violončelo i klavir (First Sonata for Violoncello and Piano, 1979, awarded at Vercelli), Druga sonata za violončelo i klavir (Second Sonata for Violoncello and Piano), Metamorfoze (Metamorphoses) for two violoncellos, Prekinute melodije (Interrupted Melodies), and In modo balcanico for solo cello, Klavirski trio (Piano trio, 1977), Sonata za violinu i klavir (Sonata for Violin and Piano), Musica per due for flute and violoncello (1989), and Sonata za obou i klavir (Sonata for Oboe and Piano, 1993). He has written a number works for the piano, which he treats virtuosically; in the domain of music theatre, he has written a ballet, Maska crvene smrti (The Mask of the Red Death, 1978). He has also written a large number of vocal works: La Tartane for soprano and piano (1982), Tuga u kamenu (Sorrow in Stone, 1991) for alto, violoncello, and four timpani, the song cycles Kamena uspavanka (The Stone Lullaby) and Krhotine leda (Shards of Ice), Bez nade (No Hope) for a soprano and chamber orchestra, Narcisa – Mulikin san (Narcissa – Mulika’s Dream), a song cycle for a soprano and piano (a setting of a poem by Ana Mulikić),and Sedam lirskih krugova Momčila Nastasijevića (The Seven Lyrical Circles of Momčilo Nastasijević) for a mezzo-soprano and symphonic orchestra.
Jevtić’s Divertimento for two violoncellos and strings was composed in 1997, dedicated to the Conservatory of the Federal University of Pelotas in Brazil, and premièred in that country on 14 September 1999. The work had its Belgrade première in 2000, at the opening of the ninth Review of Composers. The Divertimento is one of those pieces that have found their way to performers and audiences alike and in Belgrade it has been performed a number of times, by various cellists and orchestras. The piece comprises three movements, with a sequence of tempi typical of concerto cycles (fast – slow – fast), but its overall concertante genre also contains interpolated chamber elements. The opening movement is in sonata form, the second movement is in the song form, and the finale is a set of variations (Thème de Carolina). The Divertimento may be considered typical of the author’s neo-classically inclined writing, expressive and distinct thematicism (especially in the folk-coloured finale), and expert treatment of the instruments.