Petar Ozgijan

Petar Ozgijan (1932–1979) was born in Dubrovnik. He graduated in composition (1959) and acquired an MA degree (1964) in the class of Stanojlo Rajičić at the Music Academy in Belgrade (now Faculty of Music). Ozgijan first taught subjects in music theory at Slavenski School of Music (1959–1964) and then at the Music Academy in Belgrade (1964–1979). In 1963, he authored a theoretical study, Razvoj i oblici kadence u evropskoj muzici (The Development and Types of Cadences in European Music, published in 1985). Ozgijan’s musical creativity was primarily geared toward instrumental music. His major works include: Poema Eroico for symphony orchestra (1959), Meditacije (Meditations) for two pianos, strings, and percussion (1962); Concert for orchestra Siluete (Silhouettes, 1963), Sigogis for orchestra (1967), Diferencias for violin and orchestra (1970), String quartet (1972), Symphony ’75 (1975), Instrumentalne pesme (Instrumental Songs)for female choir (1977), and Nocturno for strings (1977). Ozgijan received several prestigious prizes, such as the Stevan Hristić Award(for Poema eroico) and the City of BelgradeOctober Prize (for Nocturno), awarded posthumously in 1979.

The piece For Mima (1978) was dedicated to the excellent Serbian clarinettist Milenko Stefanović (1930). Still, this was not a mere dedication to a performer. Bearing in mind Stefanović’s virtuosity and unique interpretative idiom, Ozgijan carefully constructed a refined, rich, and finely chiselled, but never imposing sound picture with a wide tonal and dynamic range. Composed during the late 1970s, the piece bears all the important traits of Ozgijan’s handwriting in composition, realised within the coordinates of post-war European avant-garde. The opening and final sections unfold in a peaceful atmosphere, evoking Messiaen’s sound world. The higher degree of rhythmic profiling in the middle section, its short motives, tremolo passages, and contrasts in terms of register all contribute to an increase in tension and fragmentation of the flow of music, which the soloist may additionally assuage with his or her feeling for colour, thereby also showing her or his expressive and technical skill.