IGOR KULJERIĆ (Šibenik, 1938., Zagreb, 2006.) is one of the most important Croatian composers. He graduated in composition from the Zagreb Academy of Music. After receiving a grant from the Italian government, he studied opera repertoire at La Scala in Milan. He also took part in the experimental musical activities of the Studio di fonologia musicale at RAI along with Luigi Nono and other important figures of music Avant garde.
Kuljerić studied conducting with Igor Markevitch in Monte Carlo and debuted during the North American tour of the Zagreb soloists. As conductor he was appointed in the Opera of the Croatian National Theater in Zagreb and has regularly appeared with the Symphony orchestra and Choir of the Croatian Radio television. His guest appearances include international festivals and tours in the US, Russia, Israel, Germany, Spain, Italy, France and Austria. Kuljerić premiered many works by other composers and has regularly recorded for radio, television and movie industry.
His most important early works are SYMPHONIIC VARIATIONS, CONCERT OUVERTURE, CONCERTO FOR FRENCH HORN, and I and II BALLET SUITES.
After graduation Kuljerić joined the avantgarde movement, his music sometimes reaching the limits of experiment. The works from that period include: FIGURAZIONI CON TROMBA, THE BALLADS OF PETRICAKEREMPUH, FOLK ART (tape music for contemporary dance), LES ECHOS I and II.
In the beginning of the´80 s, he started to search for a more personal musical language, incorporating the tradition and the positive experiences of musical Avant garde. These features are present in his symphonic works RISUONO DI GAVOTTA and CHORAL OUVERTURE, the collection ALLELUIA, DIES IRAE and PATER NOSTER for piano trio, CHOPIN op. 17 NO 4 for flute and vibraphone, solo concerti CONCERTPIECE, CONCERTO FOR IVANA, POP CONCERTO and BAROCCHIANA, ballet RIKY LEVI, with a later orchestral suite version and his late work BEL KAMEN KAMPANELA.
A special part of Kuljerić´s opus refers to his Croatian roots with influences from the Glagolitic religious practice and historical artistic practice (Renaissance poetry and Baroque music) and can be found in the choral works QUAM PULCHRA ES, SEA, CROSS GIVE US MERCY, KANCONIJER, also in the string quartet SONG, just to be powerfully sublimed in his monolithic key works CROATIAN MASS and CROATIAN GLAGOLITIC REQUIEM a monolithic work for soloists, choir, and orchestra, written on an ancient Croatian Glagolitic text of the Catholic mass which has recently been released on a CD by BR Klassik (Chor des Bayerischen Rundfunks, Münchner Rundfunkorchester and Ivan Repušić). He is the author of three operas: THE POWER OF VIRTUE, RICHARD III and ANIMAL FARM, CATHERINE OF ZRIN, his last opera, remained unfinished.
Kuljerić composed music for theater productions, movie soundtracks, crossover projects and was a particularly prolific arranger. He is the recipient of all the major Croatian awards and the UNESCO award.
He was the artistic director of Music Biennale Zagreb (1981 & 1983; also member of Program Committee or Council 1971 to 1979, 1985 to 1991), Concert Hall V. Lisinski (1980 to 1984), Dubrovnik Summer Festival (Music program, 1984 & 1985), Lovro Matačić Competition for Young Conductors (according to maestro's last will, since the foundation in 1995 to his death), Croatian National Theater in Zagreb (Opera 1992 to 1994), Opatija Music Tribune (1977 to 1988), President of Croatian Composers' Society (1979) and many more.
He was the member of the Croatian Academy of Arts and Sciences. (HAZU)