56. Boris Papandopulo [365 Composers for 2013]


25th February – Boris Papandopulo


Papandopulo (February 25th 1906 – October 16th 1991) is our composer for 25th February, to mark the day of his birth.
Nationality: Croatian
Lifespan: 85 years
Genre: 20th Century
Education: Zagreb and Vienna
Fame Ranking: 5

Boris Papandopulo was of aristocratic descent. His father was a Greek nobleman; his mother a Croatian opera singer. Papandopulo started his musical career as a pianist, accompanist and conductor, especially of 20th century works, and achieved substantial early success. Then, after the Second Wold War, Croatia was taken over by the communist regime and everything changed. Papandopulo was suspected of being a Nazi collaborator and was stripped of his post as director of the Zagreb Opera. Forbidden to work in the field of music, he took up a job as a truck driver to make ends meet.

Papandopulo was an optimist however, and did not despise his new job. In fact he took great pleasure in travelling around the countryside, meeting new people and leading a simple life. By the 1960s, he had returned to his former work as musical director and composer, although his output was somewhat stifled creatively by the state of “social realism” imposed by the Communists. They forbade new techniques such as serialism, twelve-tone music or anything atonal.

Papandopulo cited Stravinsky, (who was friends with his mother), Mussorgsky and Bach as his greatest influences. Like Mozart, he was enormously prolific, turning out new compositions almost daily. For this he has been dubbed the “Croatian Mozart”. He composed in all genres and has a catalogue of over 400 pieces of music, although he is still rarely heard outside of Croatia. His style is a mix of Croatian folk music and the Western European classical tradition.


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Listen to more works by Papandopulo – click the box!


For more information about Papandopulo, see http://scholarship.rice.edu/bitstream/handle/1911/16987/9631144.PDF?sequence=1



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