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[ TIMELINE ]
1938-1940
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Born 2nd of February in Šibenik Croatia, son of teacher Marija Starešina and construction entrepreneur Ante - Toni Kuljerić.
Both parents originate from the island of Silba but the family often moves, his mother changing teaching positions in elementary schools of the Zadar region. Brother Davor was born in 1940.


1941-1945
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During the 2nd world war the family settles on Silba. The island of his ancestors will become one of the main inspirations for his music and the refuge for life`s most difficult moments. First years of elementary school.

1946-1955
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Youth days in Zadar. Beginning of music education.
Father Toni works on large constructing projects such as the reconstruction of the new coastline of Zadar.

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Teenage years in Zadar. Friendship with the Dešpalj family of musicians.
Already showing strong interest in composing.
PHOTO: Teenage years/Composing in Zadar

1956
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Studies english language and litterature at the newly opened University for philosophy an litterature in Zadar.
PHOTO: At the opening of the University/Chosen to give a speech as students` representative

1957
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Moves to Zagreb. Best pupil in his hometown, it is not easy to get to the capital. He fails at the entrance exam for the Zagreb Music Academy (quote:"...dear colleague composition is far beyond your abilities...")
With the encouragement and help of his friends P. Despalj and S. Horvat he continues his musical studies and prepares for the next year exam.

1960
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#PASSACAGLIA# for piano solo
He works as accompanist to support himself.

1961
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Studies composition at the Zagreb Music Academy
with prof Stjepan Šulek
# CONCERTINO FOR STRINGS #
- first serious work
Starts to work in Zagreb Opera House Studio with Milan Sachs as
accompanist and assistent.
PHOTO: In front of Zagreb Music Academy

1962
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#SONATINA# for piano
#SYMPHONIC VARIATIONS# for orchestra

1963
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#CONCERT OUVERTURE FOR SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA#
#EVENING NEWS - BALLET - writes his own libretto#
#EVENING NEWS - I BALLET SUITE FOR SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA#
Premiere of Symphonic variations on 12th of June with
Zagreb Philharmony (cond. P. Despalj) - his first major work
played by the leading croatian orchestra. All the orchestra
and theater works composed in this period have been
premiered by conductor and composer Pavle Despalj.
Their friendship and mutual support have lasted during author`s lifetime.

PHOTO: H.Nonveiller,S.Sulek,P.Despalj,Kuljeric

1964
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Final year at the Music Academy.
Meets young piano student Vanja Fazo who will become his life and artistic companion.

1965
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#IN THE LAST ROLLE - BALETT# - his final exam work premiered on
the 13th of December 1965, by the Ballet Company of the Croatian National Theater
in Zagreb, choreographer: Nevenka Bidin, Sonja Kastl, conductor: Pavle Dešpalj
#IN THE LAST ROLE - I SUITE FROM BALLET#

In autumn he enters the army to do his one year service which, at that time, was obligatory.
Rebelious and antimilitarist, he refuses to take the oficer rank (reserved for people with high education) and spends half year in the unit serving under the worse conditions.
PHOTO: Jurjevska street (music students` dorms)

1966
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He is transfered (with some intervention of B. Bjelinski, already established
composer) to the House of the Army in Zagreb (there he meets another young
artist under service -Mersad Berber who was to become famous painter) and during
the second part of his military service he writes arrangements for the Military Band.

Incidental music for theater play in the Croatian National Theater C. Goldoni: Big funny war

Marriage to Vanja Fazo (photo).

1967
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#CONCERTO FOR FRENCH HORN AND STRINGS#
The piece receives the Yugoslavian radiotelevision Award.

During a long tour in the USA with the Zagreb soloists he steps in as conductor
to replace Janigro having health problems. His conductor debut was received with great acclaim.

Incidental music for plays in Gavella theater "Three Farces" and "Captain John Peoplefox" in Zagreb Youth Theater (directed by B. Violic with whom he will work on several theater plays in the future)

1968
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AVANTGARDE PHASE
#MOMENTS FOR VLADO# for piano
Opening for a series of pieces written for pianist Vladimir Krpan exploring piano
and the performer in relations with other musical sounds and formations.
#MOMENTS II# for piano and tape
#SEQUENCES# for chamber orchestra
Strong interest in electronic and experimental music.

Conducting masterclass with Igor Markevitch in Monte Carlo.
Enters the Croatian radiotelevision Musical departement as conductor of the symphony orchestra
(later also as chief conductor of the choir), the collaboration which will last almost 38 years.

Incidental music for Dubrovnik Summer Festival open air play Music for the Offering of
Cyprian and Justine - main inspiration for the emblematic Cross Give Us Mercy (1989). Kuljeric was present to almost every edition of The Festival ever since (composer, conductor, artistic director...)

In Paris, where he came for a concert, he is wittness to
the famous speech that Sartre gave to the students of Sorbonne.

1969
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#IMPULSES I# for string quartett and tape - premiered at the Opatija Forum of Yugoslavian Music (established in 1963) a regularly attended meeting place for all composers, musicians and musical critics in the area of former Yugoslav state .
Conducts several projects in the Zagreb Music Biennale. Premiering and performing new pieces by croatian and international composers will become one of the important aspects of his conducting career. As composer or conductor he is present on all the editions of the Biennale ever since.
Incidental music for plays in ITD Theater A. Soljan: The Palace of Diocletian and Gavella theater G. Buchner: The Death of Danton
With his young wife he buys a small appartement in the Upper City of Zagreb (the oldest part of the city with the House of Parlament)

1970
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#CONTINUAZIONI# for symphony orchestra
#FIGURAZIONI CON TROMBA# for trumpet and string orchestra
Fascination and exploration of improvisational and virtuoso abilities of the performer - present in all of his concertos for solo instruments

Oldest daughter Ivana is born.

His brother-in-law moves in with the young family. First copy machines - the appartement becomes an orchestra parts manufacture. The creation of large scale works goes together with the technical aspects of composing - commissions (in former Yugoslavia the commissiones included no fees but performances and recordings), deadlines, orchestra material (the only existing music publisher in former Yugoslavia was a non-profit organisation of the Composers` Society), author`s rights... During his lifetime, composer`s artistic soul suffered intensely when dealing with these aspects.

Starting with autumn he becomes faculty for theory classes at the Zagreb Academy of Music - this experience will last for two years. He was never invited to serve as faculty for composing.

Experimental score for"Kraljevo" theater play by croatian classic Krleza.

Kuljeric developpes a particular interest in the works by Stravinsky and Bartok and
conducts numerous performances of their works (including croatian premieres).
"...The reason for my particular interest in pieces like Les noces can be found in my work as a composer, dealing with the problems of contemporary creativity..."

Opposite to his attraction to the experimental musical movements he starts to build a reputation as skilfull arranger and writter of theater music, movie scores, incidental music. The collaboration with the Krapina folk festival (arranger, original scores) which will last for next 35 years is one of the early exemples of his versatility.

1971
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#IMPULSI II# for string quartett
#A 5# for wind quintett
#CYCLUS# for choir and ensemble
#INCONTRI# for piano and tape
Incidental music for a theater play in Kerempuh theater "Super witch from Gric "
Incidental music for theater play in Gavella theater A. Hieng "Conqueror or Baltasar"
Yugoslav Radiotelevision Award (for Impulsi II)

Second half of the year brings turbulent changes in the political scene with the movement called Croatian Spring or Mass movement - MASPOK. It was set in motion when a group of influential Croatian poets and linguists called for greater rights for Croatia which was then part of Yugoslavia as well as for democratic and economic reforms. The Yugoslav leadership interpreted the whole affair as a restoration of Croatian nationalism, dismissed the movement as chauvinistic and had the police on horses and in cars suppress the demonstrators (students, intelectuals...) in the very center of Zagreb. Kuljeric was convicted in a political trial for supporting the cultural magazine of the movement. He is banned from the Composers`s society, he is denied an important award and his pieces are forbidden for broadcasting in radio programmes.
With the help of a friend he gets to work as accompanist for a touring group called The Revolution Stage.

1972
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#PER ARCHI# for orchestra
#SOLO-SOLISTI# for piano and strings - written for and recorded by pianist V. Krpan and Zagreb Soloists
#SOLO IN QUARTETTO# for piano and string quartett
#SOLO-TUTTI# for piano and symphony orchestra
#QUAM PULCHRA ES... (Ommagio a Lukačić)# for mixed choir, keyboards and percussion
City of Zagreb Award.

Meets young contemporary dancer and choreographer Lela Gluhak, founder of the Zagreb Dance Ensemble which was extremely popular and successful at the time. This collaboration will result in many dance projects which have all been recorded by the Television.
Kuljeric has always worked with artists from other artistic genres (directors, actors, dancers, novelists, poets, painters, sculptors...)
Leads a workshop on contemporary music at the Jeunesses musicales center in Groznjan.

PHOTO: Midnight Serenade Ciclus Concert in Dubrovnik Summer Festival (one of the pieces in the programme was Quam pulchra es...)

1973
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#BALLADS OF PETRICA KEREMPUH# for 3 choir groups, 3 orchestra groups + an actor. Kuljeric has always shown a particular sensibility for the human voice and was attracted to the spoken word.
#V MEGLI# for mixed choir a capella, (version for mixed choir, percussion and organ in 1990)
#SITUAZIONI# for harp
Incidental music for a Dubrovnik Summer Festival theater play production M. Drzic "Plakir or Grizula".
Incidental music for a theater play in Gavella theater P. Weiss "The sufferings of Mr Mockinpot".
Josip Slavenski (Vjesnik) Award
Yugoslav Radiotelevision award (for the piece Solo-Tutti)


Download: Ballads - Biennale (premiere rehearsal)
1974
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#CRN BEL# for mixed choir
#CANTO E DANZA# for flute and piano
Incidental music for Dubrovnik Summer Festival theater production of M. Drzic "Uncle Maroje"
Incidental music for theater play in Gavella theater C. de la Barca: La vida es sueno

1975
#A 3# for violin, cello and piano
#LES ECHOS# for chamber ensemble
#SUSTAINED SOUND# for strings
#2 + 12# for viola, cello and chamber ensemble
Receives a grant from the italian governement to study opera repertoire in La Scala Milan. Attracted by the new movements in contemporary music, along with Luigi Nono he participates in the experiments held in the Studio di fonologia musicale (Studio for musical fonology) at RAI.
Begins to work on the new opera - "The power of virtue"

1976
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#LES ECHOS II# for symphony and jazz orchestra
#METAMORPHOSIS# for piano sextett
#GALEOTOVA PESAN# for mixed choir and timpani
New interests - playing with the music from the past and the folklore - started as a part of the avangarde rebelliousness, hinting his future quest for the space " where in a moment one can see how much has been passed and how much is yet to pass ..."

1977
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#THE POWER OF VIRTUE (Moc vrline)# opera, directed by Dejan Miladinovic
who will work again with Kuljeric for his second opera. The opera was premiered
at the Zagreb Music Biennale which was the case with all of his operas.
#SILBA DANCE# for piano with four hands. Kuljeric premiered the piece
with his wife Vanja for a TV programme.
#CHOPIN OP. 17 NO 4# for piano.
Programming editor of the Festival of Yugoslav Music until 1988
Incidental music for Ben Johnson: Volpone (director B. Violic)
INA Award

PHOTO: The power of virtue Biennale Premiere

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Tour in the ex USSR - conducting Zagreb Symphony Orchestra
(today Symphony orchestra of the Croatian Radiotelevision)

1978
#THE SEA# for women choir a capella
#FOLK ART I# tape music (tape realised in Studio di fonologia RAI)
Collaboration with the choreographer Lela Gluhak will result in several dance projects.
#DUETTO# for harp and english horn
#AT HOME AND IN THE JOINT (Doma i u buži)# opera (by the motives of I. M. Jarnovic and A. Gretry
(Leute moj - 1st version of Kanconijer (1983) peformed in Dubrovnik Summer Festival)

Younger daughter Marija is born.

PHOTO: Premiere of "At home and in the joint"

1979
#DOUBLE PLAY# for double bass solo
Various experimental projects at zagreb Music Biennale.
Music for the Opening celebration of the Mediterranian Games in Split. At the time Split is living the golden years in its musical activity (Split Summer Festival, Croatian National Theater with some anthological opera projects)
Known for his versatility he was often commissioned to write music for
opening ceremonies of various sport events.
His approach is open and free from routine solutions. In this genre, we can find some of the particularly beautiful examples of his creation (The dance of the amphoras,...)

1980
#CHORAL OUVERTURE# for symphony orchestra (new version 1997.)
Comissioned by L. pl. Matacic, famous croatian conductor. First large orchestra piece to distance itself from the avangarde. Kuljeric leads orchestra rehearsals as he did so many times with the choir for oratorio projects of Matacic (their cooperation on the Vespers by Claudio Monteverdi is legendary)

Artistic director of Zagreb Music Biennale until 1983
President of the Croatian Composers`Society until 1981

1981
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#SONG# for string quartett
#DESSIN# for flute and piano
#CIRCULATIONS# tape music

The choir of the Radiotv is at the peak of it`s activity, but the intensive scheming lead by an ambitious collegue made Kuljeric accept the offer of I. Vuljevic (legendary manager) and leave the Radiotv to become the Artistic director of the V. Lisinski Concert Hall - the biggest and most important classic concert hall in Croatia.

1982
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Unesco Award (for Song)

1983
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#MOURNING CHANT# for mixed choir with two pianos
#KANCONIJER# for voices and instruments
#ALL SAINTS DAY(Seh dus dan)# for mixed choir

A project with the slovenian group Laibach at the Zagreb Music Biennale will have heavy impact on composer`s health. The political provocation that happened during the performance concerned the diseased communist leader Tito. The scandal and the political oppression that followed it lead Kuljeric to a nervous breakdown. He was already extremely exhausted by years of management and organisation and bearing fresh marks from the political events in 1971.

1984
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Dubrovnik Summer Festival - artistic director
Incidental music for Dubrovnik Summer Festival production - W. Shakespeare: Coriolan

1985
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Incidental music for Gavella theater - W. Shakespeare: King Lear

1986
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#RISUONO DI GAVOTTA# for symphony orchestra
#CONSPIRATIVE GAMES# tape music
#FLY# tape music (choreographer: Lela Gluhak)

V. Nazor Award
City of Zagreb Award

1987
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#RICHARD III# opera, libretto: Nenad Turkalj and Igor Kuljerić after W. Shakespeare
J.S. Slavenski Award

Incidental music for a play in the Zagreb Puppet Theater
PHOTO: The premiere of Richard III at Zagreb Music Biennale

1988
#TOCCATA FOR VIBES AND PIANO#
#CONCERTPIECE IN D FOR FLUTE AND ORCHESTRA#
#INSTRUMENTAL TRANSFORMATIONS# old croatian song for tambouritza orchestra
Tambouritza orchestra is a vital part of the Croatian Radiotelevision departement and Kuljeric has written many original pieces or arrangements for this ensemble.


1989
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#TEA FOR TWO# for violin and piano
#WALTZ (D9-G9)# for vibes, marimba, clarinet and keyboards
#GOD BLESS ZADAR for female choir a cappella#
#CROSS GIVE US MERCY#
#PSYCHODELIC I# tape music

1990
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#CHACONNE# for percussion quartett

Eurovision Song Contest in Zagreb - official conductor. Kuljeric was famous for his ability to perform and compose in various musical styles and genres.

The weakenning of the communist regime in Yugoslavia will lead to huge political, social and economical changes in the region resulting in the constitution of several new countries. New parties are founded.
After democratic elections Croatia`s new parlament holds its first session announcing the change of the Constitution.
As an active artist and influential figure in Croatia`s cultural and social life Kuljeric is strongly moved by this historical moment.

1991
#ALLELUIA# for piano trio - 1st part of the trilogy
#LIED OHNE WORTE# for marimba - The pieces is awarded at the "3 Deutches Percussion Symposium Hannover1991"
#RIKI LEVY ballet#
#PSYCHODELIC# for multiinstrumentalist
#THREE POSTCARDS FROM THE BALLET RIKI LEVY# for saxophone quartett
After a general referendum Croatia proclaims independence. The conflict with serbs escalates into war which will have a profound impact on all of the citizens of Croatia.

1992
#OSMAN - music for multimedia project#
Artistic manager of the Opera Company in the Croatian National Theater in Zagreb UNTIL 1994

1993
#ACCLAMATIONS FROM ZADAR# for mixed choir and organ
#BAROCCHIANA# for marimba and strings
#DREAM MUSIC# for soli, choir and chamber ensemble
#THREE ROUMANIAN SONGS# for mixed choir
Period of intensive work with the Choir of the Croatian Radiotelevision. Kuljeric will write many original scores and arrangements for this ensemble.
Soundtrack for the movie "Countess Dora" - best motion picture soundtrack award in the Pula Film festival.

1994
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#DAWN IS RISING# for mixed choir and piano

Cooperation with famous croatian vocal star J. Lisac (PHOTO).
Kuljeric will act as conductor and composer/arranger working on her greatest hits in a new production with symphony orchestra and choir.

1995
#PRAYER# for choir
#CHRISTMAS DREAM# for choir and wind orchestra
Artistic director of the "Lovro Matacic" competition for young conductors.

1996
CROATIAN GLAGOLITIC REQUIEM for soli, mixed choir and symphony orchestra
awarded with Josip S. Slavenski Award
#SILBA DANCE# for wind orchestra
City of Zadar Award
Concert in Israel on the occasion of the 3000 anniversary of Jerusalem
(PHOTO with wife Vanja)

1997
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#CHOPIN OP. 17 NO. 4# for vibes and flute
#SERENADE# for mandoline orchestra

Another cross-over project with the legendary croatian rock band Prljavo kazaliste (PHOTO).

1998
#CHANSON TRISTE# for strings (dance number from Riky Levi ballet)
#CYCLAMEN, SANGUINE CYCLAMEN# for mixed choir

1999
#RIKY LEVI - FIVE SCENES FROM THE BALLET# for orchestra
#TWO SONGS# for soprano and piano on verses of Catherine of Zrin and Fran Krsto Frankopan (sketches for the unfinished opera Catherine of Zrin)

2000
#PATER NOSTER# for piano trio
#POP CONCERTO#for trumpet and orchestra
#BAROCCHIANA# for marimba (co-composer Ivana Bilic)

2001
#MARIMBA CONCERTO# for marimba and symphony orchestra


2002
#TO THE UNBORN DARLING# for baritone and chamber ensemble
#CANTUS/12 TRANSFORMATION FOR VIOLIN AND PIANO#
#OSOR# for mixed choir
#LIKE THE SILBA DANCE# for piano
Begins to work on the huge project of opera fable #ANIMAL FARM#
Award of the Croatian Academy of Arts and Sciences for the Glagolitic requiem

2003
#ANIMAL FARM# opera fable, inspired by G. Orwell`s novel
#MY FATHER# for bas and piano
#STABAT MATER# for mixed choir
#ARABESQUE ON A MELODY OF G. ROSSINI# for piano
#FOLK ART II# for marimba and string quartett (co-composer Ivana Bilic)

2004
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#APPASSIONATO (MILONGA PARA JORGE L. BORGES)# for cello ensemble
#WALTZ# for piano
#THE FLUTE OF PAN# for flute and harp
#CROATIAN MASS# for soli, choir and orchestra

2 Porin Awards (croatian discographic award) - for Valtz D9-G9 and Concerto for marimba and orchestra

2005
#IN THE GARDEN OF THE CLOWN# for flute, tuba and piano
#FOLK ART III# for piano and flute orchestra
#BEL KAMEN KAMPANELA (WHITE STONE OF THE BELL TOWER#for orchestra. While composing the piece Kuljeric is diagnosed with pancreas cancer. Complex surgical intervention. He will not live to hear the premiere of the piece.
Grand daughter Marija Magdalena is born.

2006
After a long battle the composer succombs to the disease and dies on the 20th of April.
After the official ceremony in Zagreb Kuljeric is burried on his island of Silba.



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