In Memoriam: Ivan Čavlović (Kruhari, 20 August 1949 – Sarajevo, 14 May 2021)

The Academy of Music at the University of Sarajevo and the Musicological Society of the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina regret to inform colleagues, friends and the general public that Dr. Ivan Čavlović, emeritus of the University of Sarajevo, passed away on May 14, 2021 in Sarajevo at the age of 72. He was a musicologist, music theorist, music publicist, active composer, professor, and former dean of the Academy of Music. He was also one of the founders and the first president of the Musicological Society of FBiH.

Ivan Čavlović was born on August 20, 1949 in Kruhari, Sanski Most. He received his first lessons in music theory and church harmonium performance from his father, Ante, and Fr Alojzije Atlija, and then from his school music teachers, Sergej Beljajev and Stjepan Matanović. In elementary and secondary school, he played the trumpet and double bass in the KUD Grmeč orchestra, and played bass guitar in two bands: Bohemia, from Sanski Most, and Procol ferrum from Prijedor. He graduated in music at the Pedagogical Academy in Pula (1972), and then at the Academy of Music in Sarajevo (1977) in the Department of Music Theory and Pedagogy. He also completed a two-year piano program (1979) with Matusja Blum. He is a winner of the Golden Badge of Hasan Brkić, University of Sarajevo. He completed his postgraduate studies at the Academy of Music in Sarajevo (1983), defending his master’s thesis Sonata Form in the Works of J. S. Bach and the Application of Its Principles in Piano Sonatas by D. G. Scarlatti (with Prof. Nada Ludvig-Pečar). He also obtained a Doctorate of Musical Sciences at the Academy of Music in Sarajevo (1991) after defending his doctoral dissertation Compositional-Technical and Stylistic Characteristics of the Creative Work of Vlado S. Milošević (with Prof. Dr. Nikša Gligo).

He worked as a music teacher at the Elementary School in Stari Majdan near Sanski Most (1972–1973), and as a guitar teacher at the Elementary Music School in Vogošća (1976–1978). He started working at the Academy of Music of the University of Sarajevo since 1978, when he was a teaching assistant of the classes ‘Analysis of Musical Forms’ and ‘Analysis of Polyphonic Forms’ (with Prof. Vojin Komadina and Prof. Nada Ludvig-Pečar). In 2010, he passed all academic titles to become a full professor. From 2004 to 2016, he taught Music at the Academy of Performing Arts. He was the Dean of the Academy of Music at the University of Sarajevo from 2007 to 2016, when he retired. In 2016, he was elected to Professor Emeritus, as well as as a member of the Council for Science and Art of the University of Sarajevo.

From 28 May 1992 to 21 September 1995, he was a member of the Army of the Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina. In this period, he would regularly dedicate his time between service on the frontline – in Sarajevo’s Dobrinja – to students. Together with Dean Faruk Sijarić and several other teachers, he managed to maintain the continuity of the teaching process at the Academy of Music in besieged Sarajevo.

He is one of the founders of the Musicological Society of FBiH (1997) and the founder of the Journal for Music Culture Muzika (1997), where he was editor-in-chief from 1997 to 2007. He was also one of the instigators of the Music in Society International Symposium in 1998. From the end of the 70′s and during the 80′s, he was active in the work of the Association of Composers of BiH. From 1985 to 1989 he ran the project Composers of Bosnia and Herzegovina: Data Processing at SOKOJ. From 1990 to 1991,With he prepared the project Fundamental Research for the History of Music in BiH (FIHM BiH 2010) with Prof. Dr. Ankica Petrović for the Academy of Arts and Sciences of Bosnia and Herzegovina, which was taken over by the Musicological Society in 1997, and since 2004 has been the Institute of Musicology of the Academy of Music in Sarajevo. He also started the project Lexicon of Musicians in BiH (1999) and was the editor-in-chief of the published Alphabet of the Lexicon (2010). He is one of the founders of the Institute of Musicology (2004) and the Center for Music Education (2014) of the Academy of Music at the University of Sarajevo. He initiated the start of a doctoral study in the field of musical art in the Academy of Music at the University of Sarajevo; the first doctoral program in the arts in Bosnia and Herzegovina (2010).

In 2008 he started the May Music Festival of the Academy of Music in Sarajevo, and in 2011 he was one of the initiators of the Sarajevo Chamber Music Festival, organized by the Academy of Music in Sarajevo and the Manhattan String Quartet from New York.

He wrote over 200 academic and professional papers, monograph brochures, and journalistic articles. His nine books are of special importance for the musicology of Bosnia and Herzegovina: Musical Forms (1998), Vlado Milošević:Composer (2001), History of Music in Bosnia and Herzegovina (2011), Introduction to Musicology and Methodology of Academic Research (2004, 2012)), Musical Forms and Styles: Analysis of a Musical Work (2014), Essays on Music: A Sketch for a Social History of Music in Bosnia and Herzegovina (2015), Musical Portraits: Sources and Memories (2017), and The Science of Music in Bosnia and Herzegovina (2019). He received the Vlado Milošević Award from AMUS (2017) for his contribution to musicology and music journalism.

He had been active as a composer since 1979. Especially valuable in his oeuvre was a collaboration with the director Gojko Bijelac, from which, among other things, the play La Strada (1999) and music theatre piece Srebreničanke (2004) emerged. From 2016, he would regularly present his works for solo instruments, smaller and larger chamber ensembles, and string orchestras through concert performances.


Ivan Čavlović photo