Ivan Josip Skender
Ivan Josip Skender (Varaždin, 1981) began to study composition in 1997 at the Zagreb Music Academy in the class of Željko Brkanović, as the youngest ever student in the Academy’s history. Two years later, he also started studying conducting with Vjekoslav Šutej. He continued with further studies in seminars and masterclasses on conducting (under Klaus Arp, Bertrand de Billy, Zubin Mehta and others) as well as on composition (under Michael Jarrell, Goce Kolarovski, Joszef Soproni). He finished a two-year postgraduate study of orchestral conducting in the class of maestro Uroš Lajovic at the Vienna University of Music and Performing Arts (2010-2012). His compositions have been performed in Croatia, Austria, Slovenia, Germany, Poland, Czech Republic, Macedonia, USA, Canada and Mexico. He has worked continuously with several renowned foreign artists as well as with a number of Croatian musicians and ensembles, and has composed music for the theatre.
At Music Biennale Zagreb 2011 his opera Stribor’s Forest had its first performance in the Croatian National Theatre Ivan pl. Zajc in Rijeka with numerous performances in the 2011/2012 season. Having become chief conductor of the Palma Collegiate Choir in 2004, he led them to winning the first prize four times at a national choir competition in Zagreb, Croatia and the first prizes at the international choir competitions held in Ohrid in 2009. and Prague in 2011. He is one of the founders and the first choirmaster of Croatian Girls’ Choir (2011) He conducted his debut concert in Musikverein, Vienna in the year 2011. (Vienna Symphony Orchestra). In the season 2011/2012 members of the Ensemble for contemporary music Cantus elected him for the role of ensemble conductor. He works at the Croatian National Theatre in Zagreb as the Opera choirmaster and at the Zagreb Music Academy in the position of Assistant Lecturer at the Department of Conducting, the Harp and Percussion.