Stibilj, Milan

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Milan Stibilj


Born: November 02, 1929

Country: Ljubljana, Yugoslavia

Studies: Acadamy of Music, Ljubljana; Zagreb Academy of Music (1963-64)

Teachers: Karol Pahor, Kelemen


Milan Stibilj was born in Ljubljana, Yugoslavia, in 1929. Originally a student of psychology, he began to study composition in 1954 with Karol Pahor at the Music Academy of Ljubljana, continuing later with Milko Kelemen in Zagreb, and in the Electronic Studio of the University of Utrecht. During 1967-68 he worked in Berlin under the auspices of the Berliner Künstlerprogramms, and he now lives as freelance composer in Berlin and Ljubljana. Besides a number of Yugoslavian prizes, he has been awarded the Edison Prize and the Grand Prix du Disque for hes recorded work Epervier de ta faiblesse, domine for speaker and percussion.

Stibilj has from the outset employed serial technique, to produce a highly individual sound world. In his more recent pieces he has shown particular interest in expanding and contracting rhythmic structures. Notwithstanding the impressin of relative freedom which it makes for the listener, Stibilj’s music uses a system of precise notation in which equilibrium between controlled and free elements is maintained. [1]

... as a composer in Slovenia, Milan Stibilj (b.1929) is something of a special case. His training has been unorthodox in some respect; he studied psychology to an advanced level before concentrating on music. Although he wrote some of his earlier works in Ljubljana ... and established himself as a composer while still living in Slovenia, Stibilj has spend long periods abroad ...

... After holding a composition teaching post in 1973-74 at the Université de Montréal in Canada, he returned to Ljubljana: Here he has remained, standing somewhat apart from the mainstream of Slovenian music. Stibilj’s contact with psychology may have had some effect on his musical thinking, but it would no doubt have been of a general nature. There is little after his students works that is traditional in approach, yet there is a certain conservatism in his progress. Stibilj has generally avoided the rhythmically free coordination between parts ...

... There is no free textural working in the manner of some Polish composers, and his notation, with a few rare exceptions, is precise. There are no "half-composed" pieces ...

In almost all of Stibilj’s music, there is a concentration on process. Indeed it is no exaggeration to say that these processes, and a formal plans determined by them, have been Stibilj´s main concerns as a composer.[2]

Works for Percussion

Epervier de ta faiblesse, DominePercussion Sextet; Narrator
Xystus - Duo Percussion; Wind Ensemble; String Orchestra
ZoomHand Drum; Clarinet


  1. Höfler, Introductory note to the concert programme, ISCM FESTIVAL, LONDON 1971
  2. O’Loughlin: Process as musical Form in the Music of Milan Stibilj Musicological Annual XXX, Ljubljana 1994