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Milko Kelemen turns 80

The Croatian-born Milko Kelemen (born in 1924) studied with Olivier Messiaen in Paris and Wolfgang Fortner in Freiburg. His work at the "Electronic Siemens Studio" in Munich, as well as an invitation to Berlin as composer-in-residence were the first stages of his activity in Germany. Already in 1959 he founded the "Zagreb Biennale" and has served as its president since the early 1960s.

Milko Kelemen, who today lives in Stuttgart, has received many awards, including the Distinguished Service Cross, the ISCM Prize, the Yugoslav State Prize and the French order "Chevalier des Arts et des Lettres"). Since approximately 1980, the essential works of Milko Kelemen have been represented by Sikorski International Music Publishers.

Using C.G. Jung as his point of departure, Kelemen underpins his musical language with philosophical thinking. In his book "Sound Labyrinths," he says, "The norm conception of my value judgment is based on the idea that, in music, the influence of archetypes - or the effect of the chord as most impressive element - remains present, from the imagination to form, language and structure." By the term "complex simplicity," Kelemen means the endeavour to make the complexity of new music more transparent. The novelty of the organisation of musical material, so he says, should not be an end in itself. Novel formation can also be reached with musical "archetypes" that must not necessarily be governed by the diction of complicated compositional techniques.