updated 17 July 2023
© DR

Mirela Ivičević

Croatian composer born 18 January 1980 in Split, Croatia.

Mirela Ivičević is a Croatian composer and performer residing in Vienna. She holds a master’s in composition from the University of Zagreb’s Academy of Music and a master’s in multimedia composition from the University of Music and Performing Arts, Vienna. She took lessons from Beat Furrer at the University of Music and Performing Arts Graz. She then took composition lessons in Austria and the Netherlands with Georges Aperghis, Georg Friedrich Haas, Julia Wolfe, and Louis Andriessen, among others. Alongside her artistic studies, Ivičević completed a masters in cultural management at the Department of Cultural Management and Gender Studies (IKM) at the University of Music and Performing Arts Vienna.

Since 2010, Ivičević has been co-commissioner and producer of the Croatian festival Dani Nove Glazbe Split, the “Festival of Cutting-Edge Music and Related Art Forms,” alongside saxophonist Gordan Tudor. In 2014, she was co-founder of the Black Page Orchestra, the name an homage to Frank Zappa. The orchestra features compositions that use electronics, video, and other forms of technology, attributes that also feature in Ivičević’s oeuvre. Many of her works mix instrumental music with lip-syncing and video, as is the case in Jam Spookiku / Post nubila Phoebus (2006), Dominosa CC (2008), Wave Mistress (2011), and it bangs, it melts, it burns, it grows, it… (2016), a piece she worked on with the artist duo Lightune.G. For this piece, they used solar panels to convert light to “luminoacoustic” sound. Since 2014, Ivičević has been co-commissioner for Unsafe+Sounds Festival.

While she is an admirer of Helmut Lachenmann for his capacity to create sounds stripped of all reference, Ivičević works primarily on different perceptions of sounds depending on their context by a process of sound collage. “My music is sonic fiction,” Ivičević said, “consisting of bits and pieces of reality that are abducted from their natural environment into a surreal acoustic world […] in order to create alternative sound experiences that help to comprehend or transform their real-world origin.”1 One might take as an example Orgy of References (2012) for soprano and electronics, which envisages the repetition of a banal text (CVs, in this case) ad absurdum. These trivial and repetitive aspects are similar to Lachenmann’s GOT LOST (2007-2008), in which he applies the same treatment to a short note lamenting the loss of a basket of laundry.

Ivičević’s work develops a patchwork esthetic to hyperactive structures, recombining contemporary society’s textual and auditory waste in a subversive use of the narrative function of sound. She also imbues significant political engagement in her work, invoking Dante’s hijacked aphorism, “The hottest places in Hell are reserved for those who in time of moral crisis preserve their neutrality.” Conscious of the role that music systematically plays during wars or dictatorships, she wrote the pieces Case Black (2016) and Case White (2018), references to the Axis powers’ offensive in Yugoslavia, in which her grandfather died. These two pieces were written in honor of fraternal courage against the current resurgence of fascism that she has seen in her country.

Prizes and Awards

  • 2004 Rector’s Award for Phantom No. 3, for symphony orchestra
  • 2010 Rudolf Matz Award from the Association of Croatian Composers
  • 2010 Theodor Körner Award for Ace of Diamonds, for orchestra
  • 2011 Wiener Jeunesse Kammerchor Prize and award from the International Society of Contemporary Music Austria for her musical theater piece (Gender)Bender 9.99

1. “Austrian Young Composers: Mirela Ivičević,” Austrian Music Export, 22 April 2015, https://www.musicexport.at/young-austrian-composers-mirela-ivicevic/ (accessed 6 June 2023). 

© Ircam-Centre Pompidou, 2021


Site de la compositrice, Composers’ Association of Serbia, music austria.

Liens Internet

(liens vérifiés en juillet 2023).


  • Mirela IVIČEVIĆ, CASE WHITE ; The F Song ; Baby Magnify/Lilith’s New Toy ; Sweet Dreams ; CASE BLACK, dans « Scarlet Songs », 1 CD Kairos, 2023, KAI0015123.
  • Mirela IVIČEVIĆ, Baby Magnify/Lilith’s New Toy, Riot Ensemble, dans « Speak, Be Silent », 1 CD Huddersfield Contemporary Records, 2019, HCR20CD.
  • Mirela IVIČEVIĆ, Case White, dans « Donaueschinger Musiktage 2018 », 2 CD Neos, 2019, 11914-15.
  • Mirela IVIČEVIĆ, Ranko(A)sis II: Top 10 Songs I’ve Never Written, dans « Exploring the World / Ensemble Reconsil », 14 CD Orlando Records, 2016.