Ljubica Marić (18 March 1909 – 17 September 2003) was a Serbian composer. She was known for being inspired by Byzantine Orthodox church music, and was professor at the Faculty of Music in Belgrade and member of the Serbian Academy of Sciences and Arts.
Born in Kragujevac, Serbia, Ljubica Marić is considered one of the greatest Serbian composers. She has traveled a huge artistic and intellectual journey in order to facilitate the advancement of Serbian music. She was the first Serbian to get a diploma in composition in 1929. At the State Conservatory in Prague, she attended postgraduate studies under Josef Suk. While she was a student, she received praise in festivals in Amsterdam, Strasbourg and Prague.
She was described as a genially gifted woman, and her music was promoted by the great supporter of contemporary music, Hermann Scherchen. Her music was performed by the most important chamber ensembles and orchestras, and she was offered by Alois Hába a post of the associate professor at the Department for quartertone music at the Prague State Conservatory. World War II disrupted her international career so she spent most of her life in Belgrade, where she focused on composing more works. She was also engaged in visual arts, wrote philosophical poetry, worked as a professor of Belgrade Music Academy and a member of the Serbian Academy of Arts and Sciences.
Ljubica Marić was the first composer to use Byzantine church music in non-liturgical compositions. She synthesized medieval music with the avant-garde experience of 20th-century music in her work, creating pieces with philosophical lyrics. Her music announced the beginning of postmodernism and minimalism, and she is regarded as a precursor of Arvo Pärt and John Tavener.
Towards the end of her life, Ljubica Marić’s music was again enthusiastically received in big European music centers of Netherlands, Germany and Great Britain. In Amsterdam a CD with her chamber music was published. The foundation KölnMusik commissioned her new composition, a CD with her most representative compositions was published by Chandos. Ljubica Marić is regarded by some as one of the most original creators from the second half of 20th century.
“Ljubica Marić has used en entire arsenal of contemporary music in order to achieve a high goal. She speaks from the depth of her soul with clear and impressive language…” – this is how Dmitry Shostakovich characterized Ljubica Marić’s music. Her music and the originality of her expression were praised by numerous other great artists of 20th century, such as Bartok, Lutoslawski, Haba, Nicolas Slonimsky, Hermann Schrechen and Marius Flothuis. All of them have considered that Ljubica Marić’s compositions are among the greatest music creations of 20th century.