Ivan Josip Skenderconductor
Ivan Josip Skender (Varaždin, 1981.) after graduating from high school in 1997, he enrolled at the Zagreb Academy of Music where he studied composition in the class of Professor Željko Brkanović as the youngest student of composition in the history of the Academy. In 1999, he simultaneously started studies in conducting in the class of Professor Vjekoslav Šutej. He won the Rector’s Award for the composition Heads and Tails. He attended a two-year postgraduate study of orchestral conducting in Vienna in the class of Professor Uroš Lajovic. Skender was the first composer to represent Croatia at the European multimedia festival Music Masters on Air in 2012. He was awarded a Rudolf and Margita Matz scholarship for young composers.
As a conductor, he has collaborated with numerous Croatian and foreign orchestras, choirs and opera ensembles. The Palma Collegiate Choir won numerous awards at Croatian and international competitions under his baton (2004-2012). As a conductor, he is particularly dedicated to performing and premiering compositions by contemporary Croatian authors. The members of the Cantus Ensemble chose him as their permanent conductor in 2012. From 2005 to 2014 Skender worked as the choirmaster at the Croatian National Theatre Opera in Zagreb, and from 2014 as a conductor at the Opera. He served as acting artistic director of the Zagreb Opera during the opera season 2013/2014. In 2016 he debuted at the
Staatstheater Braunschweig, conducting Tosca. In 2009, Ivan Josip Skender became Professor Uroš Lajovic’s assistant at the Zagreb Music Academy, where he now works as the Professor at the Department of Conducting, the Harp and Percussion.
He received the award from Zagreb Society of University Teachers for editing and performance of Blagoje Bersa’s opera The Schoemaker of Delft. He received the Stjepan Šulek Award for composition in 2017, for his work Phantasmagoria.