Helena Skljarov (Zagreb, January 1993) graduated musicology at Music Academy, University of Zagreb (2017), under the mentorship of Nikša Gligo with a thesis on the analysis of 20th-century music. In 2014. she begins the study of Composition at the same university in the class of professor Berislav Šipuš. In 2018. she won a scholarship from the Croatian Composers Society “Rudolf and Margita Matz”. In 2018. she received the Rector’s award for composition Pulsar which was premiered in Zagreb by students orchestra and conducted by maestro Quentin Hindley. She participated in various masterclasses; in 2018 she gains a scholarship for the masterclass ISA –International Summer Academy of the mdw (University for Music and Performing Arts Vienna), 2020 she participated in the Festival Mixtur of Barcelona, various masterclasses organized by the Music Academy of Zagreb and others. In June 2020 she participated with her string quartet Silence as a composer in residency of Festival d’Aix-en-Provence. She has composed several works for solo instruments, chamber ensembles, orchestra, and two operas. As a musicologist, since 2017 she writes music critics and reviews of newly published editions of contemporary composers (magazine Cantus). From autumn 2019 she lived and studied in Lyon as an ERASMUS student in the class of professor Martin Matalon. In July 2020 she graduated composition under the mentorship of Berislav Šipuš with her opera Nothing. Almost for vocals, instruments, and electronics, written on the texts of Daniil Kharms. In 2021 her string quartet Silence is selected for the 2021 ISCM World New Music Days in Shanghai and Nanjing.

In short…

Graduated: Musicology (analysis of 20th century music) in 2017 and Composition (opera) in 2020

Masterclasses: ISA, Music biennale Zagreb 2019, Festival Mixtur of Barcelona, composer in residence in Festival d’Aix-en-Provence

Rewards: Rector’s award for composition Pulsar, scholarship from the Croatian Composers Society “Rudolf and Margita Matz”, string quartet Silence – composer in residence in Festival d’Aix-en-Provence, string quartet Silence – selected for the 2021 ISCM World New Music Days in Shanghai and Nanjing

Current projects: staged compositions, writing for voices, online/distance compositions, SoundArt project


Composition thesis (2020)

Opera Nothing… Almost, Images for vocals, instruments, and electronics. Written on different stories of Daniil Kharms which are in a way connected by its absurd situations. The main idea was to capture Kharms’s absurd humor and try to transfer it into music. In its duration of approx. 40 minutes there are presented different conflicts between four main characters (S, A, T and B) which are changed during the piece. Dramaturgy helps two actors who sometimes comment the action on the stage or simply ‘explain’ them by reading stage directions. 

More about the piece

Full Score

Full analysis (in Croatian)

Musicology thesis (2017)

Analysis of Schönberg’s Erwartung entitled ‘Schönberg’s Erwartung as beginning of atonality’. My biggest interest in the field of Musicology is music analysis, especially of 20th and 21st-century music. My mentor, Nikša Gligo, suggested me to write an extensive analysis of Schönberg’s Erwartung since it’s a challenge because there are very few attempts of analysis of this piece. Furthermore, the approach towards it is absolutely new and it requires inventing a new system of analysis as much as most musical pieces (especially the ones written in free atonality) composed after it.

Full analysis (in Croatian)