‘On the Guarding of the Heart,’ a piece for chamber orchestra by Serbian-born composer Djuro Zivkovic has won the 2014 University of Louisville Grawemeyer Award for Music Composition. The 20-minute work « makes a huge emotional journey in a relatively short period of time, moving through many landscapes between the mysterious, moody opening and the ecstatic conclusion, » said award director Marc Satterwhite.

Zivkovic, 38, describes the piece as an ‘instrumental cantata’ inspired by the religious music of Bach. Its main theme is the need to return to oneself.

Born in Belgrade in 1975, Zivkovic has lived in Stockholm, Sweden, since 2000. He is active as a violinist and violist and teaches at the Royal College of Music in Stockholm.

Austrian ensemble Klangforum Wien gave the first performance of « On the Guarding of the Heart » in November 2011 in Belgrade. The piece also has been performed in Vienna and Bergen.

The University of Louisville presents four Grawemeyer Awards each year for outstanding works in music composition, world order, psychology and education. They were founded by H. Charles Grawemeyer to help make the world a better place.

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