Širola, Božidar, distinguished Croatian musicologist and composer; b. žakanj, Dec. 20, 1889; d. Zagreb, April 10, 1956. He studied mathematics and physics at the Univ. of Zagreb. After training in composition from Ivan Zajc, he studied musicology with Robert Lach at the Univ. of Vienna (Ph.D., 1921, with the diss. Das istrische Volkslied). He taught mathematics and physics in Zagreb secondary schools, and also was active as a lecturer, critic, ethnomusicologist, and organologist. From 1935 to 1941 he was director of the secondary school of music at the Zagreb Academy of Music, and then was director of the Ethnographic Museum. After Tito consolidated his control of Yugoslavia in 1945, Širola devoted himself to private research. He was a noted authority on Croatian folk music. As a composer, he became best known for his operas and songs.
(all publ, in Zagreb): Pregled povijesti hrvatske muzike (Survey of the History of Croatian Music; 1922); with M. Gavazzi, Muzikološki rad Etnografskog muzeja u Zagrebu (Musicological Works of the Ethnographic Museum in Zagreb; 1931); Fućkalice: Sviraljke od kare svježeg drveta (Fućkalice: Wind Instruments Made From the Bark of Green Wood; 1932); Sopite i zurle (Sopilas and Zurlas; 1932); Sviraljke s udarnim jezičkom (Wind Instruments with a Beating Reed; 1937); Hrvatska narodna glazba (Croatian Folk Music; 1940; second ed., 1942); Hrvatska umjetnička glasba: Odabrana poglavlja iz povijesti hrvatske glazbe (Croatian Art Music: Selected Chapters of a History of Croatian Music; 1942).
DRAMATIC: Opera: Stanac (1915); Citara i bubanj (The Cittern and the Drum; 1929); Grabancijaš (The Student of the Black Arts; 1935); Mladi gospodin (The Young Gentleman; 1940); Kameni svatovi (The Stone Wedding Guests; 1954). melodramas: Iz Danteova “Ruja” (From Dante’s “Paradiso”; 1912); Putnik (The Traveller; 1919); Otmica (The Abduction; 1922); Šuma Striborova (1923); Kameni svatovi (1935). operetta: Z Griča na Trešnjevku (1931); Mecena (1934). Other: Ballets and incidental music. ORCH.: Novela od Stanac (The Story of Stanac), overture (1912); Symphonic Scherzo (1912); Svećana uvertira (Festival Overture; 1920); Concerto da camera for 2 Flutes and Chamber Orch. (1927); Koncertna uvertira (1927); Romanca for Violin and Strings (1939); Scherzo i ricercar for Violin and Strings (1939); Sinfonietta for Strings (1939); Sym. (1945); Sinfonia concertante for Piano and Orch. (1952); Violin Concerto (1953). CHAMBER: 13 string quartets (Medimurski, 1920; Bodulski, 1933; 1946; 1946; 1951; 1951; 1951; 1952; Nizozemski, 1953; 1955; 1955; 1955; 1955); 3 piano trios (1934, 1937, 1939); Suite for Violin and Harpsichord or Piano (1940); Cello Sonata (1952); 2 violin sonatas (1952, 1955); Rondo for Trumpet and Piano (1954); piano pieces. VOCAL: 6 oratorios (1924, 1926, 1928, 1928, 1929, 1931); choruses; song cycles.
—Nicolas Slonimsky/Laura Kuhn/Dennis McIntire