(b Antwerp, 9 July 1900; d Zürich, 9 June 1957). Swiss composer and critic. He studied at the Zürich Conservatory with Vogler, Jarnach and Andreae, and with Jarnach in Berlin, where he also attended the conducting class at the Hochschule für Musik. After a few years of independent activity as a composer in Florence and Munich he turned to music criticism in Paris. In 1930 he was made Berlin music critic of the Frankfurter Zeitung and in 1933 music editor of the Deutsche allgemeine Zeitung. From 1939 he lived in Zürich as a critic, becoming director of the newly founded Zentralarchiv Schweizerischer Tonkunst in 1942; in 1948 he was appointed vice-director of SUISA, the Swiss performing rights society. As a composer Oboussier was greatly influenced by Busoni's ‘junge Klassizität’, gradually freeing himself from Regerian late Romanticism. The conservatism of Swiss society forced Oboussier to conceal his homosexuality from even his closest friends. He was murdered by a casual sexual acquaintance.
Vocal: Trilogia sacra (R.M. Rilke), solo vv, chorus, orch, 1925–9; Antigone (recit, aria and elegy, Sophocles), A, orch, 1938–9; 3 psaumes, solo vv, chorus, orch, 1946–7; Amphitryon (op, after Molière, H. von Kleist), 1948–50; 4 Old English Songs, chorus, 1953
F.Hamel: ‘Der Komponist Oboussier’, Deutsche allgemeine Zeitung (24 April 1939)
F.Wohlfahrt: ‘Das Werk Robert Oboussiers’, SMz, xcix (1959), 308–11
C.Walton, ed.: Adolf Brunner: Erinnerungen eines Schweizer Komponisten aus der Schule Philipp Jarnachs und Franz Schrekers (Zürich, 1997)
FRITZ MUGGLER/CHRIS WALTON
A general term for a musical work, as in Antonio de Cabezón’s Obras de música (1578). In various Spanish and Portuguese manuscripts of around 1700 it was applied more specifically to a Tiento, for example the Obra de lleno 1° tono by Antonio Martín y Coll (E-Mn).
(b Bled, 22 Aug 1927). Serbian composer. He studied composition with Mihovil Logar at the Belgrade Academy until 1952. After being a professor at the Stanković Music School in Belgrade (1953–4), he became an assistant (1954), a lecturer (1961) and in 1969 a professor at the Belgrade Academy. He was general secretary of the Yugoslav Union of Composers (1962–6). He pursued further studies in 1959–60 in London with Berkeley and in 1966–7 at the Columbia-Princeton Electronic Music Center. He was rector of the University of Arts in Belgrade from 1979 to 1983, and held other administrative posts.
Obradović's music has always shown a bold harmonic quality and a concentration on tightly-knit formal structures. His earlier works show his use of extended tonality, rich orchestration and motivic linking of parts, notably in the Symphony no.1. After his studies with Berkeley he frequently used 12-note methods. The Symphony no.2 reconciles these with tonal elements, while the apocalyptic Epitaf H combines 12-note working with quotations from Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony; his later symphonies have continued these trends within modified symphonic structures. During his studies at Columbia he developed his electronic music techniques (already used in Epitaf H), and used them to good effect in the Elektronska tokata i fuga and the dramatic but terse Mikrosimfonija for orchestra and tape.