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Slovenian composer and conductor Darijan Božič was born in Slavonski Brod, now in Croatia, on 29 April 1933. His family moved to Ljubljana when he was seven years old. He studied at the Ljubljana Academy of Music with Lucijan Marija Škerjanc (composition) and Danilo Švara (conducting).
A member of the Pro Musica Viva composers' group from 1962, he won the Ljubljana Academy's Prešern Award. His music is dramatic, and his early concertos show the influence of jazz, his extended tonality and the use of traditional musical forms. From 1963 he adopted a serial composition and free rhythmic co-ordination. He frequently used speaking parts in his music.
He began his conducting career as assistant conductor of the Slovene National Theatre Opera and Ballet Company, and from 1995 until retiring in 1998 he was the company's manager and artistic director. He was artistic director of the Slovenian Philharmonic Orchestra from 1970 until 1974.
He taught at the University of Ljubljana and the University of Maribor from 1980 until 1995.
Darijan Božič died on 24 October 2018, aged eighty-five.