Isidora Žebeljan (Belgrade, 1967-2020) was the most outstanding and internationally acclaimed Serbian composer. She drew international attention with her opera Zora D. which was commissioned by the Genesis Foundation from London. It was premiered in Amsterdam in 2003, directed by Sir David Pountney and Nicola Raab. The same production opened the 50th season of the Vienna Chamber Opera in the same year.
Isidora Žebeljan got commissions from important institutions and festivals such as the Venice Biennale, Bregenz Festival, Berlin Philharmonic Foundation, Accademia Musicale Chigiana Sienna, City of London Festival, Genesis Foundation London, University of Kent, Muziektheater im Revier Gelsenkirchen, Dutch Chamber Choir, International Horn Society, The Eduard van Beinum Foundation The Netherlands etc. She composed works for excellent musical ensembles such as Wiener Symphoniker, The Academy of St. Martin in the Fields, Brodsky Quartet, Berlin Philharmonic Octet, Dutch Chamber Choir and London Brass. Her compositions were regularly performed in whole Europe, Israel, USA, Canada, Australia and Asia, including the festivals Venice Biennale, Bregenz Festival, White Light Festival (Lincoln Centre New York), Festival RAI Nuova Musica, City of London Festival, WDR-Musikfest, Settembre musica Milano-Torino, Settimana Musicale Senese, Festival Old Music The Netherlands, Stift Festival The Netherlands, ISCM Festivals (Zagreb, Gothenburg, Wrocław, Vancouver), Festival Classique The Hague, Galway Arts Festival, Tallin Summer Music Festival, Musical Biennale Zagreb, Ulysses Theatre Brijuni (Croatia) etc. Among the ensembles and musicians who performed music of Isidora Žebeljan are BBC Symphony Orchestra, Gothenburg Symphony Orchestra, Symphony Orchestra of RAI Torino, Real Filharmonía de Galicia, The Academy of St Martin in the Fields, Janáček Philharmonic Orchestra, I Solisti Veneti, New Philharmonia Westfalen, Brodsky Quartet, Berlin Philharmonic Octet, London Brass, Lutosławski Quartet, Dutch Chamber Choir, conductors Paul Daniel, Claudio Scimone, David Porcelijn, Michael Seal, Christoph Poppen, Alexander Rudin, Pierre-André Valade, Peter Dijkstra, and the soloists Stefan Dohr, Joan Enric Lluna, Alessandro Carbonare, Daniel Rowland, Nino Gvetadze, Oliver Triendl etc. Isidora Žebeljan also regularly appeared as a performer (conductor and pianist) of her own works and of the works by other composers.
She conducted concerts in London (with The Academy of St Martin in the Fields) and in Amsterdam, and performed as a pianist with Brodsky Quartet. CD-label CPO from Germany released two CD’s with her music (orchestral music and chamber music for strings, played by the Brodsky Quartet) and CD-label Oboe Classics from London released a CD ‘Balkan Bolero’ with her chamber music for winds.
Isidora Žebeljan studied composition at the Belgrade Music Academy with Vlastimir Trajković (a student of Messiaen). Since 2002 she has held there a position as a Professor of composition. In 2006 Isidora Žebeljan was elected as a member of the Serbian Academy of Science and Arts. In 2012 she was elected as a member of the World Academy of Art and Sciences (WAAS).