Abstract: This paper will present the presence of Soviet music on the musical scene of the Kingdom of SCS/Yugoslavia. Analysis of newspaper articles and critiques, texts from music magazines, and other writings about Soviet music will demonstrate that it was present on concert stages, even though the Kingdom of Yugoslavia refrained from establishing relations with the Soviet Union until June 1940.

Keywords: Soviet music, Kingdom of SCS/Yugoslavia, interwar period, Yugoslav-Soviet relations, Dmitri Shostakovich, Alexander Mosolov


The paper delves into the presence of Soviet music within the interwar Yugoslav musical scene. This topic is fascinating, given that Yugoslav-Soviet diplomatic relations were only established on the eve of World War II. Although the subject’s scope turned out to be wider than expected, an effort was made to include a wide range of content. Considering Russian music holistically, without segregating it into emigrant and Soviet categories, it had a remarkable presence in Yugoslavia’s musical life. Thus, the paper categorises Russian composers into three groups: 1) Russian émigré composers; 2) elderly generation composers active in the USSR; and 3) younger generation composers pioneering “new” music the identification of “new” Soviet music in the Yugoslav scene, focusing on two figures: Alexander Mosolov and Dmitri Shostakovich.The paper focuses on the symphonic composition The Iron Foundry by Mosolov and Shostakovich’s opera Lady Macbeth of the Mtsensk District. We have endeavoured to place the performances of these mentioned works within the context of their time and environment while also demonstrating the reception they received from both the audience and critics. The paper concludes that during the 1920s, Soviet music was scarcely performed, with its sporadic presence becoming more noticeable by the late 1930s.