BiographyHe was born on May 1, 1924 in Belgrade in a Jewish family. His father, Mosha Josif was a merchant representative of Italian and German industries and an amateur dramatist. His mother Sofia (born Fahri), was from a rich family from Zemun. With good knowledge of foreign languages (she was educated in a Swiss institute), she worked as a translator (she translated verses by Serbian poets to German language) and a member of the international PEN Club. Intelligentsia, such as Jovan Dučić and Miloš Đurić were collaborators and friends of her. In the Josif family music had an important place. Josif's mother played the piano, while father was especially favourable about opera. Mosha and Sofia Josif wanted their both sons, Enriko and Albert, to study music, but it was Enriko’s talent that was recognized properly. Very soon he got his first, private music teacher, composer and conductor Vladislav Grinski. In that period, Enriko Josif wrote his first compositions.
After father’s death (1937) started a hard period for Enriko Josif and his family. Just before the start of the bombing of Belgrade (1941), they went to Sarajevo and afterwards moved to Italy, across Dubrovnik, Split and Korčula. As they were not persecuted, they stayed in Italy until 1943, when they moved to Switzerland.
After the end of the war, Josif continued his schooling in Belgrade and graduated in the First Belgrade Gymnasium. He started his further studies at the University of Belgrade's School of Medicine, but he left this area very soon by entering studies of music at the Academy of Music in Belgrade. As a student of Milenko Živković at the Department for Composition, he graduated in 1954. In the period between 1961 and 1962 he attended specialization studies in Rome. He worked as a teacher in the Elementary music school "Vojislav Vučković" (1955–1956) and in the High music school "Kornelije Stanković" (1955–1957). He followed the work of his professor Živković at the Academy of Music as an assistant (from 1957) аnd after sudden professor’s death (1964) he came into Živković’s position at the Department for composition. Next year (1965) he was chosen to become a docent, аnd afterwards an associate (1970) and full professor (1976). He worked at the Academy of Music until retirement 1989.
In the period 1967–1968 he was the president of the Composers’ Association of Serbia. As an excellent intellectual, he was a corresponding member (from April 25, 1991) аnd a full member of the Serbian Academy of Sciences and Arts (October 26, 2000).
He died on March 13, 2003 in Belgrade.
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