Drago Ivanuša is a composer of film and theatre music, a pianist and accordionist.
He is one of the most active Slovene composers. Since 1991, he has written the music for around 130 theatre and dance performances, and 23 films, as well as many independent compositions for chamber groups and orchestra. He has worked with some of the best Slovene directors and choreographers. He has nurtured his love of theatre since when he was young and attended the Maribor Conservatory of Music and Ballet, watched performances and learned in the Theatre Studio. Ivanuša typically performs his music live; his other notable characteristics are sound interventions and strong dramaturgic features that often place his music in the centre of staged performances.
When in the Nineties Slovene cinematography experienced a renaissance, he began working with film directors, helping them create a number of internationally awarded films. Film Bread and Milk (directed by Jan Cvitković) received the Golden Lion of the Future at the 2001 Venice film festival. Now he also works with the younger generation of film directors.
His oeuvre includes compositions for string quartet, piano, accordion, trumpet, clarinet, oboe, French horn, various voices, choir and symphonic orchestra.
His most representative solo projects are Hotel Ideal, Happy Birthday Dr. Ago, Ivanuša & Kugler (duo for piano and drums, together with Enos Kugler), Whitman (together with drum player Enos Kugler - on poetry of Walt Whitman) and most recent work Raising the Voice (for voice, piano, marimba, double - bass and percussion).
As a pianist and accordionist, he works with various groups and musicians in Slovenia and abroad. Ivanuša has published a number of independent albums (in recent years, his music was published by the Slovene publisher Muskafiber); he also appears on the recordings of the groups he regularly works with (Muskafiber, Štefbet Rifi, Bast, Bossa de Novo, Brina) and on dozens of albums by other musicians.
He has written compositions for different chamber groups and orchestra: Uvertura (for string orchestra), Karamazovi (for string quartet), Povodni mož (for symphonic orchestra) and composed a series of songs using lyrics by Slovene poets.
He has appeared at some of the world’s most important music festivals. He has received a number of awards for music for theatre and film (two Vesna awards at the Slovenian film festival in 2004 and 2010, Zlata ptica for achievements in the filed of theater and film music in 1999, AGRFT award Zlatolaska in 2002 and the Slovenian Advertising Festival Award- SOF for best music in 2000 and 2003).
Ivanuša’s music is expressive, eclectic and unpredictable. He makes good use of his experience in theatre and film, which gives his music a strong, exact dramaturgy and exciting content. He is an enthusiastic improviser, drawing inspiration for his music from old, mostly Baroque composers (Rameau, Couperin, Scarlatti), as well as contemporary ones (Britten, Berio, Globokar).