Jovica Petković

Jovica Petković was born on 1 September 1927 in Smederevo. He began to play the accordion at the age of six. When he came to Sarajevo, he was only semi-literate, having had only four years of primary education, but found employment as an accordion player with Radio Sarajevo, which was then both famous and powerful. His ardent desire for self-improvement, his determination to learn and to perfect his skills, led him as a musician even to enroll at the Faculty of Economics in Sarajevo. He remained the greatest virtuoso of the accordion, as some of his admirers described him. Though Serbian and Šumadinac by birth, Jovica Petković was regarded as one of the most significant and productive composers of songs in the spirit of the folk music of Bosnia and Herzegovina, the music described by the writer Ivan Lovrenović as the jewel in the crown of our culture and of Bosnia and Herzegovina’s musical tradition, referring to the sevdalinka. A great many of Jovica Petković’s songs are based on the sevdalinka, which they imitate with considerable success. Few can equal him in this, for he stood shoulder to shoulder with Jozo Penava, Šerbo, Rade Jovanović, Zaim Imamović and a handful of others. Jovica Petković has experienced the greatest joy a composer can have by living to see his songs embraced by the people as folk songs. Jovica Petković has long since ceased to count the number of accolades and awards he has received at home and abroad. A particularly precious and valued accolade, however, was the one he received in Vienna from the Italian firm that manufactures the Dalappa accordion, the very make Jovica played, becoming its best advertisement. The company valued this so highly that a few years ago they sent a large parcel to Jovica’s Vienna address, containing a new, one-off Dalappa worth about 15.000 Euros.

Jovica Petković died on 14 September 2015 in Vienna (Austria).

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