The Croatian-born Milko Kelemen (*1924) studied with Olivier Messiaen in Paris and Wolfgang Fortner in Freiburg, among other teachers. The first stations of his activity in Germany were his work at the "Electronic Siemens Studio" in Munich and his invitation to Berlin as "Composer in Residence." He had already founded the "Zagreb Biennale" in 1959, having served as President of this festival since the early 1960s.
Milko Kelemen, who today lives in Stuttgart, has received many awards (Great Federal Cross of Service, prize of the ISCM, Great Yugoslav State Prize, the French order "Chevalier des Arts et des Lettres"). Hans Sikorski International Music Publishers have published the essential works of Milko Kelemen since ca. 1980.
With C.G. Jung as his point of departure, Kelemen has founded his musical language upon philosophical ideas. In his book "Sound Labyrinth" he states "The general concept of my judgement of works is based upon the fact that the influence of archetypes, or the effect of the "most impressive chord," remains present, starting with the imagination and extending into form, language and structure." Kelemen understands the term "complicated simplicity" to mean a striving towards making the complexity of new music more transparent. Novelty of organisation of the musical material should not be an end in itself. New formation can also be achieved by means of musical "archetypes" that would not necessarily have to be subjected to the diction of complicated compositional techniques.