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Zdravko Blažeković is Executive Editor, with overall responsibility for the content in RILM Abstracts of Music Literature. He has been working at RILM since his move to the United States in 1987. During his tenure, RILM Abstracts has broadened the range of publications it covers, particularly expanding the coverage of music scholarship in Asian and South American countries.
Blažeković graduated (1980) and received his master’s degree (1983) at the Musicology Department of the Zagreb Academy of Music. In 1997, he earned his PhD degree at the Graduate Center of the City University of New York with a dissertation on music symbolism in medieval astrological iconography, particularly in the early-thirteenth-century celestial atlas produced by Georgius Zothorus Zaparus Fendulus on the basis of Hermann of Dalmatia’s Latin translation of the treatise Introductorium maius in astronomiam by Abu Ma’šar. Following his graduation in Zagreb, he was an assistant at the Institute of Musicology of the Academy of Music (1980), research assistant at the Institute for History of Croatian Music of the Yugoslav (now Croatian) Academy of Sciences and Arts (1980–1981 and 1984–1987), and the editor at the Music Information Center KDZ (1983). In the 1980s he worked on the cataloguing of historical music collections held at the Hrvatski Glazbeni Zavod and in Franciscan monasteries throughout Croatia.
He is director of the Research Center for Music Iconography at the Graduate Center of the City University of New York (since 1989). In 1988 he founded the journal for music iconography Music in Art, and in 2016 a monograph series Music in Visual Cultures (Brepols), both of which he has been editing since. He was a member of the Scholarly Editorial Board for the second edition of Die Musik in Geschichte und Gegenwart, responsible for the content concerning music in Slovenia, Croatia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Serbia, and Macedonia. Since 2004 he is a member of the Commission Mixte International of the Répertoire International d’Iconographie Musicale (RIdIM), and since 2010 he is chair of the ICTM Study Group on Iconography of the Performing Arts.
He is Associate Adjunct Professor at the CUNY Graduate Center, and a member of the Council of the Faculty of Liberal Arts and Sciences (Smolny) in St. Petersburg.
His research area concerns 18th- and 19th-century music of Southeast and Central Europe, music iconography, organology, historiography of music, reception of Greek and Roman organology in modern times, musical contacts between Europe and China in the 18th century, and music symbolism in medieval and renaissance astrology.
In 2018 he has received a Festschrift Music Cultures in Sounds, Words and Images: Essays in Honor of Zdravko Blažeković, edited by Antonio Baldassarre and Tatjana Marković. The Croatian Musicological Society awarded the monograph Hrvatska glazbena historiografija u 19. stoljeću, cowritten with Sanja Majer-Bobetko and Gorana Doliner, with its annual Josip Andreis award for 2010. The volume Speaking of Music: Music Conferences, 1835–1966, coedited with Barry S. Brook and James R. Cowdery, received the 2006 Vincent H. Duckles Award of the Music Library Association. In 2002, he was awarded by the President of Croatia the Order of the Zvijezda Danica for his contribution to Croatian culture.