Jan Urban

Prague, 1875-1952, Valjevo, Serbia

Urban was a Czech composer who wished to build up musical life in Serbia. Following the call to Belgrade, he took over the military orchestra, and perhaps drawn to pan-Slavism, converted and married in the Serbian Orthodox Church. He fought as an officer in the Serbian army and after the war, became composer and music director of the municipal theater of Osijek until his forced retirement by the Nazi-collaborating Ustashe. He returned to Osjiek after the end of the Second World War and enjoyed the life of a state-hero, fĂȘted for his anti-fascist stands until his death in 1952.