Slamet Abdul Sjukur

(b. 30 June 1935, Surabaya, Java – d. 24 March 2015, Surabaya, Java).

Indonesian composer of mostly stage, chamber, vocal, and multimedia works that have been performed throughout Asia and Europe.

Mr. Sjukur studied piano privately from 1944–52 and studied at the Sekolah Musik Indonesia in Yogyakarta from 1952–56. He later studied analysis with Olivier Messiaen and organology with Geneviève de Chambure at the Conservatoire National Supérieur de Musique de Paris in 1962–63, on a grant from the government of France. He then studied chamber music with Victor Gentil, composition with Henri Dutilleux, counterpoint with Simone Plé-Caussade, harmony with Georges Dandelot, and piano with Jules Gentil at the École Normale de Musique de Paris from 1962–67. He also briefly studied with Pierre Schaeffer and his Groupe de Recherches Musicales in Paris in 1968.

Among his honours are the Médaille de Bronze from the Festival de Jeux d'Automne in Dijon (1974), the Disque d'Or from the Académie Charles-Cros (1975, for a recording of Angklung) and the Zoltán Kodály Commemorative Medal in Hungary (1983). He was later named an Officier de l'Ordre des Arts et des Lettres by the government of France in 2000 and a life member of the Akademi Jakarta in 2002.

He is also active in other positions. As a scholar, he has studied indigenous music, including kronchong (folk music influenced by early settlers from Portugal in Indonesia) in 1981, on a grant from the Ford Foundation. He later undertook research on the aesthetic affinity of Claude Debussy with the gamelan in 1989, on a grant from the government of France. He founded the philharmonic society Pertemuan Musik Surabaya in 1957, which featured monthly concerts and lectures from 1957–82, and was a founding member of the Alliance Française in Surabaya in 1960. He served as head of the music committee of the Jakarta Arts Council from 1977–81 and invited numerous composers and performers to Indonesia for concerts, lectures and workshops. He organised the first festival of contemporary music from France in Southeast Asia and was later a founding member of the music foundation Yayasan Musik Laras in Surabaya in 1985 and of the composers union Asosiasi Komponis Indonesia (AKI) in 1994 and served as its director from 1994–99. He served as a member of the board of directors of the Sekolah Musik Surabaya in 1987, gave a series of lectures for broadcast on Wereld Omroep in the Netherlands in 1987, produced two weekly programmes on contemporary music for Radio Suara Surabaya from 1991–97, and co-organised with the Indonesian Director-General for Culture a conference–festival of the Asian Composers League in Solo and Yogyakarta in 1999.

He lectured on various subjects at the Jakarta Institute of the Arts from 1976–87, where he also served as dean of its department of music from 1981–83. He lectured for the postgraduate programme of the Institut Seni Indonesia Surakarta – Indonesian Institute of the Arts, Surakarta from 2000–15.


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Sangkuriang (miniature opera, libretto by Utuy T. Sontani), mixed chorus, 1958

Latigrak (ballet music, choreography by Frédéric Franchini), gamelan, fixed media, 1963

Parentheses VI, low-voiced actor, 2 dancers, whistling instruments, flute, 2 guitars, gamelan, 1983

Migrasi (music-theatre work, text by Afrizal Malna), 1993

Spiral, female dancer, flute, piano, 1993

Awang-Uwung (dance music, choreography by Suprapto Suryodarmo), 2 gendèr (metallophones from Indonesia), 1994

Marsinah (incidental music, play by Ratna Sarumpaet), specially-made instruments, 1994


Ōm, 14 strings, 1995

Concerto, arpegina (5-string viola), string orchestra, 2002

100 ABG BABU, bamboo blocks (100 amateur players), 2003

Game-Land 1 (Tsunami), gamelan from West Java (tuned in slendro and pelog), 2004–05

Game-Land 2 (Homage to Ton de Leeuw), gamelan from Java (tuned in slendro), 2005


Bulan Hijau, clarinet, piano, 1960

Point contre (players also speak), trumpet, harp, percussion, 1969

Ronda Malam, large number of angklung (set of bamboo tubes from Indonesia), 1975 (section of Angklung; may be performed separately)

Kangen, 3 shakuhachi (bamboo flutes from Japan), kokyū (bowed 3-string instrument from Japan), percussion from Japan, 1986

Suwung, flute, 1988

Ji-Lala-Ji, 2 flutes (both + percussion), 1989

Cucuku-Cu, guitar, 1990 (also version for 5 pianos 20 hands)

Lesung, synthesizer, 1992

Uwek-Uwek, 2 players (exploring their mouths), djembé (goblet drum from western Africa)/2 djembé, 1992

Minimax, variable ensemble (around hall), 1993

Jawara, percussion, 1993

Gelandangan, karinding (bamboo jaw-harp from West Java), fixed media, 1998 (also version for female voice, karinding)

'The Source, Where the Sound Returns', clarinet, cello, piano, 1999

Dedicace-1, arpegina/viola, 2000

PahaThigh, French horn, 2 trumpets, trombone, tuba, 2005–06


Angklung, mixed chorus (all voices + angklung), large number of angklung, 1975 (one section may be performed separately: Ronda Malam, large number of angklung)

Muni, mixed chorus (all voices + karinding), 1998


Bunga, Weekend and Kabut (texts by Sitor Situmorang, Toto Sidarto Bachtiar), voice, piano, 1960

Mais, ces oiseaux, mezzo-soprano, baritone, clarinet, violin, viola, cello, 1967

Parentheses V (text by Chairil Anwar), mezzo-soprano, 4 cellos, 1981

Gelandangan, female voice, karinding, 1999 (version of work for karinding, fixed media)

Sunyi, soprano, 2 cellular phones, small orchestra, 2002


Tobor, 1961

Svara, 1979

NZ, prepared piano, 1992

Cucuku-Cu, 5 pianos 20 hands, 1992 (version of work for guitar)

Yu-Taha, 1997


Astral, fixed media, 1984


Parentheses III (dance music, choreography by Denis Carrey), female dancer, suspended chair, piano, lights, 1972

Parentheses IV, 2 dancers, flute, 2 electric guitars, violin, cello, prepared piano, synthesizer, percussion, live painting, 1973

Parentheses III (text by R. D. Laing, choreography by Samuelina Tahija; dancers also speak), coloratura soprano, male speaker, 2 dancers, flute, oboe, clarinet, bassoon, 2 violins, viola, cello (with conductor–choreographer), large sculpture (by Elizabeth Gleason), 1975

Jakarta 450 Tahun (environmental work), unlimited sounds of Jakarta, 1977

Wangi, female dancer, gamelan, lights, 1999


Aku Perempuan Dan Laki-Laki Itu, 1996 (Aria Kusumadewa, Afrizal Malna)