MERKÙ Pavle (July 12, 1927 – October 20, 2014), born in Trieste, was an Italian-Slovene composer, ethnomusicologist, Slovene specialist, and etymologist. He received a bachelor's degree in Slavic studies at the University of Ljubljana in 1950, and obtained his doctorate in Rome in 1960.
Merkù studied composition in Trieste. As a composer, he primarily wrote chamber music and works for choral ensembles. He wrote the opera Kačji pastir (La Libellula / The Dragonfly) in 1975/6. His professional work involved both music and Slovene studies. In the mid-1960s he started collecting folk songs among ethnic Slovenes living in Italy; this eventually grew into a collection of stories, customs, superstitions, and other folk material that he published in 1976 under the title Ljudsko izročilo Slovencev v Italiji (Slovene Folk Heritage in Italy). In 2004 he published the book 1300 primorskih priimkov (1,300 Littoral Surnames), which complemented the etymological research of France Bezlaj. Merkù was a member of the Slovenian Academy of Sciences and Arts.
In 1972 Merkù received the Prešeren Award for his composition Koncert za violino in orkester (Concerto for Violin and Orchestra). In 2001 he received the Štrekelj Award for exceptional achievement in collection Slovene folk heritage, and the Silver Order of Freedom of the Republic of Slovenia for strengthening Slovene ethnic identity among cross-border Slovenes and for scholarly and artistic merit. In 2007 he was given the Kozina Award for his lifetime composition work. With ASTRUM Music Publications Merkù published a collection Otroške ljudske pesmi Slovencev v Italiji (Children's Folk Songs of the Slovenes in Italy) among other choral compositions.
Merkù received the Prešeren Award for lifetime achievement in 2014. He died in Trieste at the age of 87.
"Srž vsake umetnosti je resnica." (The innercore of all art is truth.) - Pavle Merkù