The festival through history

The roots of the Ljubljana summer festival stretch back to 1952, when the Tourist Society of Ljubljana organised the first Tourist Week, followed by the first Ljubljana Festival in 1953. Since then, the festival has showcased a number of cultural, economic, folklore, tourism and sports events.

Ljubljana continued to host Summer Festivals from 1953 on, animating stages in the capital with performances by domestic and foreign musicians, actors, dancers and visual artists, including orchestras, such as the Vienna Philharmonic, Israel Philharmonic Orchestra, Mariinsky Theatre of Saint Petersburg, Munich Philharmonic Orchestra, La Scala Philarmonic, The State Academic Bolshoi Theatre of Russia, The Royal Philharmonic Orchestra from London, La Scala Philharmonic Orchestra, Béjart Ballet Lausanne, St. Petersburg State Academic Ballet Theatre of Boris Eifman; conductors, such as Valery Gergiev, Daniel Harding, Zubin Mehta, Ennio Morricone, Riccardo Muti, Charles Dutoit, Fabio Luisi, Mstislav Rostropovich, En Shao; soloists such as Anna Netrebko, Jonas Kaufmann, Riccardo Zanellato, Yuri Bashmet, Denis Macujev, Lord Yehudi Menuhin, Julian Rachlin, Vadim Repin, Alexander Rudin, Mojca Zlobko, Dubravka Tomšič; vocal soloists including Paata Burchuladze, Joseph Calleja, Jose Carreras, Marjana Fink, Marjana Lipovšek, Ramón Vargas and more.

Through the years we have seen the Festival evolve, grow and come to play an important, influential role in the cultural life of the country. In the past few years alone, the Summer Festival has staged between 70 and 80 events of different genres, attracting some 80,000 domestic and foreign visitors. This illustrates just how successful and important the festival has become and encourages us, the organisers, to continue producing festivals of the very highest quality in the years to come.