Darko Brlek
General and Artistic Director of the Ljubljana Festival

“It is a source of great satisfaction to me that, following the extremely successful first edition of the Ljubljana Festival International Piano Competition in 2023, we will now have the opportunity to present talented young brass players to an audience. I am delighted to be able to say that we are already writing the next big musical story – a brass quartet and quintet competition. Brass instruments occupy a special place in the world of musical expression, and this competition enables us to present artists of the highest calibre whose virtuosity will undoubtedly impress jury and audience alike. The competition is not only about winning, however, it is also an occasion that will bring cultural enrichment to the audience. Through this competition, we are making a commitment to promote and develop brass ensembles and create a space where musicians from all over the world can come together and share their passion for music. We are confident that this competition, too, will become a good starting point for the subsequent careers of the participating musicians and develop into a leading competitive musical event. I wish all participants the best of luck!” 

Darko Brlek is the general and artistic director of the Ljubljana Festival. He became the youngest ever director of the Slovenian National Theatre Opera and Ballet in Ljubljana in 1991. A year later he also became the youngest ever artistic director of the Ljubljana Festival, eventually taking over as executive director of the country’s one of the most important cultural institutions in 1995. He was among the founders of the Cultural Chamber of Slovenia and has served as chairman of the Council for Culture of the Government of the Republic of Slovenia. Despite his extensive commitments to the promotion of culture in Slovenia, he also finds time to participate in various international bodies. After becoming the Vice President of the European Festivals Association (EFA) in 1997, he served as its President from 2005 to 2017. At present, he is the President of the Festival Academy, an initiative of the European Festivals Association (EFA) for young festival managers and honorary member of European Festivals Association. Art and culture are more than just a profession for Darko Brlek, who in 2016 was one of the two recipients of the annual management award for outstanding economic achievements given by the Finance newspaper and the Faculty of Economics in Ljubljana. He has also been the recipient of numerous other awards, including the Betetto Award for artistic achievements and the Župančič Award, which is the highest prize granted by the City of Ljubljana for outstanding creation in the field of art and culture. On the 4th of July 2018 Darko Brlek received the prestigious state award of the President of the Republic of Slovenia – Order for merits, for his contribution to Slovenian culture and merit for program excellence and international acclaim of cultural and artistic events. In 2020 The Slovenian Ambassador Programme committee named Darko Brlek with the honorary title of Congress Ambassador of Slovenia 2021. He is still active as a concert clarinetist, performing regularly on stages around the world.