Jože Kotar, clarinet
RTV Slovenia Symphony Orchestra
Mojca Lavrenčič, conductor
F. Lo Pinto: Who Am I?*
D. Škerl: Serenade for Strings
L. Firšt: Symphonic Dances *
P. Šivic: Suita (for clarinet and orchestra)
D. Gnezda: Normal Week
P. Ramovš: Momenti riflessivi, op. 27
M. Bonin: Cancro
* premiere performance
** first performance of the new version for chamber orchestra
The second concert will feature early orchestral works by several major Slovene composers, now deceased, who studied at the Conservatory or Academy in Ljubljana and then continued their training abroad, and new works by some gifted Slovene composers of the younger generation. Dane Škerl (1931–2002) graduated from Lucijan Marija Škerjanc’s class at the Ljubljana Academy of Music in 1952 and composed his six-movement Serenade for Strings the same year. The work immediately found favour and was frequently performed. He later returned to the Academy as a professor of composition. Pavel Šivic (1908–1995) was one of the first graduates of the Ljubljana Conservatory, having completed piano studies with Janko Ravnik and composition with Slavko Osterc in 1931. Over the course of his varied career he taught for many years (with interruptions) at both the Conservatory and the Academy of Music in Ljubljana, and was responsible for founding the Music Education Department at the latter in 1966. It was during his professorship that he composed his Suita, performed here with Jože Kotar as the clarinet soloist. Osterc’s last pupil was Primož Ramovš (1921–1999), who continued his mentor’s tradition through his own creative work. It was while still studying with Osterc that he composed one of his first symphonic works, Momenti riflessivi, in 1937. Ramovš completed the intermediate and advanced courses at the Ljubljana Conservatory and continued his studies at the newly founded Music Academy in Ljubljana. Today a new generation of composers is studying at this institution, which was renamed the Academy of Music in 1946. Two young composers on their way to a degree in composition in Uroš Rojko’s class are Federica Lo Pinto (b. 1997), represented here by her symphonic debut Chi sono?, and Domen Gnezda (b. 1982), already a graduate of the jazz guitar programmes at the Conservatory in Klagenfurt, Austria and the Berklee College of Music in Boston, Massachusetts (USA), represented by his piece Normal Week. Another student from Rojko’s class is Matej Bonin (b. 1986), a leading young Slovene composer who is already well established in international circles. For this occasion he has reworked his 2015 piece Cancro. Leon Firšt (b. 1994) is currently pursuing postgraduate studies in composition with Dušan Bavdek at the Academy of Music. His oeuvre already includes more than 70 works and he is represented here by his Symphonic Dances. The RTV Symphony Orchestra will be conducted by Mojca Lavrenčič, who last year (2018) graduated in orchestral conducting from the Academy of Music, where she studied under the tutelage of Marko Letonja and Simon Dvoršak.
During a concert break, a conversation with the composers, will take place in Marjan Kozina Hall. Conversation will be moderated by Primož Trdan.