05. 01. 2022

Festival Ljubljana presents the 5th Winter Festival. Between 28 January and 5 February 2022 world famous musicians will perform in eight concerts, which will be held in the Philharmonic Hall, the Knights’ Hall, Križanke, and Cankarjev Dom. The festival will open on 28 January in the Philharmonic Hall, with three baroque masterpieces performed by renowned soloists and the Orchestra and Choir of the Slovenian Philharmonic led by conductor Bart Van Reyn. Then between 30 January and 4 February there will be performances by the outstanding pianists Duo Schiavo-Marchegiani, János Balázs, Maria João Pires, Nicolas Bourdoncle and Nejc Kamplet, tenor Joseph Calleja and violinist Maria Andreeva. 5. The Winter Festival will finish on 5 February in Cankarjev Dom with Mozart’s famous Requiem performed by the RTV Slovenija Symphony Orchestra, the Slovenian Philharmonic Choir, the Mixed choir of Glasbena matica Ljubljana and soloists conducted by Yan Pascal Tortelier.


The opening evening of the Winter Festival begins with three baroque masterpieces performed by the Slovenian Philharmonic Orchestra and Choir, and conducted by Bart Van Reyn, who devotes particular attention to operatic and symphonic music as one of the most sought-after Belgian conductors of his generation. The programme will feature Bach’s cantata for choirs and Ferrandini’s solo cantata for mezzosoprano, while the concert’s highlight will be Händel’s most temperamental work for choir and soloists, Dixit Dominus. Powerful interpretations will be provided byJulie Doyle and Griet De Geyter and mezzosoprano Barbara Kozelj.

J. S. Bach: Christ lag in Todesbanden, BWV 4
G. B. Ferrandini: Il pianto di Maria
G. F. Händel: Dixit Dominus, HWV 232

(28 January, 7:30pm, Philharmonic Hall)


A wonderful musical experience is to be expected from pianists Sergio Marchegiani and Marco Schiavo, one of the most active and dynamic piano duos on the Italian and international music scene, who have unified their vision on the black and white keys. They perform solo concerts individually and since 2006 have held many concerts together on the world’s most prestigious stages, including New York’s Carnegie Hall, the Golden Hall of the Viennese Musikverein, and the Vienna Konzerthaus, and have also performed with orchestras such as the London Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, Berlin Symphony Orchestra and more. In 2014 the record label Decca Records published their first album, dedicated to F. Schubert, which received much positive critical acclaim.

J. S. Bach: Schafe können sicher weiden, BWV 208
W. A. Mozart: Sonata in B major, K. 358
F. Schubert: Fantasy in F minor, Op. 103, D. 940
J. Brahms:
Hungarian dance no. 2 in D minor
Hungarian dance no. 4 in F minor
Hungarian dance no. 5 in F sharp minor
Hungarian dance no. 6 in D flat minor
G. Rossini: Overture from the Thieving Magpie opera

(30 January, 7:30pm, Knights’ Hall, Križanke)


János Balázs is considered one of the most successful and recognised pianists on the Hungarian classical music scene. Balázs’ passion for the piano, his efforts to reach beyond the limits of musical genres, and his gift for improvisation inspire critics and audiences alike. The pianist is the Artistic Director of the Georges Cziffra Festival which he founded in 2016 to honour his idol. Since then the festival has grown to become a prestigious classical music event in Hungary at which numerous renowned musicians have performed. In 2019 János Balázs received the Kossuth Prize, the most prestigious cultural award in Hungary, and in the same year he also became a Steinway artist.

F. Liszt: Fontane vile d’Este
R. Wagner – F. Liszt: Isolde’s Liebestod
R. Schumann – F. Liszt: Dedication
C. Saint-Saëns – J. Balázs: The swam from the Animal Carnival suite
F. Liszt – J. Balázs: Hungarian rhapsody no. 6
S. Rahmaninov – J. Balázs: Vocalise
G. Puccini – J. Balázs: Aria of Lauretta from the opera Gianni Schicchi
J. Brahms – G. Cziffra – J. Balázs: Hungarian dance no. 5 in F sharp minor
J. Brahms – G. Cziffra – J. Balázs: Hungarian dance no. 6 in D flat minor
M. M. Ponce – J. Balázs: The Little Star
J. Strauss – J. Balázs: Reminiscence

(31 January, 7:30pm, Knights’ Hall, Križanke)


One of the world’s most renowned musicians, Portuguese pianist Maria João Pires, is a passionate performer of chamber music and is considered one of the best interpreters of Beethoven’s and Mozart’s works. In her extensive and enviable career she has performed with all the most renowned orchestras and has performed at the world’s largest festivals. She has also received prizes from the International Music Council (IMC), the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), and the Gramophone Classical Music Awards. In 2019 she also received the medal for cultural merit from the Portuguese Government’s Ministry of Culture. At the 5th Winter Festival she will play Chopin’s Concerto for piano and orchestra no. 2 in F-minor  with the RTV Slovenia Symphony Orchestra, conducted by Ricardo Castro, the first Brazilian conductor to be given honorary membership of the Royal Philharmonic.

L. van Beethoven: Coriolan Overture in C minor, Op. 62
F. Chopin: Piano Concerto No 2 in F minor, Op. 21
H. Villa-Lobos: Bachianas Brasileiras No. 4
I. Stravinski: Firebird, ballet suite from 1919

(1 January, 7:30pm, Cankarjev Dom)


Nicolas Bourdoncle’s style of piano playing is full of passion, musicality and self-confidence. He began studying piano with his father Michel Bourdoncle, a famous pianist and teacher. He soon began attending the conservatory in Marseilles, continued his studies at the Paris Conservatory, and is currently studying at the Secondary Music School in Geneva and the Piano Cantabile society. In 2012 he won third prize at the International competition in Hanoi, Vietnam, and in 2019 at the Premio Jaen international piano competition. Since his first solo performance at the age of 10, he has shown himself to be a rising star of French piano.

L. van Beethoven: Sonata in F minor, Op. 57, No. 23, “Appassionata”
F. Liszt: Years of Pilgrimage II
Après une lecture du Dante
Fantasia quasi sonata, S. 161/7
R. Schumann: Symphonic etudes, Op. 13

(2 February, 7:30pm, Knights’ Hall, Križanke)


Maltese operatic tenor Joseph Calleja  is one of the most successful concert performers of the twenty-first century. Following his debut in Malta in 1997 (as Macduff in Macbeth), he went on to win the Caruso Competition in Milan and Plácido Domingo’s Operalia. Since then, his career has taken him to opera houses around the world and he has worked with many renowned artists, among them Anna Netrebko, Plácido Domingo, Rolando Villazón, Bryn Terfel, Riccardo Chailly and others. His repertoire extends from the works of French composers to the great lyric tenor and verismo roles. At the 5th Winter Festival he will perform the arias together with the Slovenian Philharmonic Orchestra under the Italian conductor Gianluca Marcianò.

G. Verdi: Ballet music from the opera Macbeth
G. Verdi: “Ah, la paterna mano”, Macduff’s aria from Macbeth
C. Saint-Saëns: Bacchanale from the opera Samson and Delilah
J. Massenet: “Pourquoi me réveiller”, Werther’s aria from the Werther opera
G. Bizet: Prelude to the Act 3 of the opera Carmen
G. Bizet: “La fleur que tu m’avais jetée”, Don José’s aria from Carmen
G. Puccini: Intermezzo from Madame Butterfly
G. Puccini: “E lucevan le stelle”, Cavaradossi’s aria from Tosca
F. Cilea: Intermezzo from the opera Adriana Lecouvreur
F. Cilea: “La dolcissima effigie”, Maurizio’s aria from the opera Adriana Lecouvreur
A. Ponchielli: Dance of the hours from the opera La Gioconda
A. Ponchielli: “Cielo e mar” Enzo Grimaldi’s aria from the opera La Gioconda
R. Leoncavallo: Intermezzo from the opera Pagliacci
F. Cilea: “La solita storia del pastore”, Federico’s aria from the opera L’arlesiana
A. Lara: Granada

(3 February, 7:30pm, Cankarjev Dom)


The multi-award-winning young pianist Nejc Kamplet takes centre stage for the seventh evening of piano music at this year’s Winter Festival. He comes from a musical family and has been playing the piano since the age of five. Having graduated from the University of Music and Performing Arts in Graz, he is currently continuing his training in Hanover, Germany. He has attended masterclasses with numerous distinguished teachers in order to perfect his piano technique and refine his poetic expressivity. His outstanding achievements have won him scholarships from the Ministry of Culture in Slovenia and from the cities of Graz and Maribor. In 2021 he represented Slovenia at the 16th Arthur Rubinstein International Piano Master Competition in Israel. He will be joined on the violin and on vocals by the young Russian musician Maria Andreeva, who is currently a student at the famous Moscow State Tchaikovsky Conservatory and the winner of the 9th and 10th International Tchaikovsky Competition for young musicians in two different sections; violin and piano. Maria has given independent concerts and performed as a soloist with numerous orchestras in countries all around the world, and is also a regular guest of major festivals.

T. A. Vitali: Chaconne for violin and organ in G minor
F. Liszt: Sonata in B minor, S. 178
C. Gounod: “Ah! je veux vivre dans le rêve”, Juliette’s aria from the opera Romeo and Juliette
C. Franck: Sonata for piano and violin in A major
M. Ravel: Gaspard de la nuit

(4 February, 7:30pm, Knights’ Hall, Križanke)


One of the most magnificent works in the treasury of classical music, the Requiem, is the last work of the great composer Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart. In his setting of the mass for the deceased, Mozart stuck to the prescribed sacral style, but he combined old forms with the moving experience of approaching death. The composer never completed this choral masterpiece, and it was completed after his death by his pupil Franz Xaver Sussmayr. The final version of the Requiem was played at Mozart’s funeral, at the re-burial of Napoleon I in 1840 and at the funeral of Frédéric Chopin in 1849. At the concluding concert of the 5th Winter Festival in Cankarjev Dom, we will listen to soprano Giulia Semenzato, mezzosoprano Wiebke Lehmkuhl, tenor Xabier Anduagu, bassbaritone Paul Armin Edelmann, the RTV Slovenija Symphony Orchestra, the Slovenian Philharmonic Choir and the Mixed choir of Glasbena matica Ljubljana, under the baton of French conductor Yan Pascal Tortelier.

(5 February, 7:30pm, Cankarjev Dom)

Festival Ljubljana reserves the right to modify the programme.

Thank you for your interest in the Ljubljana Festival programme.

More information at

Information / Public relations

Maruša Šinkovič
+386 (0)1 241 60 18

Živa Steiner
+386 (0)1 241 60 16

The founder of the Ljubljana Festival is the City of Ljubljana, which also provides financial support. Member of the European Festivals Association (EFA) since 1977.


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