Festival Ljubljana is proud to announce a programme packed with world-renowned international performers and domestic stars for this year’s 69th Ljubljana Festival, which takes place between June and September. Every summer the Ljubljana Festival places Slovenia’s capital firmly on the map of the world’s cultural and artistic venues and makes an important contribution to the cultural life of Ljubljana with a carefully selected programme covering a wide variety of genres, including ballet, opera, theatre, musicals, chamber music and symphonic concerts, the International Fine Arts Colony, masterclasses, children’s and youth workshops, the Ljubljana Festival on the Ljubljanica, and much more. At this year’s 69th Ljubljana Festival, a wealth of outstanding names will conjure up unforgettable summer evenings of cultural delight in the heart of Ljubljana.
INTRODUCTION TO THE SUMMER FESTIVAL
The traditional gala concert Summer Night, dedicated to the start of summer, will this year turn the spotlight on the remarkable Slovene musician, composer and singer Tadej Hrušovar. After beginning his musical career as a member of the popular Celje group The Fellows, he went on to pen more than 400 compositions and his songs have won themselves a permanent place in Slovene musical history. The Summer Night gala concert, co-produced by RTV Slovenia and Festival Ljubljana, is now a traditional annual event that revives some of the choicest pearls from the treasury of Slovene popular music.
(21 June, 8.45 pm, Congress Square)
OPENING OF THE 69th LJUBLJANA FESTIVAL CONDUCTED BY VALERY GERGIEV
St Petersburg’s Mariinsky Theatre is one of the world’s most renowned centres of music and theatre. The Mariinsky Theatre Orchestra and maestro Valery Gergiev, who has led the orchestra since 1988, have been treating Slovene audiences to unforgettable performances at the Ljubljana Festival for several years. For the opening concert of this year’s Ljubljana Festival, Gergiev will conduct the orchestra in a performance of the symphonic poem White Carniola by Marjan Kozina, a legend of Slovene classical music. The programme also includes Berlioz’s tragic masterpiece Symphonie fantastique.
(1 July, 9.00 pm, Congress Square)
HIGHLIGHTS OF THE 69th LJUBLJANA FESTIVAL
ELĪNA GARANČA AS THE HOT-BLOODED CARMEN
Mezzo-soprano Elīna Garanča appears at the Ljubljana Festival as Carmen in a concert performance of Bizet’s most important opera. Although she has sung many roles, further consolidating her reputation with each new part she tackles, this is the character with which she is most associated, with the New York Times calling her “the best Carmen of all time”. The mezzo-soprano and other excellent singers will be accompanied by the RTV Slovenia Symphony Orchestra under British conductor Karel Mark Chichon.
(2 July, 9.00 pm, Congress Square)
DANTE’S 700 AND THE FILM MUSIC OF NICOLA PIOVANI
The celebrated Italian film score composer, pianist and conductor Nicola Piovani comes to the Ljubljana Festival. He is the creator of music for more than 130 films, including Roberto Benigni’s classic La vita è bella (Life Is Beautiful), for which he won the 1999 Academy Award for Best Original Score. The first part of the concert on the Festival stage will consist of a work dedicated to the Renaissance poet Dante Alighieri, the 700th anniversary of whose death falls this year. The second part will feature music from La vita è bella. Piovani will conduct the FVG Orchestra from Italy’s Friuli Venezia Giulia region, with soprano Annamaria Dell’Oste appearing as soloist in the first part of the concert.
(7 July, 9.00 pm, Congress Square)
PLÁCIDO DOMINGO RETURNS TO THE STAGE OF THE SUMMER FESTIVAL
The legendary Plácido Domingo, who shone as a conductor at the 67th Ljubljana Festival, returns to the Festival stage this summer with a programme of opera and zarzuela arias for baritone. The Spanish musician, who has sung an incredible 150 roles over the course of his remarkable career, is the recipient of numerous awards and honorary doctorates. He is also a successful conductor who has conducted more than 500 operas and concerts to date. He will be joined at the 69th Ljubljana Festival by the sopranos Saioa Hernández, who achieved international recognition following her debut last year at La Scala in Milan, and Sabina Cvilak, a former member of the Vienna State Opera. The opera stars will be accompanied by the RTV Slovenia Symphony Orchestra under the Spanish conductor Jordi Bernàcer.
(8 July, 9.00 pm, Congress Square)
MARTHA ARGERICH AND CHARLES DUTOIT
The recipient of the most prestigious awards and one of the most respected pianists of the last century, Marta Argerich has been a commanding figure on the world’s concert stages ever since her victory at the International Chopin Piano Competition in Warsaw in 1965. Over the course of her career, she has performed many of the most demanding works of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, and her broad repertoire spans composers from Bach to Shostakovich. Together with the Slovenian Philharmonic Orchestra, she will perform Prokofiev’s Piano Concerto No. 3 in C major, under the direction of the Swiss conductor Charles Dutoit, a recent recipient of the Royal Philharmonic Society Gold Medal, who conducted the opening concert of last year’s 68th Ljubljana Festival.
(15 July, 9.00 pm, Congress Square)
A MIDSUMMER NIGHT’S DREAM
A Midsummer Night’s Dream with the Vienna Boys’ Choir, which boasts a 500-year musical and educational tradition and numbers around a hundred choristers aged between nine and fourteen, will be one of the highlights of the 69th Ljubljana Festival. The foundations of the choir were laid in 1498 by Holy Roman Emperor Maximilian I. The many musicians who have worked for the choir include Heinrich Isaac, Johann Joseph Fux, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, Antonio Salieri and Anton Bruckner. The composers Jacobus Gallus and Franz Schubert were themselves members of the choir. Motets and works for children’s choir form the core of the touring repertoire, along with the choir’s own arrangements of Viennese music such as the waltzes and polkas of F. Lehár, J. Lanner and the Strauss family.
(19 July, 9.00 pm, Congress Square)
SONYA YONCHEVA – A SOPRANO WHO IMPRESSED PLÁCIDO DOMINGO
Soprano Sonya Yoncheva and tenor Branko Robinšak perform a selection of opera arias with the Orchestra of the Slovene National Theatre Opera and Ballet Ljubljana conducted by Domingo Hindoyan. Sonya Yoncheva, who has enjoyed a meteoric rise to become one of today’s biggest opera stars, comes to Slovenia for the first time. The winner of numerous music competitions in past years, she made her debut with the Berlin Philharmonic under Zubin Mehta the year before last. Tenor Branko Robinšak, a principal of the Slovene National Theatre Opera and Ballet Ljubljana, has also enjoyed a successful career and in 2011 received a Prešeren Fund Prize in recognition of his work.
(27 July, 9.00 pm, Congress Square)
THE RETURN OF OPERA STARS ANNA NETREBKO AND YUSIF EYVAZOV
Russian soprano Anna Netrebko has ruled the world’s most prestigious stages ever since she was discovered by the celebrated maestro Valery Gergiev and was the first classical musician to appear in Time magazine’s list of the hundred most influential people in the world. She will be joined on stage by tenor Yusif Eyvazov. The iconic pair will be accompanied at this concert by the RTV Slovenia Symphony Orchestra under the direction of Michelangelo Mazza, an internationally successful conductor who has worked closely with the famous operatic duo for a number of years.
(8 August, 8.30 pm, Congress Square)
JONAS KAUFMANN TO THRILL THE AUDIENCE AGAIN
Charming tenor Jonas Kaufmann returns to the Slovene capital following last year’s astonishing Ljubljana Festival debut. The German singer is famous for his outstanding technique and is often placed on a par with likewise legendary German tenor Fritz Wunderlich. He will be accompanied by the RTV Slovenia Symphony Orchestra under Jochen Rieder. The German conductor enjoys a long-standing musical friendship with Kaufmann that has involved numerous international triumphs.
(11 August, 8.30 pm, Congress Square)
THE VIRTUOSO PIANISM OF ARCADI VOLODOS
Limitless virtuosity, combined with a unique sense of rhythm, colour and poetry, make Russian pianist Arcadi Volodos the narrator of intense stories. He has performed as soloist with the world’s most eminent orchestras, including the Berlin, New York and Munich Philharmonics and the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra, under conductors such as Valery Gergiev, James Levine and Zubin Mehta. A regular guest at the most prestigious concert halls, he is one of the most highly regarded pianists in the world.
(13 August, 8.30 pm, Congress Square)
A BROADWAY SPECTACLE SET IN JAZZ AGE CHICAGO
Chicago, one of the most successful Broadway musicals of all time, with countless revivals and new productions since its premiere in 1975, comes to the 69th Ljubljana Festival in a production directed by Mykal Rand. With music by John Kander, lyrics by Fred Ebb and book by Ebb and Bob Fosse, Chicago is based on the play of the same name by the journalist Maurine Dallas Watkins, who took her inspiration from the crime stories she reported on in her newspaper column. The original production was directed and choreographed by Bob Fosse. Today’s stagings of the musical are based on the 1996 revival with choreography by Ann Reinking “in the style of Bob Fosse”.
(16–20 August, 8.30 pm, Congress Square)
A RUSSIAN MUSICAL OF CINEMATIC DIMENSIONS
St Petersburg’s LDM Novaya Scena theatre company returns with a brilliant masterpiece of sensuality, fateful love and eroticism. The musical Lolita has little in common with Vladimir Nabokov’s controversial novel of the same title, except the theme of destructive love that can lead to darkness and horror. The musical is the creation of an international co-production team with singing stars from Russian musical theatre and a magnificent corps de ballet, featuring stunning choreography, dazzling costumes and an innovative interactive backdrop with special visual effects.
(23 and 24 August, 8.30 pm, Congress Square)
JOSÉ CURA AND GUESTS
Known for the powerful intensity of his interpretations, José Cura possesses a distinctive bold and bright tenor with hints of dark baritone. He is also a successful composer and conductor. At this concert, he will appear together with the RTV Slovenia Symphony Orchestra, RTV Slovenia Youth Choir, Slovenian Philharmonic Choir and international soloists Elisa Balbo, Nuška Drašček, Péter Balczó and Marcell Bakonyi, under the baton of Argentinian conductor Mario De Rose.
(25 August, 8.30 pm, Congress Square)
ROYAL CONCERTGEBOUW ORCHESTRA CONDUCTED BY DANIEL HARDING
Amsterdam’s Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra returns to the Ljubljana Festival for the fourth time, on this occasion with British conductor Daniel Harding. Founded 133 years ago, the orchestra has consolidated its reputation with numerous eminent conductors. Its 120 members are drawn from more than 25 different countries. The orchestra will perform Beethoven’s Piano Concerto No. 3 in C minor with pianist Yefim Bronfman, who began his international career in Montreal in 1975 under conductor Zubin Mehta. Also on the programme is Bruckner’s magnificent Seventh Symphony.
(1 September, 7.00 pm, Congress Square)
IRENA GRAFENAUER AND MATE BEKAVAC
Flautist Irena Grafenauer has performed with the finest orchestras and conductors of our time and was the first ever female soloist of the Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra. She will appear alongside the top clarinettist, conductor, artistic director and composer Mate Bekavac, who is known for his profound and full-blooded interpretations. He will conduct the RTV Slovenia Symphony Orchestra. The two artists will be joined by soloists Stefica Stipanević, Nuška Drašček and Blaž Šef and the Dekor Chamber Choir.
(2 September, 7.00 pm, Congress Square)
THE BALTIC SEA PHILHARMONIC – AN INNOVATIVE ORCHESTRA
The Baltic Sea Philharmonic brings together creative, talented musicians from ten Nordic countries. Each concert is a unique spectacle of sound, light, visual art and technology. Under Estonian artistic director and founding conductor Kristjan Järvi, the orchestra transcends the traditional boundaries of classical music. The programme of this concert by the Baltic Sea Philharmonic focuses on the symbolism of the swan and its reputation as a “royal” bird.
(6 September, 7.00 pm, Congress Square)
TRADITIONAL ATTRACTIONS AT THE 69th LJUBLJANA FESTIVAL
Tomaž Domicelj always surprises us with his choice of guest or guests, and this year will be no different. With his virtuoso guitar playing and improvisation, Primož Grašič will add a special flavour and feel to Domicelj’s compositions and interpretations. Almost Acoustic is the first official lengthy collaboration between these two Slovene musical icons. The evening promises to be a feast of spontaneous live music-making as the two master musicians evoke countless different shades from at least half a dozen acoustic and – this year – electric guitars.
(5 July, 7.00 pm, Grand Foyer)
Vlado Kreslin’s relationship with the Ljubljana Festival – a story of sold-out concerts and a wide array of guests – dates back three decades. He first appeared on the outdoor stage in the Križanke complex in 1991 alongside the legendary musicians of the Prekmurje region’s Beltinška Banda. One of the most popular and prolific Slovene musicians currently active, Kreslin has collaborated with countless musicians across different genres, leaving a visible mark on the history of Slovene music. He is a unique phenomenon whose influence has also crossed borders.
(27 August, 8.30 pm, Congress Square)
SLOVENE THEATRICAL PRODUCTIONS
AND THE CENTURY WILL BLUSH
And the Century Will Blush. The Kocbek Case is based on a monograph by Andrej Inkret. It is a complex biography, a socialist example of the melodramatic story of the co-founding of a movement that was simultaneously a resistance movement and an attempt to construct a state. The questions are ethical, religious and, above all, political. The so-called Kocbek case is the story of an intellectual, a Partisan, an anti-fascist and an anti-clericalist who remained loyal to his comrades until the end. It is also a story about belonging.
(9 July, 9.00 pm, Križanke Pergola)
BALLET BY EDWARD CLUG
Choreographer Edward Clug explores Ibsen’s satirical story Peer Gynt, transforming it into a ballet and offering a new interpretation of this classic dramatic work. The action follows Ibsen’s chronological sequence of events but uses, in addition to the movements composed by Edvard Grieg as incidental music for the drama, other orchestral, chamber and solo works by the same composer. The worlds of Ibsen and Grieg thus join together to form a new whole and create a landscape that offers a new theatrical experience.
(12 July, 9.00 pm, Congress Square)
BIRDS OF A KIND
Wajdi Mouawad’s internationally acclaimed drama Birds of a Kind (Tous des oiseaux) is brought to the Ljubljana Festival by director Ivica Buljan, who made his theatrical debut in 1995 and is active both in his native Croatia and abroad. He has won several international theatre awards for his work, including the Borštnik Ring at the Maribor Theatre Festival and a Prešeren Fund Prize. He is a Chevalier of the French Ordre des Arts et des Lettres. Since 2019 he has been the director of the Croatian National Theatre in Zagreb.
(12, 13, 14 and 15 July, 7.00 pm, Križanke Church)
The tragic love story Madama Butterfly is one of Puccini’s best-known operas. The original version, in two acts, was premiered at La Scala in Milan in 1904. After an absence of more than ten years, Madama Butterfly returns in a new production by the Slovene National Theatre Opera and Ballet Maribor, directed by the Italian opera director Pier Francesco Maestrini.
(14 July, 9.00 pm, Congress Square)
Tango Story was born in 2012 as a project of the European Capital of Culture Maribor 2012 – Ptuj, in collaboration with the violinist Stefan Milenkovich. Slovenia’s two highest-profile dancers and choreographers of Argentine tango, Andreja Podlogar and Blaž Bertoncelj, who were crowned world champions in 1998, will reveal the numerous variants of tango in a dazzling dance performance. The event also features mezzo-soprano Irena Yebuah-Tiran and actor Pavle Ravnohrib.
(30 July, 9.00 pm, Congress Square)
CHAMBER CONCERTS NOT TO BE MISSED
SLOKAR TROMBONE QUARTET
This quartet of four trombonists was founded in 1973 by the Slovene trombonist Branimir Slokar. The other members are György Gyivicsán, Wassil Christov and Edgar Manyak. Together, the four trombonists enthral audiences with their homogeneous sound, technical mastery and musicality. Joining the quartet for this special journey of discovery of the trombone is multi-award-winning percussionist, cellist, composer and director Kristijan Kranjčan.
(16 July, 7.00 pm, Križanke Church)
MAHLER IN LJUBLJANA
The programme of the Mahler in Ljubljana concert links the works of the composers Hugo Wolf and Gustav Mahler. The Dissonance Ensemble, which brings together musicians from Slovenia’s leading musical institutions, will perform Mahler’s Fourth Symphony under the direction of internationally acclaimed conductor Marko Letonja. Appearing as soloist at this concert is soprano Nika Gorič, who in 2017 received the Queen’s Commendation for Excellence, a prestigious honour awarded to the best all-round student of the year at London’s Royal Academy of Music.
(20 July, 7.00 pm, Križanke Church)
THE MERRY SOUND OF THE ACCORDION
Accordion virtuoso Marko Hatlak is well known as a soloist and as a member of various ensembles and performs a repertoire ranging from baroque and classical to tango and world music, interweaving his own original compositions and, depending on the occasion, other genres too. In 2019 he composed Quicksilver, a piece for accordion and orchestra, and performed it with the RTV Slovenia Symphony Orchestra. He has also performed as a soloist with the Moscow Philharmonic and the Jenaer Philharmonie.
(21 July, 7.00 pm, Križanke Church)
MUSICA VIVA MOSCOW CHAMBER ORCHESTRA
The Musica Viva Moscow Chamber Orchestra was founded in 1978. Ten years later the leadership of the ensemble was taken over by acclaimed violinist Alexander Rudin. Under Rudin, Musica Viva has grown into a first-class ensemble and one of the most notable Russian chamber orchestras currently active. Appearing as soloist with the orchestra at this concert is cellist Bernardo Brizani, a regular guest of the Ljubljana Festival.
(22 July, 7.00 pm, Križanke Church)
AMBASSADOR OF THE RUSSIAN CLASSICAL MUSIC TRADITION
Violetta Egorova is a deeply committed pianist who has developed a matchless piano technique and poetic expressiveness. She has become an ambassador of the Russian classical music tradition and ensures that it is heard, respected and appreciated wherever she performs. In Ljubljana she will pay homage to two composers who made history with their piano music: Schubert and Liszt.
(25 July, 7.00 pm, Knights’ Hall, Križanke)
THE SOUNDS OF TRUMPET, TUBA AND PIANO
German trumpeter Reinhold Friedrich is principal trumpet of the Lucerne Festival Orchestra and artistic director of the Lucerne Festival Orchestra Brass Ensemble. Roland Szentpáli is principal tuba of the Hungarian National Philharmonic and is also active as a composer and arranger. He too has close a connection with Lucerne. These two remarkable musicians are joined by pianist Epifanio Comis. Friedrich and Szentpáli will be accompanied on the piano by Eriko Takezawa and Dalma Cseh.
(26 July, 7.00 pm, Knights’ Hall, Križanke)
LATICA HONDA-ROSENBERG AND BOŽO PARADŽIK
Latica Honda-Rosenberg established herself in the concert world at a very young age. Winning the silver medal at the Tchaikovsky Competition in Moscow in 1998 paved the way for an international career. She will be accompanied on the piano by Zuzanna Basinska. Božo Paradžik has held principal positions with various leading orchestras, working with renowned conductors. Since 2000, when he released his debut album on EMI, he has built an impressive career as a soloist.
(28 July, 7.00 pm, Knights’ Hall, Križanke)
THE RUSSIANS ARE COMING!
The programme of The Russians are Coming! includes works by twentieth-century Russian composers alongside arrangements of some very interesting pieces originally composed for piano. The concert will begin with a performance of Igor Stravinsky’s Concerto in D, a masterpiece for string orchestra. The excellent musicians of the Dissonance Ensemble will be joined in a performance of Alfred Schnittke’s brilliant Concerto Grosso No. 1 by the evening’s main protagonists: the internationally acclaimed violinists Dmitry Sitkovetsky and Lana Trotovšek. The concert will also include works by two giants of Russian music: Sergei Prokofiev (in an arrangement by Rudolf Barshai) and Dmitri Shostakovich. Completing the experience will be Leonid Desyatnikov’s Songs of Bukovina preludes (arranged by Dmitry Sitkovetsky).
(29 July, 7.00 pm Slovenian Philharmonic Hall)
OBOE AND FLUTE WITH PIANO ACCOMPANIMENT
Felix Renggli has occupied the solo flute chair with various orchestras. He currently teaches at the Conservatorio della Svizzera Italiana in Lugano (Switzerland). He will be accompanied by pianist Thomas Haberlah, who is regularly heard as an accompanist at international music festivals and masterclasses. Also appearing will be oboist Emanuel Abbühl, an honorary member of the Royal Academy of Music in London, accompanied by pianist Kimiko Imani.
(31 July, 7.00 pm, Knights’ Hall, Križanke)
Acclaimed Catalan flautist Claudi Arimany is a musician of international fame. As a soloist, he has performed with many of the most important European and American orchestras, including the English Chamber Orchestra, the Berlin Philharmonic Chamber Orchestra and the Philharmonia Virtuosi of New York. His extensive discography consists of around 40 albums recorded for various labels. Together with Pedro José Rodríguez, he will perform a programme of rarely heard compositions for flute from the Romantic era.
(1 August, 7.00 pm, Križanke Church)
FROM BRAZIL TO NORWAY
Clarinettist François Benda won the 1991 Premio Internazionale Gino Tani per le Arti dello Spettacolo in Rome. Today he performs in the world’s most prestigious concert halls. Bassoonist Ole Kristian Dahl is a professor at the Hochschule für Musik in Mannheim and visiting bassoon professor at the Royal College of Music in London. He has been principal bassoon of the Gothenburg Symphony Orchestra (National Orchestra of Sweden) since 2016. We will also hear the prize-winning pianist Elina Gotsouliak, one of the most promising and versatile pianists of her generation.
(2 August, 7.00 pm, Knights’ Hall, Križanke)
GUY BEN-ZIONY AND JENS PETER MAINTZ
Alongside his work as a soloist, violist Guy Ben-Ziony frequently performs as first viola with prestigious orchestras. Appearing alongside him is pianist Naaman Wagner, a member of the 21st Century Ensemble. Cellist Jens Peter Maintz is an acclaimed soloist, a chamber musician and a dedicated cello teacher. He has been principal cello of the Lucerne Festival Orchestra since 2006. He will be accompanied on the piano by Keiko Tamura, a winner of the best piano accompanist prize at the International Tchaikovsky Competition in Moscow.
(2 August, 7.00 pm, Knights’ Hall, Križanke)
AN UNUSUAL TRIO OF YOUNG MUSICIANS
The musical synergies of this unusual trio complement each other in a sound that is unique and distinctive, just like the trio’s members. Flautist Eva-Nina Kozmus, cellist Karmen Pečar Koritnik and harpist Mojca Zlobko Vajgl have selected a variety of works and arrangements that suit their trio particularly well, either in terms of compositional mastery and expressivity or simply because they just “feel right”.
(9 August, 7.00 pm, Križanke Church)
A SENTIMENTAL KREUTZER SONATA
The concert entitled Kreutzer Sonata by the Dissonance Ensemble is a reminiscence of 2020, which was a jubilee year for the composers Ludwig van Beethoven and Hugo Wolf. In addition to two works for string quartet by Hugo Wolf, the musicians will perform an arrangement for violin and string quartet of a concerto originally composed for violin and piano. The second part of the concert will feature Beethoven’s famous Kreutzer Sonata. The ensemble will be joined by violinist Lana Trotovšek, who is among this year’s Prešeren Fund Prize winners.
(10 August, 7.00 pm, Križanke Church)
The Slovene National Youth Orchestra is a project, a space and a story that connects the whole of Slovenia. It gives young musicians aged 12 to 19 the chance to develop their skills and build musical and cultural bridges. At this concert, directed by conductor Živa Ploj Peršuh and featuring the group Katalena, it will help Slovenia’s musical heritage come to life with a fresh energy. They draw their inspiration from the tradition of Slovene folk songs, which they show in a new light through fresh approaches that offer something to even the most demanding listener.
(26 August, 8.30 pm, Congress Square)
AURORA AND THE CRICKET
The libretto for the lyric opera Aurora and the Cricket was written by the well-known Slovene poet Milan Dekleva, while the music is by Pavel Mihelčič – composer, essayist, music critic and professor emeritus of the Ljubljana Academy of Music. The opera is based on a story from Greek mythology that tells of the love of the goddess Eos for Tithonus, a prince of Troy. The music of the opera is subtle, as though aiming to clarify the space in which sound alternately grows denser and attenuates.
(30 and 31 August, 7.00 pm, Križanke Church)
AN ITALIAN EVENING
The Friuli Venezia Giulia Choir will be directed at the Ljubljana Festival by renowned conductor Ernest Hoetzl, the director of the Carinthian branch of Jeunesses Musicales Austria and a recipient of the Decoration of Honour for Services to the Austrian Republic. Also performing at the concert, whose programme includes a piece by the contemporary Italian composer Cristian Carrara alongside motets by Bach and psalms by Mendelssohn, will be the acclaimed Slovene flautist Boris Bizjak and the choir’s artistic director Cristiano Dell’Oste, who on this occasion will be seated at the organ bench.
(7 September, 8.00 pm, St James’s Church)
CLOSING OF THE 69th LJUBLJANA FESTIVAL
The ORF Vienna Radio Symphony Orchestra will close the 69th Ljubljana Festival with premieres of works by two acclaimed contemporary composers and Rimsky-Korsakov’s symphonic suite Scheherazade. The programme includes the world premiere of a new work by the Austrian composer Julia Purgina and the first performance in Slovenia of a new cello concerto by Slovene composer Vito Žuraj. Austria’s most versatile orchestra, which carries in itself the heart of the golden Viennese orchestral tradition, enjoys a worldwide reputation. The orchestra has worked with some of the world’s highest-profile conductors. On this occasion the baton is taken up by the young British conductor Kerem Hasan. Appearing at the concert as a soloist is the outstanding French cellist Jean-Guihen Queyras.
(8 September, 7.00 pm, Congress Square)
ACCOMPANYING EVENTS OF THE 69th LJUBLJANA FESTIVAL
LJUBLJANA FESTIVAL ON THE LJUBLJANICA
At the end of June, as part of the events of the Ljubljana Festival, talented students from the Ljubljana Conservatory of Music and Ballet and the Ljubljana Academy of Music will perform on pleasure boats on the river Ljubljanica for the sixth year in a row. Discovering the hidden corners of the city’s picturesque embankments will never be as unforgettable as during these four days in which Festival Ljubljana hosts chamber music concerts on the river. Come on board with us and discover the rich history of the river to the accompaniment of a select programme of music and inspiring performances full of youthful fire.
(28 July–1 August, boats on the Ljubljanica)
As part of this year’s 69th Ljubljana Festival, young musicians from Slovenia and abroad will once again have the opportunity to hone their skills at the Ljubljana Festival Masterclasses. As in previous years, the masterclasses will be given by top musicians who are also internationally renowned teachers. The twelve musicians personally invited by artistic director Branimir Slokar to teach this year’s masterclasses with the help of piano accompanists are: Latica Honda-Rosenberg, Guy Ben-Ziony, Jens Peter Maintz, Božo Paradžik, Emanuel Abbühl, Felix Renggli, François Benda, Ole Kristian Dahl, Reinhold Friedrich, Dany Bonvin, Roland Szentpáli and Epifanio Comis. At the end of the masterclasses the participating young musicians will have an opportunity to perform solo concerts.
(26 July–7 August, Ljubljana Academy of Music)
INTERNATIONAL FINE ARTS COLONY
The accompanying programme of this year’s 69th Ljubljana Festival includes the International Fine Arts Colony, a festival fixture now in its 24th year. This will take place at Križanke in July under the supervision of selector Tomo Vran. There will also be free themed art workshops for children, an initiative known as the Little Art Colony. No specific prior knowledge is required, since the children will be guided throughout the creative process by suitably qualified instructors.
(12–16 July, Križanke)
Throughout June, the former church of the Teutonic Knights in Ljubljana, part of the Križanke complex, will be the venue for a transmedia installation by Eva Petrič entitled Post-Corona Sun, Penduluming. The ambient installation, consisting of an assemblage of found and recycled lace, plexiglass sculpture, sound and light, reflects the artist’s perception of the world and humanity at a crossroads as it transitions into the post-coronavirus age.
(2–29 June, Križanke Church)
Hommage à Vasja Žbona: Eight Years On – The works chosen for this first presentation in Ljubljana of the creative oeuvre of Slovene sculptor Vasilij (“Vasja”) Žbona date from the period 1994–2009. They include works in his favourite material, wood, which offered him numerous possibilities in terms of approach and technique, and also works in marble and bronze.
(7–30 September, Križanke Church)
SPONSORS AND SUPPORTERS
We would like to express our sincere thanks to the City of Ljubljana and its mayor Zoran Janković, without whose generous support it would not be possible to put on a festival programme lasting more than two months. We would also like to express our gratitude to all our sponsors and supporters. Thanks are also due to the media for their coverage of our events, and to all who attend the festival.
Last year it was brought home to us more clearly than ever before that culture is food for the soul and that events are an important part of social life – and how much we miss these things when they are taken away from us. We at Zavarovalnica Sava take a broad view of partnerships of this kind. For us, these are not only sponsorships but a shared care for people, society and the environment – hand in hand with our partners. Now that cultural activities are at last opening up again, we believe that this is the perfect opportunity to fill our plates with cultural food and, together with the organisers, invite all cultural gourmets to indulge in the wonderful festival events. We are sure that this year’s 69th Ljubljana Festival will resonate across Europe and beyond, and we look forward to many evenings of cultural enjoyment and relaxed socialising.
Zavarovalnica Sava d.o.o.
Last summer, despite the pandemic, Festival Ljubljana succeeded in reviving cultural life in the capital and showed that unshakeable determination, hard work and adaptability can achieve the apparently impossible. We firmly believe that these virtues will once again this year enrich the lives of all of us who care about culture. This is also why the Delo media group has been supporting Festival Ljubljana for decades: regardless of the situation, it continues to prove itself year after year with an excellent programme and top-class organisation. We aim to offer our readers high-quality and culturally rich content both in our print editions and on digital platforms. We are confident that, together with Festival Ljubljana, we will succeed in doing this once again this year. We believe that the 69th Ljubljana Festival will be another occasion for us to work together to spread awareness of the power of the arts and maintain a high level of cultural awareness in Slovenia.
We at Spar Slovenija are well aware that the coronavirus pandemic has meant many challenges both for culture in general and for everyone who lives and breathe culture – as individuals, as a community and as a society. For this reason, our long-running sponsorship of the Ljubljana Festival seems all the more important this year, since it allows us to support the artists who enrich our cultural environment and contribute to the maintenance of a tradition that, through countless events, brings together festivalgoers from all over Slovenia.
Spar Slovenija d.o.o.
We at Petrol are happy that, after an interruption of more than a year, cultural life is slowly getting back on its feet. The Ljubljana Festival, which this year reaches its 69th edition, represents culture and art at the highest possible level. These are such an important part of our lives and one of the key elements in getting back to the way things were before the pandemic. We are proud to be part of a story that brings so much pleasure to audiences from all over Slovenia in the heart of Ljubljana year after year. By supporting projects such as the Ljubljana Festival, Petrol is giving something back to society and following a path that is paved with the values that constantly accompany Petrol’s employees, shareholders, customers, suppliers and other stakeholders. We wish everyone in Ljubljana – and everyone in Slovenia – a summer full of cultural superlatives. At the same time, we hope and believe that the Ljubljana Festival, which is one of the most successful festivals in this part of Europe, will soon be accessible to a larger number of festivalgoers, including lovers of culture and the arts from other countries, who have always represented a significant part of the Ljubljana Festival audience.
Krka is today a major international presence in the global pharmaceutical market. Culture has had an important place in our business philosophy, alongside our core activity of manufacturing high-quality, safe and effective pharmaceutical products, ever since our company was founded. We have been supporting cultural and other activities for 67 years, and in this way enabling the functioning and programmes of numerous cultural institutions: Cankarjev Dom and the Academy of Music in Ljubljana, the Marjan Kozina Music School in Novo Mesto, the Božidar Jakac Art Museum in Kostanjevica na Krki, and the Krka Wind Orchestra and the Anton Podbevšek Theatre in Novo Mesto. We have also been supporting the Krka Cultural and Arts Society for 50 years. Krka provides financial support to culture at the highest level, like that offered by the Ljubljana Festival. Having already supported 12 previous editions, it is also among the sponsors of this year’s 69th Ljubljana Festival. Supporting culture and those who create it is part of our relationship with our social environment. We are well aware that culture contributes to improving the quality of life, especially in times of crisis, and that it is extremely important for society. That is also why we at Krka have long involved ourselves in culture. We devote particular attention to Slovenia’s national cultural holiday. We are also happy that Krka’s cultural evenings in the former monastery church that today houses the Božidar Jakac Art Museum in Kostanjevica, organised in conjunction with Festival Ljubljana, are now an established event. The beginnings of these cultural evenings date back to 2008, when the Smolny Cathedral Chamber Choir from St Petersburg performed in the former monastery church. In the years since then, we have hosted the Andrzej Jagodzinski Trio, Perpetuum Jazzile, the Russian Cossack State Dance Company, the Mikhail Ivanovich Glinka Choir, the Anton Podbevšek Theatre with an international cast, the Carmina Slovenica concert choir, the a cappella group Viva Vox, Voca People, the Belgrade Chamber Choir and, last year, the Italian chamber orchestra I Solisti Veneti. This year’s 15th edition will feature the Musica Viva Moscow Chamber Orchestra, one of the most highly regarded Russian instrumental ensembles, with a repertoire spanning a range of periods and styles and programmes featuring from lesser-known works by composers of the past alongside premiere performances of works by contemporary composers. With this traditional summer event and numerous other cultural activities organised by the Krka Cultural and Arts Society, we at Krka confirm our attitude towards culture and enrich the artistic space and cultural life of the Dolenjska region, which is given a special stamp by the performances of visiting artists from Slovenia and abroad.
Riko has been a Festival Ljubljana sponsor for many years, following its programme with interest, and is well aware of the traces it leaves in the city that hosts it, among its loyal public and among the artists who perform at its events. Thanks to its efforts, Ljubljana has taken its place on the map of the most important European cultural epicentres. We therefore offer our sincere congratulations to Festival Ljubljana’s general and artistic director Mr Darko Brlek and his excellent team. Not only because of the high professional standards they achieve (a model and an example to others), the excellent organisation, and the satisfaction experienced by performers and public alike, but also because of the main axis of the Ljubljana Festival, consisting of the presentation of the best of the arts, we at Riko are proud to be partners of Festival Ljubljana.
We firmly believe that culture and creativity are precious both in private life and in business, because they bring inspiration, hope and new energy. We at Nova KBM are proud of our partnership with the Ljubljana Festival, whose first-class programme brings so much pleasure to countless lovers of culture year after year. By supporting this outstanding festival, which places Ljubljana on the map of the most important international cultural events, we are doing more than just fulfilling our mission of corporate responsibility. We also share with the festival organisers positive values such as connection, excellence and goal orientation. All this can also be seen in this year’s efforts by the organisers, who deserve the highest congratulations. I believe that this year’s festival will be the best ever and I wish everyone who attends it an inspiring cultural experience.
Nova KBM d.d.
At Trimo we understand corporate social responsibility as a sustained and sustainable commitment to the balance in which all of us develop and grow, not only our company but the whole of the social environment and the individuals who make it up. This commitment is particularly important today when, as a result of the pandemic, we are facing a brand-new set of hitherto unknown circumstances. Our partnership with the Ljubljana Festival, one of the most prestigious festivals in Europe, reflects this. It also reflects our attitude towards arts and culture, our view of aesthetics and beauty, and our support for innovation and progress. All of this is also built into our operations, products and solutions. With the Ljubljana Festival, we grow together year after year.
National rail operator Slovenske Železnice is a traditional partner of the Ljubljana Festival and our trains bring numerous festivalgoers to Festival events every year. Travelling by train is the most environmentally friendly way to travel – and thanks to our new trains it is now even more comfortable and relaxing.
SŽ-Potniški promet d.o.o.
Tickets for selected events of the 69th Ljubljana Festival are available for purchase online at ljubljanafestival.si or at the Križanke box office, service stations of the Petrol Group and other Eventim ticket outlets. Ljubljana Festival Club members are entitled to a 20% discount during the presale period and a 10% discount after tickets go on general sale.The presale period is not the same for all events. Presale tickets are available for one month from the date tickets go on sale for an individual event. To become a member of the Club, visit the ljubljanafestival.si website
Appropriate provisions in line with the recommendations of the National Institute of Public Health will be taken at all events to ensure the safety of attendees and performers. All festivalgoers are requested to consistently observe the compulsory and recommended preventive measures to limit the spread of the SARS-CoV-2 virus and in this way ensure the protection of their own health and that of others. Thank you for your understanding.
Festival Ljubljana reserves the right to modify the programme.
Thank you for your interest in the Ljubljana Festival programme.
More information at ljubljanafestival.si.
Information / Public relations
Tel.: +386 (0)1 241 60 18
General sponsor: Zavarovalnica Sava, d. d.
Sponsors of the 69th Ljubljana Festival: JP Voka Snaga, d. o. o., Spar Slovenija, d. o. o., Energetika Ljubljana, d. o. o., Petrol, d. d., Telekom Slovenije d.d., Krka, d. d., Riko d.o.o., Nova KMB, d. d., Zavarovalnica Triglav, d. d., Trimo d. o. o., Mercator, d. d., NLB d.d., Lekarna Ljubljana, Javna razsvetljava, d. d., SŽ-Potniški promet, d.o.o., Four Points by Sheraton Ljubljana Mons, Fraport Slovenija, d.o.o.
Sponsors of individual events: Zavarovalnica Sava, d. d., Delo, d. o. o., Spar Slovenija, d. o. o., Petrol, d. d., Telekom Slovenije d.d., Krka d. d., Riko d.o.o., Nova KMB, d. d., Trimo d. o. o., Zavarovalnica Triglav, d. d., Mercator, d. d., NLB d.d., UniCredit Banka Slovenije, d. d., Plinovodi, d. o. o. Ljubljana, Terme Dobrna d. d., Technobell d. o. o. Koper, BTC d. d., Interenergo d. o. o
General media sponsor: Delo, d. o. o.
Media sponsors: Dnevnik, d. d., Europlakat, d. o. o., Časnik Finance, d. o. o., Fraport Slovenija, d.o.o., Radio 1, Radio Center, Mediabus, d.o.o.
Partners of the 2021 Ljubljana Festival: RTV Slovenija, Slovenska filharmonija, Austria Trend Hotels, Radisson Blu Plaza Hotel, Ljubljana, SNG Opera in balet Ljubljana, Silič uglaševanje Klavirjev, d. o. o., SNG Maribor, Mini Teater, UL Akademija za glasbo, Anton Podbevšek teater, Teta Frida
Friends of the Ljubljana Festival: NP consulting, d. o. o., Intral, d. o. o.
Event rail partner: SŽ-Potniški promet, d. o. o.
Official wine supplier: Vinakoper, d. o. o.
Mobility partners: Avtohiša Malgaj, d. o. o., Avto Aktiv, d. o. o., LPP
The founder of the Ljubljana Festival is the City of Ljubljana. Member of the European Festivals Association (EFA) since 1977.