The 62nd edition of the Ljubljana Festival, featuring a highly diverse and exciting program, will run between 1 July and 1 September this summer. Five concerts in Ljubljana’s Congress Square together with one at the Piazza Unita in neighbouring Trieste will make for an even more varied summer beat across two cities. The Festival gets off to a passionate start with a performance of Carmina Burana and by the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra of Amsterdam.
Renowned conductors Uroš Lajovic, Riccardo Muti, Karel Mark Chichon, Nikša Bareza, George Pehlivanian, Vladislav Černušenko, Andres Mustonen and Mariss Jansons all come to lead and inspire. Alongside the celebrated Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra of Amsterdam are Moscow Soloists and Filarmonica ‘900 del Teatro Regio of Turin. Further outstanding artistic heights will be provided by pianists Boris Berezovsky, Paul Badura-Skoda, Rostislav Krimer and Jean-Yves Thibaud; by violinist Stefan Milenković, violist Yuri Bashmet, guitarist Vlatko Stefanovski, mezzo-soprano Elina Garanča and queen of flamenco María Pages, choreographers Vasily Medvedev, Valentina Turcu, Leo Mujić, director Mykal Rand and more.
All cutting-edge art, and at affordable prices – for as little as 5 euros.
And the Ljubljana Festival shows its socially responsible face with free workshops for underprivileged children.

Six Concerts in Two Squares

The 62nd Ljubljana Festival hosts five events in one of the city’s most beautiful squares, at Ljubljana’s Congress Square. A special summer night offers a taste of the long, hot summer festival to come, surrounded by wonderful historic buildings and with an incredible view of the castle in the near distance. The evening of 21 June sees a special project, produced in co-production with RTV Slovenia, devoted to the most beautiful songs of Ljubljana, with Miša Molk taking us through this magical musical journey. Patrik Greblo leads Big Band and the RTV Slovenia Symphony Orchestra, with soloists Tinkara Kovač, Eva Hren, Alenka Godec, Slavko Ivančić, Nuša Derenda, Eva Černe, Anžej Dežan, Nina Strnad, Severa Gjurin and more.

Before the official opening of the Ljubljana Festival we take you outside the Slovenian capital and outside the country. Carmina Burana comes as a special tribute in return for the Mayor of Trieste Roberto Cosolini’s last gift to us of Rossini’s Stabat Mater. The work of Carl Orff will prove a strong spectacle in Trieste’s Piazza Unita under the baton of Uroš Lajovic on 30 June, performed by soloists Aida Čorbadžić, Marko Cvetko and Giorgio Surian and the Slovenian Philharmonic Orchestra, the Orchestra and Choir of the SNG Opera and Ballet Ljubljana, the Slovenian Chamber Choir, the Academic Choir, the Ivan Goran Kovačić Academic Choir and the National Theatre, Sarajevo. Orff’s scenic cantata Carmina Burana was first performed on 8 June 1937 by the Frankfurt Opera; and includes one of the world’s best known and widely used openings, O Fortuna, having appeared in countless films and advertisements. Carmina Burana will also open the 62nd Ljubljana Festival (1. 7.).

Congress Square will then be upgraded and graced by three exceptional concerts: 3 July the project Fire & Ice featuring renowned Macedonian guitarist Vlatko Stefanovski, Vasko Atanasovski and the Chamber Orchestra of the Slovenian Philharmonic. Come 7 July we anticipate an unforgettable concert commemorating the tenth anniversary of the death of Carlos Kleiber and held in honour of the Italian Presidency of the Council of the European Union. Celebrated conductor Riccardo Muti leads Verdi’s Requiem, joined by the Luigi Cherubini Youth Orchestra (founded in 2004 by Riccardo Muti, including young musicians from all over Italy), the Slovenian Philharmonic Orchestra, the Slovenian Chamber Choir, the Academy of Music in Ljubljana, the Friuli-Venezia Giulia Choir and Il Coro del Teatro Verdi di Trieste. They will be joined by musicians from the Berlin Philharmonic, the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, L’Orchestra del Teatro Lirico “Giusepe Verdi” of Trieste, the St. Petersburg Philharmonic Orchestra, Orchestre National de France, the Symphony Orchestra of the Théâtre Royal de la Monnaie, the London Philharmonic Orchestra and the Vienna Philharmonic.

Renowned mezzo-soprano Elina Garanča, winner of numerous awards and gracing the world’s most prestigious stages, will continue spreading the spirit of the festival beyond the walls of Križanke in Congress Square. She is particularly well known for her 2003 performance at the Salzburg Festival. The RTV Slovenia Symphony Orchestra, conducted by the celebrated Karel Mark Chichon, performs arias from the operas Joan of Arc, Samson and Delilah, the Queen of Sheba, and Carmen the evening of 8 July.

Standing Out with the Exceptional at Križanke

Summer events in Congress Square then move back home to Križanke, where with but a few exceptions most of the entire 62nd Ljubljana Festival will unfold.

One of the exceptions is Wagner’s romantic opera Lohengrin. On 10 July will be performed by soloists, the choir and orchestra of the National Theatre Opera of Zagreb, and conducted by Nikša Bareza in Cankarjev dom. The Chinese Qingdao Symphony Orchestra conducts a symphonic poem by Jeff Rona, author of The Regatta Suite, the official music for the 29th Olympic Games in Qingdao (22. 7.). The Mikhail Ivanovič Glinka Choir returns to Slovenia for performances led by Vladislav Černušenko at the Slovenian Philharmonic in Ljubljana, and in Ptuj and Kranjska Gora (23., 24., 26. 7.).

Andres Mustonen leads the Philharmonic ‘900 Teatro Regio of Turin in the first Slovenian performance of the Sofia Gubaidulina composition Warum? Wozu? Wodurch? (Why? What For? With What?), for flute, bass flute, clarinet, bass clarinet and strings (24. 7.).The Russian composer Gubaidulina was commissioned to write the piece for the occasion of the Emilia Romagna Festival, the Ravello Festival, the Ljubljana Festival, the Dubrovnik Summer Games, and for the Dresden State Opera Orchestra, the Amsterdam Sinfonietta, the International Piano Festival of Brescia and Bergamo and the Arena Foundation of Verona.

Renowned violinist Stefan Milenković together with accordionist Marko Hatlak perform their project-composition Pasión (28. 7.). And three concerts will be dedicated to three outstanding composers and musicians: the 80th anniversary of Lojze Lebič (23. 8.); the 30th anniversary of Zoran Mitev (6. 8.) and the 10th anniversary of Uroš Perić (29. 8.). And there will, of course, be the traditional festival appearance in Krizanke by local hero singer-songwriter Vlado Kreslin (26. 8.).

The Slovenian Philharmonic will host the Moscow Soloists (27. 8.), featuring soloists Yuri Bashmet (viola) and Lana Trotovšek (violin).

Pianists at the Ljubljana Festival

This year’s edition of the summer festival brings four well-known celebrated piano names.

Boris Berezovski will perform twice, both alone and with the Slovenian Philharmonic Orchestra (14., 15. 7.). All in all two different generations will be featured: Austrian pianist Paul Badura-Skoda and the young Russian Rostislav Krimer (24. 8.).

The 62nd Ljubljana Festival concludes with a concert by the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra of Amsterdam, which will be conducted on 1 September by one of the world’s most prominent conductors today, Mariss Jansons. Jean-Yves Thibaud, considered one of the most talented pianists in the world, will perform as a soloist. Thibaud began studying at the Conservatoire de Lyon at the early age of five, and at age seven made his debut. He has worked with many renowned orchestras, like the Gewandhaus Orchestra of Leipzig, which we had the happy opportunity to hear at last year’s Ljubljana Festival, as well as with soloists like Yuri Bashmet, whom the Festival hosts this year. He has won numerous awards for his Decca recordings and has recorded more than 40 CDs.

As a bit of curious trivia: Jean-Yves Thibaud usually appears in apparel by renowned British fashion designer Vivienne Westwood.

Passion Through Movement

The queen of flamenco María Pages returns to Križanke, this time with the project Self-portrait (16. 7.). A gala evening of world ballet stars (21. 7.) brings together ballet couples comprised of prima ballerinas, lead ballet masters and the best soloists of the Bolshoi Theatre in Moscow, the Mariinsky Theater and Mihailovski Theatre of St. Petersburg, the German State Opera in Berlin, the English National Ballet and the Dutch National Ballet. Together they will take us through the most beautiful duets from the ballets Cinderella, Onegin, Spartacus, Le Corsaire, La Sylphide, Scheherazade, Don Quixote and more. The renowned Russian choreographer Vasily Medvedev serves as artistic director and director of the entire enchanting evening.

Valentina Turcu and Leo Mujić star in their choreographed co-production of the Opera and Ballet Maribor, the Dubrovnik Summer Festival and Ljubljana Festival, of the Neo-baroque Ballet Dangerous Liaisons (28. 8.). The ballet was inspired by the eponymous novel by Pierre de Choderlosa de Laclosa and by Heiner Müller’s Quartet.

Among the many highly anticipated summer events are the Festival’s musicals. London’s West End comes to Križanke with Evita, with lyrics penned by Tim Rice, music by Andrew Lloyd Webber, and produced by Bronowski. And Festival audiences will recognise well-known choreographer and director Mykal Rand.

Along with a host of accompanying events, and the official conclusion of the 62nd Ljubljana Festival is the musical Blossom in the Fall, one of the best known works of Slovenian literature, staged at Križanke by ?director Vojko Anzeljc, with music by Matjaž Vlašič, and with Matjaž Robavs, Nina Pušlar, Jure Ivanušič, Alenka Kozolc, Maja Martina Merljak, Ana Grasselli playing leading roles.

Social Responsibility

For the third year now, Ljubljana Festival is preparing free themed creative workshops for children – this time for underprivileged children. The project has been prepared in collaboration with the Ljubljana Moste-Polje Friends of Youth, which ensures hassle-free summers for children whose families are unable to enjoy summer holiday plans.

Cutting-edge art from € 5

Available is an advance 10 percent discount on all tickets this year, with the offer good until 20 June. And Ljubljana Festival continues to support excellence, with the best primary school students able to purchase tickets at an 80 percent discount. Also enjoy discounts with loyalty cards from our sponsors, with tickets for the City Museum, the National Gallery, the Postojna Caves and more. And enjoy additional benefits with a membership in the Ljubljana Festival Club.

The Ljubljana Festival also introduces something else new: tickets for concerts at Congress Square are available on the day of the event, standing-room only, for 5 or 9 euros; children under 14 years of age standing-room only are free.

Information / Public Relations:

Hermina Kovačič
tel. (0)1 241 60 16

Sanja Kejžar Kladnik
tel. (0)1 241 60 19