Ljubljana festival

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»If festivals’ missions are good programmes, then cultural tourism should be their result.
Festivals are platforms for artistic expressions, stages for audience participation and
partners for the business world. They can be also opportunities to re-invigorate political
and social debate. They can be platforms for dialogue between sectors of society that
rarely meet otherwise on neutral ground. They can use their appeal across borders to link
European, national, regional and local decision makers and do so in the contest of the
stimulus, created by artistic excellence. Festivals are soul of Europe.«
These are some of the highlights of the speech made by Darko Brlek, Artistic and General
Director of the Ljubljana festival and President of the European Festivals Association
EFA. Responding to the invitation of the Ljubljana Tourism, he has addressed this morning
with a presentation Culture and Tourism – Hand in Hand the meeting of the leading
representatives of regional Alpe-Adria tourist organisations, held at the Ljubljana Exhibition
and Convention Centre Gospodarsko razstavišče in Ljubljana just before the official opening
of the Alpe-Adria Tourism and Leisure Show 2013.»Festivals have consistently shown over the last decades that they can be extraordinary
agents of change
, whether socially, economically or intellectually. This is not just recognised
in Europe but increasingly around the globe. Since the festivals have been largely forced
to finance themselves on their own, they are committed to constant innovations and
,« said Darko Brlek and stated further on that festivals and their artistic missions
are »business« as well. »Festivals as such are business, as they provide – directly or
indirectly – business to a large number of people. In addition to a range of permanent and
temporary employees, they also maintain numerous artists, offering them an opportunity to be
recognised by the international public. Indirectly, festivals offer business to all those, who are
a part of a long chain of the daily service – and not only catering and tourist – offer in the city.
Festivals can also stimulate and support local businesses.
Festival guests can bring many benefits to shopkeepers, caterers, hoteliers, taxi drivers and
other transporters, as well as to different cultural institutions and sights. Festivals create lively
in the cities. Although their main activity is to prepare a quality programme,
many festivals also contribute to the development of tourism in the city, region and country.
Festivals are ambassadors of the city and the country of origin. They present an important link not only between the artists but also between the nations, regions and countries.«

According to the European Commission, Europe is a key cultural tourism destination,
whereas the cultural tourism as a branch of tourism experiences a great growth in general. It is
estimated that cultural tourism accounts for around 40% of all European tourism. Keeping
Europe the world’s top tourist destination is the objective of the European Commission; one
of its priorities is to promote the development of a sustainable, responsible and high-quality
tourism. »And it is here that festivals can play an important role. But not alone, as they must
enjoy greater support of the local community, local and national authorities and also present a
part of the strategy of both municipal and national tourism. It is only united that we can do a
lot, » also added Darko Brlek.

Since the Ljubljana Festival’s first edition, attending of its summer events has become a
popular pastime not only for the residents of Ljubljana but also for the rest of the Slovenians
as well. It is estimated that 60% of the Festival’s attendees are based in Ljubljana and
its surroundings; 20% of them are visiting the Festival from other parts of Slovenia and
20% from abroad. Most of the Festival’s foreign visitors are coming to Ljubljana from the
neighbouring regions in Austria and Italy – Carinthia, Friuli, and Styria. A small percentage
of attendees are occasionally visiting the city from Europe and from different parts of the rest
of the world (China, Brasilia, Australia, Israel, Scandinavian countries and USA).

With its cosmopolitan spirit the Ljubljana Festival contributes substantially to the vitality of
the Slovenia’s capital, which is considered as one of the liveliest among the European cities.
Therefore the Ljubljana Festival’s goal is to intensify its collaboration with the tour operators,
specialised in the culture tourism in order to attract even more visitors, and especially the ones
from our wider region.
It is quite a number of years now, since the Ljubljana Festival has been presenting itself as
well at the press conferences in Trieste and Klagenfurt. Last year the Festival was hosted –
together with Mr Zoran Janković, Mayor of the City of Ljubljana – by Mr Roberto Cosolini,
Mayor of the City of Trieste, and by Mrs Dragica Urtelj, Consul of the Republic of Slovenia
in Klagenfurt. In 2012 the Festival was also welcomed by Mr Milan Bandić, Mayor of the
City of Zagreb. This year, the Ljubljana Festival and Municipality of Ljubljana will be
presented together in Vienna.

The Ljubljana Festival’s new strategy reeds as follows: The Ljubljana Festival and
the City of Ljubljana at the Centre of Cultural and Tourist Experience. Its aim is also
reflected in its new corporate image.

The Ljubljana Festival was founded more than 60 years ago to bring the world and its best
artistic productions to Ljubljana. It was awarded the Golden Honorary Medal of Freedom
– a highest award of the President of the Republic of Slovenia – for its merit in presenting of
national and international artistic activity.

The Ljubljana Festival has hosted numerous globally renowned names that have particularly
visited Ljubljana in the last 20 years. To name just a few:

Orchestras – Opera Houses: the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra, the Israel
Philharmonic Orchestra, the Mariinsky Theatre of St Petersburg, the Munich
Philharmonic Orchestra, the New York Philharmonic, the Scala Theatre Philharmonic
Orchestra, the State Academic Bolshoi Theatre of Russia, the Royal Philharmonic
Orchestra from London, The Orchestra del Maggio Musicale Fiorentino, Chinese
Philharmonic Orchestra Hangzhou;

Ballet Companies: Béjart Ballet Lausanne, the St Petersburg Boris Eifman State
Ballet, the Teatro alla Scala Ballet Company;

– Conductors: Valery Gergiev, Sir Simon Rattle, Lorin Maazel, Daniel Harding, Zubin
Mehta, Ennio Morricone, Riccardo Muti, Mstislav Rostropovich, En Shao, Krzysztof
Penderecki, Fuat Mansurov, Michael Nyman, Vladimir Ashkenazy, Ivan Repušić;

– Soloists – Musicians: Yuri Bashmet, Denis Macujev, Yehudi Menuhin, Julian Rachlin,
Vadim Repin, Alexander Rudin, Ramin Bahrami, Ning Feng, Misha Maisky, Gautier
Capuçon, Stefan Milenković, Vinko Globokar, Dubravka Tomšič, Mojca Zlobko;

– Soloists – Singers: Paata Burchuladze, José Cura, Jose Carreras, Dmitri Hvorostovsky,
Inva Mula, Leo Nucci, Ramón Vargas, Joseph Calleja, Bernarda Fink, Marjana

The Festival Ljubljana team creates its cultural programme in a beautiful historical building of
Križanke. This former monastery of a German order of knights, which stands in the vicinity
of the former Roman Emona and medieval Ljubljana, was renovated by one of the greatest
Slovenian and internationally recognised architects Jože Plečnik (1872–1957). Plečnik
transformed Križanke according to the architectural principles of Alberti, Palladio and other
Renaissance architects. Thus Ljubljana obtained one of its central venues, offering the lovers
of culture one of the most popular meeting places during the summer months. The venue at
Križanke provides an opportunity for business, concert and relaxing activities.

Within the framework of its activities, the Ljubljana Tourist Office offers a tour of Križanke
and its sights (www.visitljubljana.si).

Highlights of the 2013 Summer Season

More detailed information will be available shortly at: www.ljubljanafestival.si.Béjart Ballet
St. Petersburg’s Boris Eifman State Ballet Theatre
Gewandhausorchester Leipzig
Orchestra of the Mariinsky Theatre, St. Petersburg
Soloists Accademia Teatro alla Scala
Alexander Rudin
Branimir Slokar Academy International Orchestra

Valery Gergiev
Riccardo Chailly

Verdi: Requiem
Mahler: Symphony No. 9
Beethoven: Symphony No. 9

Romeo and Juliet, ballet
Jim Jacobs, Warren Casey: Grease, musical from London’s West End

The Ljubljana Festival places great emphasis on the education of young artists and children.
Starting from this year an important part of the Ljubljana Festival will thus become the
Branimir Slokar Academy with its different Master Classes and the Orchestra of the
Branimir Slokar Academy. As a part of the previous summer festivals these two projects
already brought to Ljubljana an approximate number of 350 young musicians from 36
countries. The Ljubljana Festival aims to become an important educational centre in future
as well. Last year’s first edition of the Workshops, dedicated to the music, art, performance,
ballet and musical was a great success. Free of charge, the workshops were especially
designed for the children from the less privileged backgrounds. The Ljubljana Festival
prepares various Children Workshops for this season as well.

Information / Public Relations
Hermina Kovačič
+386 (0)1 241 60 16

The founder of The Ljubljana Festival is the Municipality of Ljubljana. The Ljubljana Festival has been a
member of the EFA since 1977, and Darko Brlek has been its president since 2005.