Wednesday, 29. 6. 2011

59th ljubljana festival

From 3 July to 7 September, the summer festival offers more than 40 high-quality cultural events.

A new chapter in both the history of the city and of Slovenian music opens on 3 July when, under the baton of renowned conductor Valery Gergiev in the renovated Kongresni trg (Congress Square), over 1,100 performers are to be brought together. The Slovenian and Zagreb philharmonic orchestras, 21 choirs and eight soloists celebrate 20 years of Slovenian and Croatian independence, 310 years since the foundation of the Academia Philharmonicorum and the 100th anniversary of the death of Gustav Mahler with Mahler's 8th symphony. The 'The Symphony of a Thousand’, as it was called by the composer, is the curtain-raiser to the long summer festival, which is to offer about 40 top-class events.

“The opening concert is going to be the biggest open-air classical music concert ever held here. We are going to create musical history by bringing together over 1,100 performers, mostly from Slovenia and Croatia, to pay tribute to two decades of the existence of both countries”, stresses Darko Brlek, general and artistic director of the Ljubljana Festival and director of the European Festivals Association.

The honorary patron of the opening event – an event that moves to Zagreb the following day – is President of the Republic of Slovenia Dr Danilo Türk, and it is also to be attended by President of Croatia Ivo Josipović.
The curtain-raiser of the Ljubljana Festival will also have a charitable note. There is to be a collection of funds on behalf of the relatives of victims of the Slovenian war of independence.

The concert of 3 July is the culmination of a series of Ljubljana Festival events that last year marked the 150th anniversary of the birth of and this year the centenary of the death of Gustav Mahler, who was the conductor of the then Slovenian Philharmonia in the 1881/82 season, meaning that he walked across Congress Square every day.

The opening of the long and rich summer festival is to be followed until 7 September 2011 by around 40 high-class events with globally-renowned artists. Al Di Meola is to showcase the New World Sinfonia. The RTV Slovenia Symphony Orchestra conducted by En Shao is to feature pianist Leonel Morales as soloist. The world-famous Béjart Ballet from Lausanne returns with the ballet triptych What Love Tells Me, Firebird and Bolero. The Filarmonica della Scala orchestra is to be conducted by Daniel Harding, who Claudio Abbado has declared to be a genius. After his success in Spain, Tomaž Pandur, one of the Slovenian directors that is best-recognised abroad, returns to tread the boards of Slovenian theatre. A staging of Luchino Visconti's 'Twilight of the Gods' is to feature famous Spanish actors, including Belén Rueda, who has, among other things, appeared in an Oscar-winning film, Alejandro Amenábar's the Sea Inside. Ljubljana audiences will also be introduced to the Chinese Hangzhou Philharmonic Orchestra. The musical Hair comes from the Broadway and West End theatres and famous choreographer Boris Eifman from St Petersburg is bringing the ballets ‘Onegin Online’ and ‘Don Quixote’. The Slovenian Octet celebrates its 60th anniversary. Ljubljana Festival is to be rounded off by a guest appearance by the Lithuanian State Opera with an evening of operatic arias and the operas Othello and La Juive.

The Ljubljana Festival programme is financially supported by the City of Ljubljana.

The full programme of the 59th Ljubljana Festival can be found here.