The Slovenia Times

Maribor Festival Promises Ten Days of Excellent Music


The concerts have been selected by the festival's artistic director Richard Tognetti, an Australian violinist, conductor and composer who took over in Maribor in 2008.

Tognetti promised "ten days of excellent music" in a video address from the Edinburgh Festival to the news conference in Maribor on Monday.

The festival as a rule does not invite ensembles with ready-made concert programmes, but top musicians who then form various ensembles at the festival depending on the artistic director's programme choice.

The bulk of the festival orchestra is members of the Australian Chamber Orchestra, which according to festival director Brigita Pavlički has been getting excellent reviews worldwide.

The musicians will be joined in the Maribor Festival Orchestra by selected soloists from Slovenia and abroad as well as members of Slovenian and foreign orchestras.

For the first time this year, the festival will also have its own choir comprised of Slovenian and foreign singers and members of the SNG Maribor Opera and Ballet under the baton of Daniela Candillari.

The opening concert on Wednesday will feature US soprano Dawn Upshaw, a four-time Grammy winner, to be followed on Thursday by the concert dubbed "Aspirational Nationalism" with Denes Varjon on piano, Satu Vanska on violin and Thomas Demenga on cello.

Conducted by Tognetti, the Australian Chamber Orchestra will perform classics by Johann Sebastian Bach and Felix Mandelssohn Bartholdy on Friday.

The next evening Antonio Vivaldi and Nicolo Paganini will be combined with the underground by David Bowie in a project called "Everything" in what is a response to last year's project "Nothing".

"Electrical Charges", which is on the programme on 10 September, was written especially for Tognetti and the Maribor Festival by Australian composer Brett Dean.

After the string concert "Thorns N' Roses", the Australian Chamber Orchestra and the Maribor Festival Orchestra will team up on 12 September to perform Franz Schubert and Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart.

The next evening, eight cellists from around the world, including Timo-Veikko Valve and Jan-Erik Gustafsson, will cross over from classic to rock, pop and Latino in the CelloRocks project.

One of the highlights will be a multimedia project called "The Reef" on 14 September in which Tognetti brings together his two loves - music and surfing.

Tognetti will demonstrate his mastery of Ludwig van Beethoven at the final concert evening entitled "Ode to Joy".


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