The Slovenia Times

Maribor Festival Celebrates Female Creativity


The recurring theme of a series of ten concerts and accompanying events on the programme this year is woman as "muse and creator, lover and mother, saint and seductress, mythical nemesis and protector of fragile artistic souls".

The Maribor Festival Orchestra under the baton of Marko Letonja and soprano Karen Vourc'h will perform Saariaho's "Emilie Suite" at the opening concert. The piece is about a woman's soul torn between the role of a mother and that of a scientist wanting to be remembered for her work.

The festival orchestra brings together musicians from the Slovenian Philharmonic Orchestra, the RTV Slovenija Symphony Orchestra, Australian Chamber Orchestra, Graz and Belgrade Philharmonic Orchestras and Symphony Orchestra of the SNG Maribor Opera and Ballet House.

Until 18 September, the festival will also see concerts by the Australian Arabic oud virtuoso Joseph Tawadros, Australian cabaret diva Meow Meow and Satu Vänskä, the principal violin and assistant leader of the Australian Chamber Orchestra.

Slovenian musical creativity will be represented by organist Tomaž Sevšek, cellist Jaka Stadler and soprano Nika Gorič, as well as two domestic female composers, Nina Šenk and Nana Forte. The SNG Maribor Symphony Orchestra will perform with US conductor of Slovenian descent Tara Simončič.

The main festival event is the Woman Project, authored by Satu Vänskä in cooperation with director Matjaž Latin and dramaturge Aljaž Zupančič. Apart from the festival orchestra, it will also feature Meow Meow and members of the SNG Maribor ensemble.

The festival's artistic director since 2008 is Richard Tognetti, an Australian violinist, conductor and composer. The festival has developed from Baroque music evenings. Since 1994 it has showcased own unique production, which is likely to change in the future due to a shortage of funding.


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