The Slovenia Times

A Timeless Spectacle



The long-expected event was an introduction to the series of cultural events organized to honour two important anniversaries - the first anniversary of the Confucius Institute in Ljubljana and the 19th of the signing of the diplomatic agreement between Slovenia and China - alongside the opening of the days of Chinese culture in Ljubljana. Dušan Mramor, the president of the board at the institute and one of the honorary speakers at the concert, emphasized that culture unites and also creates business opportunities, which are important elements of the collaboration between the two quite different, yet at the same time similar countries.

However, the first part of the evening was entirely about music. The two musicians gave an exquisite performance on ancient instruments; Dimkaroski (who was later on joined on the stage by the vocal quartet Pella) played on the what is believed to be the oldest instrument in the world, the Divje Babe flute, while the Chinese guest played on four ancient flutes, dating back nine thousand years, together with two of his students.

The concert was opened by Dimkaroski, who demonstrated how music from prehistoric times might have sounded. Later, he also played some classical pieces, including Bach, and Slovenian national songs. He thus proved that despite not knowing what music prehistoric man played, the instrument has the capacity to produce music and that its musical potentials are comparable to modern instruments.

The sounds of Chinese traditional songs brought a completely different dimension to the concert; while the Slovenian audience was experiencing something new, the Chinese guests murmured and even silently sang along while Zhengguo with his students, Dong Jun and Huang Xiaowei were accompanying.

One of the highlights of the evening was definitely Zhengguo's performance on two flutes at the same time; he is the only musician in the world who gives such performances. Later, he and his flute student, accompanied with a pianist Marina Horak, also played a piece from the European classical music heritage, Monti's famous Csardas, showing that their ancient instruments are also able to produce music from a different continent and time period, with great success and effect.

In the end, all the musicians gave a joint performance and after many bows the audience was so keen that the Chinese performers had to come back and play three more pieces which were met with utmost enthusiasm.


Excited about the concerts and the entire Slovenian experience, Zhengguo said he had fallen in love with the beauty of Slovenia: "It is wonderful to see that Slovenians are interested in such music and I'm amazed by the high level on which the Slovenian audience is. In my opinion, the dialogue and the cultural exchange between the East and the West was the highlight of the evening."

The Chinese ambassador Sun Rongmin, who was greatly impressed and amazed by what the musicians can do with their instruments, shared a similar view about the importance of the event: "I believe the concert exceeded all my expectations and adds to the mutual understanding between the countries, and I hope there will be more opportunities like this for dialogue building."

Dimkaroski pointed out the amazing fact that he and Zhengguo perfectly understand each other even though they do not speak each other's languages: "Music is about pristine communication. This collaboration has been really intensive for me and I am honoured to have been a part of it."

Both organizers were greatly satisfied with the two concerts, including the Institute's Danijela Voljč, who initially had the idea for the concerts, and Mramor: "The musicians completely surprised me - I did not expect the instruments were capable of producing such sounds."
Irena Kržan, project manager from The Slovenia Times, saw the concerts as "...real treats for the soul. This merging of the cultures through the world's oldest instruments was a premiere on the European stages, and we organised it to enable the European audience to feel Chinese culture through music." And the pleasant atmosphere and the many new-established ties proved that this evening really made true exactly that.


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