Festival celebrating Slovenian contemporary music starts

Ljubljana – The 36th Slovenian Music Days, a week-long series of concerts dedicated to contemporary Slovenian music, will start at the Cankarjev Dom arts and congress centre on Tuesday evening. The opening concert will celebrate the 150th anniversary of the cultural association Glasbena Matica Ljubljana.

Tonight’s concert will feature former students of the Ljubljana Academy of Music who have become well-known soloists – Mojca Bitenc Križaj, Nuška Drašček, Martin Sušnik and Peter Martinčič.

The choirs of Glasbena Matica and the Academy of Music will be conducted by Sebastijan Vrhovnik and Alenka Podpečan, respectively. The academy’s symphonic orchestra led by Simon Dvoršak will also take the stage alongside the academy’s band of recorders led by Mateja Bajt.

Works by late-Renaissance Slovenian composer Jakob Petelin Gallus (1550-1591), composers Matej Hubad (1866-1937), Uroš Krek (1922-2008) and Austrian composer Anton Bruckner (1824-1896) will be played. Composers Nane Forte and Klara Mlakar will be presented for the first time.

The programme of this year’s opening of the festival was inspired by the first major guest performance of the mixed music choir of Glasbena Matica outside Slovenia, in Vienna in 1895, which was held as a sign of gratitude for aid provided to Ljubljana after a devastating earthquake.

The festival will continue on Wednesday with chamber music series the Concert Atelier of the Slovenian Composers’ Association. On Thursday, The Night of Slovenian Composers will be held and on Friday a concert of solo performances.

The string ensemble Ensemble Dissonance and soprano Nika Gorič will take the stage on Saturday.

As part of the festival a two-day international musicological symposium on music associations in the 19th century will be held along with a presentation of the third volume of The History of Music in the Slovenian Lands.

The 36th Slovenian Music Days will wrap up on 24 April with a performance of the choir of the Slovenian Philharmonics conducted by Gregor Klančič.