Winter Festival to bring baroque masterpieces, star pianists

Ljubljana – Ljubljana Festival will hold the 5th Winter Festival between 28 January and 5 February to deliver eight concerts by acclaimed performers, including the Slovenian Philharmonic Orchestra and Portuguese pianist Maria Joao Pires, considered to be one of the best interpreters of Mozart and Beethoven.

The special winter edition of Ljubljana Festival, the capital’s summertime festival mainstay, will open with three Baroque masterpieces by Bach, Ferrandini and Handel, performed by the Slovenian Philharmonic Orchestra and Choir, led by Bart Van Reyn, one of Belgium’s leading conductors of the new generation.

The opening concert will feature soloists from the UK, Belgium and Slovenia, sopranos Julie Doyle and Griet De Geyter as well as mezzo-soprano Barbara Kozelj, said the organisers.

Fans of classical piano pieces will be also in for a treat, as the Italian virtuoso duo of Sergio Marchegiani and Marco Schiavo will perform at the festival as well as Janos Balazs, one of the most celebrated Hungarian pianists, according to the organisers.

Another highlight of the festival, a performance by Maria Joao Pires, will present the pianist’s take on Chopin’s Piano Concerto No. 2 in F minor. She will be accompanied by the RTV Slovenija Symphony Orchestra, which will be led by Brazilian conductor Ricardo Castro.

Pires boasts an impressive record of achievements, having performed alongside all the top orchestras in the world, including the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra, Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra and Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra.

Moreover, opera fans can look forward to a concert of arias by Joseph Calleja. The Maltese-born tenor interprets works by French composers as well as great lyric and veristic tenor roles.

The festival will wrap up with another masterpiece, Mozart’s Requiem, performed by the Slovenian Philharmonic Choir, RTV Slovenija Symphony Orchestra, the Ljubljana Glasbena Matica choir and soloists, conducted by France’s Yan Pascal Tortelier.

The festival will take place at the Slovenian Philharmonic, the Križanke venue and Cankarjev Dom arts centre.