World Music Days Showcase Latest Trends in Classical Music
Ljubljana, 25 September - More than 120 scores composed over the past five years will be performed for the first time ever in Slovenia, some of them even globally, as the World Music Days open in Ljubljana on Saturday.
This is the second time after 2003 that Slovenia is hosting this leading international festival of contemporary music, affiliated with the International Society for Contemporary Music (ISCM).
Running until 2 October, the festival will explore three possible trends in contemporary classical music under the theme Three Bridges, one of Ljubljana's landmarks that will also serve as the opening venue.
The festival will showcase composers using tested technical solutions, trends currently developing in the world and musical experiments, artistic director Pavel Mihelčič has explained the theme.
The compositions to be performed have been selected by an international jury from among 400 entries submitted by national sections of the ISCM.
Some 40 of the 120 scores to be performed are by Slovenian authors, and a majority of compositions will be performed by Slovenian musicians.
These include the Symphony Orchestra of RTV Slovenija, the choir, orchestra and the chamber string orchestra of the Slovenian Philharmonics and the woodwind quintet Slowind & the percussion ensemble SToP.
"We want to communicate to the world that Slovenia has great creative and performing power and strong potential in young composers," Mihelčič said.
While the Symphony Orchestra will perform the official opening concert on Sunday evening at the Philharmonic Hall, the festival will be symbolically launched the evening before at the Three Bridges.
The show there will begin with the Trbovlje Workers Band, before it moves to the Philharmonic Hall for an act by the Slovenian Army Orchestra and on to the Ljubljana University building for a fanfare.
That will be performed by the Ljubljana City Pipers from the balcony. It was especially for this occasion that composer Nejc Bečan wrote a score dedicated to Ljubljana bridges.
The accompanying programme will include pre-concert discussions and an international musicological conference dedicated to composers Vinko Globokar and Lojze Lebič as they turned 80 last year.
Artistic director Mihelčič expects some 130 foreign visitors to turn out, composers, musicologists and delegates of national ISCM sections, who will gather for a general assembly.
"There will be quite a few phenomenal concerts," he said. Most of the concerts will be admission free and will be broadcast live or recorded by the national radio. The BBC has already inquired about recordings.
The first World Music Days were held in Salzburg in 1923.