Maribor Festival set in romantic mood
Maribor, 1 September - One of Slovenia's finest classical music festivals, the Maribor Festival will explore romanticism in its various manifestations this year, from Beethoven and Wagner to Piazzolla.
The festival will open on Sunday with a concert featuring Haydn Philharmonie with Nicolas Altstaedt as conductor and cello soloist. They will perform Beethoven, Shostakovich and Haydn.
Altstaedt, a German-born cellist, will take over as the festival's artistic director from Barbara Švrljuga Hergovich next year.
Švrljuga Hergovich has promised an "intriguing, multi-faceted and communicative programme", a product of a comprehensive approach to the theme, with its various variations, interpretations and associations.
The programme includes great Romantic compositions of the 19th and 20th centuries, all the way to the last echoes of romantic musical thinking found in the music of Arnold Schönberg and his early expressive works.
These will be coupled with great musical love stories such as Romeo and Juliet, as well as the Romantic cult of a controversial, genius individualist. Nor will romance be ignored.
Romantic love and the dream of escaping daily life may be found in the music of Astor Piazzolla, whose music will be performed by the Viennese ensemble Amarcord.
The festival chamber orchestra will give two concerts, one under the baton of Simon Krečič with Oksana Pečeny Dolenc performing solo on the violin, and the other conducted by France's Jean-Philippe Wurtz and featuring mezzo-soprano Camille Merckx.
The festival will also make a guest appearance in Graz in Austria with a recital by violinist Žiga Brank and pianist Petar Milić.
The closing concert on 21 September will feature the SNG Maribor theatre Symphony Orchestra and the opera choir, conducted by Italy's Gianluca Martinenghi with Alexander Gadjiev on the piano.
The festival will also feature two concerts and several workshops for children.