Imago Sloveniae Foundation was established in 1998 as a follow up to a widely recognised activities of the Institute for the Revitalisation of the Cultural Image of the Ljubljana Old Town (1988). The project emerged from a need to revitalise the cultural image of Slovenian old city centres, squares, sacred architecture, castles, museums, and other cultural heritage sites via live arts and cultural events. Today the project connects 25 Slovenian municipalities and towns (cultural network), in the frame of which over 100 concerts, performed by renowned Slovenian and foreign artists, are organised annually, as well as many other cultural events.
The summer cultural offer in Slovenia, which already included several summer festivals in certain Slovenian towns, has thus been enriched by concerts taking place in spaces and buildings of cultural heritage. As it turned out, the revival of cultural heritage places with high quality events contributes immensely to the overall economic, tourist, and cultural development of towns and regions. Foundation is also increasingly active in the international area, collaborating with 15 cultural institutions and festivals from different European countries.
Being a non-profitable organisation in public interest, Imago Sloveniae’ events are usually admission free.
Within the Imago Sloveniae project several festivals and concert cycles take place annually:
- Imago Sloveniae International Festival
- Summer in Old Ljubljana Town International Festival
- Nights in Old Ljubljana Town International Festival
- Jazz Stage International Cycle
- Young Talents International Cycle
- Winter in Old Ljubljana Town International Cycle
- Art gallery Janez Boljka
The key aims and objectives of the Foundation include:
• Revitalisation of architectural cultural heritage (old towns, historical centres, castles, museums, and churches) via live arts and other cultural events;
• Production and coordination of quality cultural events and festivals;
• Popularisation of serious music and promotion of authors and interpreters;
• Encouraging novel artistic creativity and supporting young musicians in their artistic development;
• Ensuring free accessibility to high-quality cultural contents;
• International cooperation, international co-productions, best practice exchange;
• Promotion of cultural diversity and intercultural dialogue;
• Bringing top quality art from big cities to smaller towns and municipalities throughout Slovenia;
• Linking of culture and tourism, and formulation of special business initiatives in the field of cultural tourism.
Imago Sloveniae International Festival
Imago Sloveniae International Festival was established in 1998 with the aim of promotion and development of Slovenian art, decentralization of the high-quality cultural offer, establishment of an international cultural network and revitalization of architectural heritage through live culture. It has been providing old town centres, historical and sacral buildings with exquisite cultural and artistic content ever since. Every year, it connects over 20 municipalities, towns and places from all parts of Slovenia, as well as from Slovenian borderland, and abroad. Under the common brand Imago Sloveniae over 50 concerts and various other artistic events of prominent domestic and foreign musicians take place every year, which makes Imago Sloveniae International Festival one of the largest classical music festivals in Slovenia. A long tradition and a desire for continuous evolvement provide Imago Sloveniae International Festival with exceptional quality and relevance of both performers as well as music content, which is confirmed by excellent reviews by the professional public, maximum attendance, great media coverage, and enthusiastic contentment of the audience.
Summer in Old Ljubljana Town International Cycle
Beginnings of the Summer in Old Ljubljana Town International Cycle date back to 1988, when the Society for the Revival of the Cultural Image of the Old Town was founded and began to revive the city’s cultural pulse by organizing concerts and various other cultural events. Every year, the cycle takes place from the second half of June until the end of August at renowned locations such as the Slovenian Philharmonic, Ljubljana Castle, National Gallery, City Museum, City Hall, St. Nicholas’ cathedral, and others, starting with the traditional festive Opening Concert at the Congress Square. With a diverse selection of classical music of different periods for different ensembles (from soloists and chamber ensembles to larger choirs and orchestras) Summer in Old Ljubljana Town conjures up unforgettable musical evenings for thousands of visitors. Summer in Old Ljubljana Town pays special attention to the current creativity of the most prominent Slovenian artists and performers of all generations while the international dimension is provided by outstanding foreign musicians from different parts of the world. Summer in Old Ljubljana Town’s concerts can also be heard on the Radio Slovenia – Ars Programme or seen on the TV Slovenia.
Nights in Old Ljubljana Town International Festival
Nights in Old Ljubljana Town International Festival, which dates back to 1988, has in its 33 years of existence evolved into the largest street festival in the capital. Together with its rich accompanying program it represents one of the most complex cultural projects in Slovenia. The three-day festival, which usually takes place in the last week of August, attracts over 50.000 domestic and foreign visitors each year. With various world music and jazz genres it offers an exceptionally diverse and unique concert experience. At several different locations in the picturesque historical ambience of the old town, it is possible to listen to over 30 concerts in 3 days. They are performed by prominent Slovenian and foreign musicians from all over the world. The various accompanying program enriches Nights in Old Ljubljana Town with various theatre, film, literary and dance events, children’s workshops, and most importantly, with the traditional annual International Interdisciplinary Symposium of renowned Slovenian and foreign scientists.
International Interdisciplinary Symposium
Since 2011, as a part of the Nights in Old Ljubljana Town festival, the International Interdisciplinary Symposium is organised in cooperation with the Department of Musicology of Faculty of Arts of University of Ljubljana, Institute of Ethnomusicology ZRC SAZU, Institute of Musicology ZRC SAZU, and the world’s leading ethnomusicological association ICTM (International Council for Traditional Music). Every year it brings together over 50 leading world-renowned scientists and experts from more than 20 countries. The symposium that is always thematically linked to the current theme of the Nights in Old Ljubljana Town festival, enables researchers from various fields such as ethnomusicology, ethnology, anthropology, sociology, folklore, sound studies and many others, the opportunity to present their thoughts, answers, discoveries and findings to the general public. The scientific-theoretical discussion of the annual thematic sections thus seeks to comprehensively supplement the real and direct musical expressions of concert contents. All events are open to the public and take place at prominent locations in the Ljubljana Old Town (City Museum, ZRC SAZU Atrium, ZRC SAZU Prešeren Hall, GIAM ZRC SAZU Geography Museum Hall etc.), which are in the immediate vicinity of concert venues. The audience can also listen to selected round tables, lectures and discussions on the Radio Slovenia.
Jazz Stage International Cycle
Jazz Stage International Cycle was established in 2006 with the aim of continuous presentation of the best current Slovenian jazz production, and to ensure the accessibility of top-quality music content in the old city centre of Ljubljana. Its programme is based on various genres of an extremely diversified jazz music. It includes distinguished Slovenian bands and soloists, as well as outstanding foreign musicians in various international ensembles. Special emphasis is on contemporary Slovenian original production and concert presentations of new albums. Since 2017 the cycle starts on April 30, in honour of UNESCO International Jazz Day. The concerts then take place weekly – every Friday – from the end of June until the end of August, on the main stage between Old Square (Stari trg) and Upper Square (Gorni trg), as well as at various other locations in Ljubljana’s city centre, attracting and enthusing thousands of visitors. The concerts are complemented by varied educational and experimental workshops and jam sessions, various round tables and discussions, which add theoretical content to the artistic and expressive integrity of the cycle. The Jazz Stage brings to Slovenia – also through live broadcast of Radio Slovenia – the invaluable freshness of a wide range of jazz music, and thus uniquely contributes to the jazz scene of the Slovenian capital.
Young Talents International Cycle
Young Talents International Cycle was designed in 2005 to support the most promising young musicians that are just starting their careers. It pays special attention to artists who have already completed their undergraduate studies in music and who, due to the small size of the Slovenian cultural space, especially need encouragement and help in further artistic development. Winners of established domestic and foreign music competitions such as TEMSIG, Primož Ramovš Competition and others, regularly perform within the cycle. Special open call for chamber ensembles and new compositions is organised every year, which provides at least 2 premiere performances within the cycle per year. At prestigious locations in the Ljubljana city centre (Slovenian Philharmonic, National Gallery, City Museum, Red Hall of the City Hall etc.), in various other places around Slovenia, and abroad in the form of tours and cultural exchanges, concerts take place throughout the year with its peak set in the main summer season. In that period, the concerts of the Young Talents are intertwined with the resounding Summer in Old Ljubljana Town International Festival, which offers young musicians the opportunity to collaborate and perform with established artists, thus enabling them to present themselves in front of thousands of visitors. The Young Talents can also be heard on Radio Slovenija – Ars Programme that records, critically reviews and presents numerous concerts, which is of great importance for the establishment and recognition of the young musicians.
Winter in Old Ljubljana Town International Cycle
Since 2003, the Winter in Old Ljubljana Town International Cycle has been created as an addition to a series of December music events that started over 30 years ago with the desire to revive Christmas concert tradition. The cycle is dedicated mostly to classical, Christmas and winter-themed music. At various locations, such as Town Square, Cathedral of St. Nicholas, Church of St. James, Congress Square, and others, concerts are performed by various ensembles of esteemed domestic and foreign artists. Winter in Old Ljubljana Town is charmingly intertwined with other December happenings in the city. With annually new original production, its peak event – The Traditional Christmas Concert in front of the Town Hall – takes thousands of visitors into the magical ambience of the Christmas Eve.
Art gallery Janez Boljka
The gallery activity in the premises of The Foundation Imago Sloveniae – Podoba Slovenije on Upper Square (Gornji trg) has been successfully combining various fields of visual art for over 26 years. In 2014, at the opening of the exhibition of small sculptures by Janez Boljka, the gallery was named after this famous artist. The internationally renowned Slovenian painter, sculptor and graphic artist spent his academic youth in this part of the old city centre of Ljubljana. With a thoughtful, high-quality and internationally designed program, the Gallery Janez Boljka advances remarkable art and accessibility of an exquisite cultural offer. Together with designers, architects and other experts in the field, it prepares group and solo exhibitions of older as well as younger artistic generations, thus complementing the gallery activity of this area of the old town. Located in an environment of distinct artistic character, formed by numerous studios of Upper Square (Gornji trg) in which some of the most important Slovenian artists work, Art gallery Janez Boljka stimulates and promotes a lively artistic life that in the form of interesting and resounding exhibitions as well as other cultural events attracts crowds of domestic and foreign visitors.