THE CONCERT IS PART OF THE 14TH JUNE IN
RTV SLOVENIA SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA
Conductors: Ana Erčulj and Davorin Mori
Nika Gorič, soprano
Sara Briški Cirman, mezzo-soprano
Andraž Golob, clarinet
Maja Horvat, violin
Urban Stanič, piano
Uroš Krek (1922–2008), Rhapsodic dance for symphonic orchestra
Vladimir Lovec (1922–1992), the first movement from Concerto for piano and orchestra in A minor
Giuseppe Tartini (1692–1770), The Devil’s Trill
Carl Maria von Weber (1786–1826), the second and third movement from Concerto for clarinet in F minor, no. 1, Op. 73
Ruggiero Leoncavallo (1857–1919), Intermezzo from the opera Pagliacci
Franz Lehár (1879–1948), Giuditta’s aria from the 4th scene of the operetta Giuditta
Jacques Offenbach (1919–1880), barcarolle from the 3rd act of Hoffmann’s Tales
Ruperto Chapí y Lorente (1851–1909), Luiza’s romance from the 2nd act of the zarzuela Las Hijas del Zebedeo (The Daughters of Zebedee)
Léo Delibes (1836–1891), Flower Duet from the opera Lakmé
Manuel de Falla (1876–1946), Spanish Dance from the opera La Vida Breve
The opening concert of the 34th Imago Sloveniae International Festival and Summer in Old Ljubljana Town is dedicated to showcasing the immense potential of young Slovenian classical musicians. Conducted by two of the most promising Slovenian conductors of the new generation, Ana Erčulj and Davorin Mori, and accompanied by the distinguished RTV Slovenia Symphony Orchestra, we shall hear from: the latest member of the Berlin Philharmonic, clarinettist Andraž Golob; the top-of-her-class and recipient of the flattering Associate of the Royal Academy of Music title, soprano Nika Gorič; the rising star of opera and pop scene, mezzosoprano Sara Briški Cirman – Raiven; the winner of the prestigious Emily Anderson Award by the Royal Philharmonic Society, violinist Maja Horvat; and the multi-awarded musical genius, pianist Urban Stanič.
The programme of the concert pays homage to three important jubilees celebrated this year: the 330th birth anniversary of Giuseppe Tartini and the 100th birth anniversary of Slovenian composers Uroš Krek and Vladimir Lovec.
RTV Slovenia Symphony Orchestra is entering its seventh decade of operation. Since its founding, it has charmed audiences and juries with musical excellence and top-notch interpretation. They have recorded almost the entire Slovenian symphonic repertoire and received numerous accolades for best performances of Slovenian compositions. In November 2019, they toured Latin America as the first Slovenian professional symphony orchestra to do so. The tour was a success. Under the baton of Raoul Grüneis and with the famous cellist Mišo Majski on board, they performed in the magnificent concert halls of Lima, Buenos Aires and São Paulo. The exceptional quality of the orchestra did not go unnoticed even by the world’s most renowned performers of popular classical music. Tenors José Carreras, Placido Domingo and Andrea Bocelli, as well as the duo 2Cellos chose the RTV Slovenia Symphony Orchestra as their accompanying orchestra for Slovenia and neighbouring countries. This year, the role of the chief conductor is taken over by the brilliant Bulgarian-American Rossen Milanov.
Ana Erčulj is one of the most excellent and versatile Slovenian conductor of the new generation, currently pursuing master’s studies at the Guiseppe Tartini Conservatory in Trieste with Marco Angius. She has led and collaborated with various vocal and instrumental ensembles, such as the female choir Čarnice, the Wind and Symphonic Orchestra of the Academy of Music in Ljubljana, the Slovenian Philharmonic Horn Quartet and the Slovenian Philharmonic Choir. As an assistant conductor, she has worked with Tone Tomšič Academic Choir and SNG Opera and Ballet Ljubljana on the production of the opera Ksenija and Carmina Burana. She is assistant to the conductor of the mixed choir Glasbena matica. Sebastjan Vrhovnik, and guest conductor of the Chamber Choir Obala. She is founder and artistic director to the multi-awarded vocal ensemble Gallina and the vocal-instrumental ensemble Musica Emonica, with which she performs vocal and instrumental classicist works combined with the novelties by contemporary Slovenian conductors. In 2019, she was a jury member for the international choir competition Cor Amare in Italy, where she also held a workshop on choir improvisation for more than a hundred participants.
Vienna-based Davorin Mori, a renowned pianist and one of the most successful young Slovenian conductors, currently works as an assistant to the chorus master of the Vienna State Opera Thomas Lang. He is also the artistic director and conductor of the choir Cappella Albertina Wien which specializes in old music, and founder and artistic director of the Camerata Sinfonica Austria chamber orchestra. With the latter, he has toured many festivals around Austria and collaborated with numerous noted soloists, such as Iva Schell, Asja Valčić, Gerald Preinfalk, Klaus Paier. Among others, Davorin has conducted the RTV Slovenia Symphonic Orchestra, Kyiv Symphonic Orchestra, Armenian National Symphonic Orchestra and KONSE Symphonic Orchestra. He first came into the limelight with the opening concert at 2016 Salzburg Summer Festival where he conducted the Vienna Philharmonic Choir in the jazz mass Prayer Wheel by Karen Asatrian. He has been invited to conduct the piece again for the Yerevan Opera Theatre. He is on the cusp of graduating at the Viennese University of Music and Performing arts in the class of Dr Johannes Wildner. His other plans for the imminent future involve conducting Felix Mendelssohn’s Elias for the Camerata Sinfonica Austria and Capella Albertina Wien at the Franciscan Church in Vienna and a guest appearance at the MuTh (i.e. the concert hall of the Vienna Boys’ Choir) with Mahler’s Fourth Symphony.
Slovenian soprano Nika Gorič studied at the Ballet and Music School in Maribor, University of Music and Performing Arts, Graz and the Royal Academy of Music, London where she completed her studies with Lillian Watson and Jonathan Papp, receiving the Regency Award in 2015 and The Queen’s Commendation for Excellence in 2017 for the best all-round student of the year. In 2019 she was awarded Associate of the Royal Academy of Music. Most recently, Nika was awarded an audience prize by Festspiele Mecklenburg-Vorpommern. Concert highlights include Hamburg Elbphilharmonie, Berlin Philharmonie, Royal Festival Hall London, Birmingham Symphony Hall, Sydney Opera House, where she has recently performed with NDR Elbphilharmonie Orchestra Hamburg (Carlos Miguel Prieto), Karajan-Akademie of the Berliner Philharmoniker (Pablo Heras-Casado), Philharmonia Orchestra (Joana Mallwitz), Australian Chamber Orchestra (Richard Tognetti) and alongside CBSO, the Orchestra of Scottish Opera, Garsington Opera Orchestra, Kraków Festival Orchestra, and others. Recent highlights include Berg’s 7 frühe Lieder and Mahler Symphony no. 4 with Slovenia Philharmonic Orchestra conducted by Philipp von Steinaecker, Bach’s Solo cantata ‘O holder Tag, erwünschte Zeit’, soprano solo in Christmas Oratorio and a concert with works by Wolf and Mahler at the Festival Ljubljana with Ensemble Dissonance led by Marko Letonja. In season 2021/2022 Nika appears in the roles such as Pamina (Die Zauberflöte), Christel (Der Vogelhändler), Adina (L’elisir d’amore), Gilda (Rigoletto) and Fiordiligi (Cosí fan tutte).
Singer and harpist Sara Briški Cirman graduated in 2018 in the class of professor Alenka Dernač Bunta at the Academy of Music in Ljubljana. In May 2021, she sang the main role of Agrippina in the eponymous opera by G. F. Haendl at Cankarjev dom, thus completing her master’s degree in solo singing with professor Pia Brodnik. She has been awarded several times for her achievements in the field of classical music. In January 2021, she was a finalist at the International Opera Singing Competition Tenor Vinas in Barcelona. She is the recipient of a scholarship from Opernfest Prague, where she collaborated with renowned conductors, orchestras and artists from the Czech Republic. She won the first prize and third place at the IMMCC 2020 International Singing Competition. Sara is also active in popular music, writing most of her own lyrics and compositions and performing under the stage name Raiven. In 2018, she received the Golden Flute, a professional music award for achievements in the field of Slovenian popular music, for her album Magenta.
The new solo bass clarinettist of the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra Andraž Golob studied at the University of Music and Performing Arts in Graz. As a soloist and chamber musician, he has won several first prizes (at the competitions Davorin Jenko, Stevan Mokranec, Luigi Zanuccoli, Val Tidone, TEMSIG, etc.). He has experience in both professional and youth orchestras (the Gustav Mahler Youth Orchestra, the Nuremberg Symphony Orchestra and the Graz Philharmonic), and records regularly for the Austrian radio and television ORF. In September 2019, after auditioning successfully, he accepted the position of academician at the Vienna Philharmonic. This year, he has taken up a regular position at the Berlin Philharmonic. He continues his education with many renowned musicians (Mathias Schorn, Andreas Schablas, Johann Hindler, Mate Bekavac, Kilian Herold, Harri Mäkki, etc.).
Maja Horvat, an extremely talented Slovenian violinist, is the recipient of Ustanova Imago Sloveniae Scholarship. She graduated from the Ljubljana conservatory in the class of Volodja Balžalorsky, enrolling afterwards at the Royal College of Music, passing her entrance exams with the best grades among all candidates. She currently studies as a Victor and Lilian Hochhauser Scholar for her Artist Diploma under the tutelage of Alina Ibragimova. A year into her studies, she won second prize at the 2016 Grand Prize Virtuoso in London, and in 2018, she won 3rd place and a special prize at the Karol Szymanowski International Music Competition. She was also awarded the Emily Anderson Prize for 2019/20 by Royal Philharmonic Society. She has performed as a soloist with the Slovenian Philharmonic Orchestra and the Slovenian Philharmonic Chamber Orchestra, the Mendelssohn Chamber Orchestra, the National Polish Radio Symphony Orchestra, the KGBL Symphony Orchestra and the Young Ljubljana Soloists Chamber Orchestra. Maja is a Tillett Debut Scheme artist for the 2022/23 season.
Pianist Urban Stanič is the winner of the Slovenian selection for the Eurovision Young Musicians 2014 and runner-up at the final contest in Cologne. He has performed multiple times as a soloist with the most prestigious Slovenian orchestras, such as the Slovenian Philharmonic Orchestra and the Slovenian Radio and Television Orchestra. He has won first and other high prizes at national and international competitions, such as the first prize at the Slovenian national competition three times in a row. Currently he studies in Stefan Vladar’s class at the University for Music and Performing Arts in Vienna. He has graduated from his master’s with summa cum laude in the class of professor emerita Dubravka Tomšič Srebotnjak at the Academy of Music in Ljubljana and is now an Assistant there. As a soloist with orchestras, with recitals and as a chamber musician he has performed to critical acclaim at concert venues such as the Konzerthaus Berlin, Cankarjev dom in Ljubljana, the Slovenian Philharmonic and Kongresni trg. Urban was in his younger years two times national champion in mathematics, five times in logic and once in his category national chess champion.
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