28 to 30 August 2014
The old town centre of Ljubljana – various venues
The Nights in the Old Ljubljana Town international music festival is among the biggest cultural events in Slovenia in terms of scope and visitor numbers. The festival’s high-quality programme attracts more than 60,000 domestic and foreign visitors each year and its influence on the development of culture and cultural tourism in our capital is clearly evident. This popular and well-established traditional event is also an excellent opportunity to present new Slovenian music productions as well as young and as yet unknown musicians.
The Director of Imago Sloveniae, Janoš Kern, had this to say: “The conceptualisation of this year’s project was carried out with great ambition and enthusiasm but, owing to financial constraints, we were forced to make significant cuts to the programme.” Despite this, however, a variety of venues in the old town centre of Ljubljana will play host to a myriad of high-quality cultural events staged between 28 and 30 August with appearances by more than 250 performers from 12 countries.
The underlying theme of the 26th Nights in the Old Ljubljana Town international festival will be difference, diversity – Different Slovenia. The multitude of cultural and related events will serve to highlight the different identities and performers within the living space in which we share. The musical art of national minorities, ethnic and religious communities, as well as different musical practices, will take pride of place. Part of the programme will be devoted to people with special needs.
The official opening of the festival will be on Thursday, 28 August at 8 p.m. in front of the town hall and will feature a multicultural musical, dance and recital show, the main message of which will be I AM YOU, which fully encapsulates the fundamental idea behind this year’s project. The one-hour long programme will intertwine the music, songs and dance of Slovenia, Africa, Southern and Northern Europe, South and North America, the Near East and Asia, and Australia. The show was created under the auspices of UNESCO and its creative project entitled International Decade for the Rapprochement of Cultures (2013–2022). A variety of exciting musicians from abroad will present their work at the festival, including Global Culture NASU (Japan), Donauwelenreiter (Austria), the international ensemble Balkan Jazz Quartet, Jean P. Froehly and Friends (Germany) and Hangadok (Hungary). The domestic performers of note include Kapobanda, Fake Orchestra, Istranbul, Slovenski tolkalni projekt STOP, Rudi Bučar z gosti, Brizani Sons & Amala, Iva Stanič with Gregor Ftičar trio and Zoran Škrinjar Amadeusblues quartet.
The diverse festival events will be broadcast live in a special programme by Radio Slovenia 1 and the ARS Programme. Listeners and visitors will therefore get the opportunity to witness radio shows being put together as they move from the studio to the various venues in the old town centre. We will have the opportunity to listen to a live broadcast of the legendary Radio Ga Ga, and – for a change – view the radio play At the Psychiatrist’s, before spending a pleasant evening with Tina Kralj at the Night Visit show. Studio at 5 p.m. will report on the latest news under the starlit sky as will the Culture Brought to You Live show. The ARS Programme is preparing a radio round table discussion under the title “About a Different Slovenia”. This year’s guest at the Literary Nocturne show will be Janez Ramoveš who will present his new collection of poems accompanied by Uršula Ramoveš and Fantje iz Jazbecove grape. Visitors will have the chance to get up close and personal with the complex inner workings of radio programme creation, which will be complemented by live jazz, ethno and classical music concerts.
A highlight of the festival will certainly be the unveiling of the five metre long (approximately 16 feet) and three metre high (approximately 10 feet) sculpture titled DIFFERENT SLOVENIAN WOMAN AND DIFFERENT SLOVENIAN MAN on the square of Novi trg.
In addition to the diverse cultural events on offer, we are also preparing a jam-packed complementary programme. The central accompanying event will undoubtedly be the international multidisciplinary symposium entitled MUSIC AND DISSIMILARITY that will take place at the City Museum of Ljubljana (Mestni muzej). As described by the chief organiser of the event, Prof. Dr Svanibor Pettan, the symposium will “on the one hand critically sum up the links between music and dissimilarity/otherness in Slovenia and around the world over the previous decades, and, on the other, herald the multitude of layers of views held by the various professions, geographic environments, historic periods and individual discoveries of the symposium’s participants”.
This year’s Nights in the Old Ljubljana Town international festival was conceptualised as a highly complex event and we engaged a number of experts from various fields and numerous reference institutions in its preparation such as the Chair of Ethnomusicology at the Faculty of Arts of the University of Ljubljana, the Folk Slovenia Cultural and Ethnomusicological Society, the ICTM, the ZRC SAZU Music Ethnography Institute, Radio Slovenia, the Dolfka Boštjančič Draga Education, Work and Care Centre and many others.