Festival Maribor

The history of the Festival Maribor spans almost half a century, mainly focusing on Baroque styles in its beginnings and gradually extending its repertoire to post-modern transformations. It evolved from Music September, an international chamber music festival, inheriting its refined programming, stellar performance standards and unorthodox organizational style.

The festival offers a unique line-up that can't be found anywhere else, as the in-house production features concert programs and musical ensembles hand-selected by festival organizers. Acclaimed musicians from all over the world and members of exceptional Slovenian and foreign orchestras are individually chosen to form various chamber and orchestral ensembles as well as the core of the Festival Maribor Orchestra in accord with the program prepared by the artistic director.

Festival Maribor Orchestra

The boldly selected repertoire encompasses both, repertoire for chamber orchestra as well as outstanding symphonic and vocal-instrumental works.

During pre-production the festival serves as a kind of music laboratory, where musicians can collaborate and team up to prepare a concert line-up that is brimming with creative synergy.

The program concept is based on a distinctive, recognizable and unique structure. The Festival Maribor namely commissions and premiers numerous works by Slovenian and foreign composers and prides itself on breaking beyond the boundaries of the so-called classical music tradition.
For two weeks, the Festival Maribor entertains audiences with around 20 concerts (main and complimentary program), workshops and exhibitions, and includes multimedia projects, primal ethnic, classical eastern or jazz music as fundamental elements of its rich program.





The concerts are held at various concert halls around Maribor and smaller venues in the area filled with history and charm, such as Maribor Castle, Ptuj Castle, Dornava Mansion, the Fin de Siècle Union Hall acclaimed for its superb acoustics, Kazina Hall and the Old and Grand Hall of the Slovene National Theatre Maribor. In addition, Festival Maribor concerts in the picturesque squares of Maribor's historic centre lend variety to the city’s atmosphere.

The annual list of festival participants includes internationally acclaimed and established artists. The heart of Festival Maribor’s music creation consists of foreign celebrities as well as renowned Slovenian musicians. The musicians have ample opportunity to exchange ideas, hone their skills working with the biggest names on the global music scene, and further their own creative potential. Over a longer period of time, such intense collective work opens up new possibilities for collaboration, such as guest appearances by Slovenian artists or reciprocal artist exchanges through partner organizations and festivals.

Festival Maribor is also a launching pad for young Slovenian artists, who get a chance to play before large audiences, gain valuable insight by working with the greats of classical music, and add a prestigious event to their list of appearances.

The Maribor Festival is one of Europe's finest summer festivals. Rating:****
John Allison, The Sunday Telegraph (UK), 2010
In this year the Festival Maribor is even more eagerly tackling the popular culture and is opening new areas of understanding between various music and art genres.
Žiga Brdnik, 14. 9. 2013, Večer
Classical music breaking free.
Laurence Vittes, Huffington Post (USA), 2011
The Berlin Orchestra - this time as a chamber ensemble - shone in moments of crystal clarity (Valse Lente by Schreker), galant enthusiasm (Mendelssohn), I was also impressed by the broad dynamic spectre which reached to barely audible lows (Valse Triste by Sibelius)
Aljaž Zupančič, 9. 9. 2013, Večer
Unlike the temporary nature of the Festival Maribor Orchestra, the permanent Slovenian orchestras (the Radio Orchestra and Slovene Philharmonics) can only dream of a comparable intensity or zeal at this point.
Jure Dobovišek, Delo (SI), 2011
It is fascinating how a temporary, non-institutional orchestra, apparently motivated by reasons other than those of conventional orchestras, can be transformed in such a short time into a harmonious and flexible performing body with exuberant energy. It is capable of delivering outstanding interpretations of even the most demanding chamber and symphonic works.
Stanislav Koblar, Pogledi (SI), 2011
An astounding testament to what world-class musicians can produce in a two-week period of intensive work.
Laurence Vittes, Seen and Heard International (USA), 2011
This is a festival which I will always enjoy attending since I am always made at home by the organisers, a lively bunch of talented music lovers who surely deserve the highest accolades.
Gerald Fenech, Music & Vision, 2013
In the most sensational concert of an often sensational Maribor Music Festival week, Giovanni Sollima issued a challenge to all who think the cello is for the faint of heart… this was music that lifted the cello into the realms of the musical gods. It didn’t hurt that the cello people were partnered to breath-taking precision and intensity by the Festival Maribor strings and its miracle-working conductor, Marko Letonja.
Laurence Vittes, Huffington Post (USA), 2011
As the artistic director, Richard Tognetti exerted himself in his own manner: unrestrained temperament, virtuoso know-how, creative imagination, sense of timing, stage talent, charisma… Adding the richness of the orchestral sound – could we ask for anything more?
Janko Šetinc, Večer (SI), 2011
Maribor is not a city with which you would normally associate classical music of the highest quality – that accolade is normally reserved for illustrious places such as Berlin, Vienna, London or New York. But for a few days in early September, Maribor was indeed a city of excellence in all ways imaginable.
Gerald Fenech, Music and Vision (USA), 2010
Richard Tognetti is one of the most characterful, incisive and impassioned violinists to be heard today.
The Daily Telegraph (UK)