If I had to find one word to describe everything that we do, create and strive for at the Festival Maribor I would have to say genuine. We are genuine in the relationship with our co-creators, genuine towards our audience, what echoes in inspiration and is felt and appreciated, we are genuinely generating creative buzz, noted by critics and rewarded with a prestigious ranking of the Festival Maribor among the ten best festivals in Europe in 2014, and last but not least, genuine as the driving force, which defines our “modus vivendi“ and enables us to persist in these hard times.

Genuine means sincere, which in the context of art is often generalised and equalled with original. And now many of you will surely ask me: then why is this year's festival celebrating theft?

Simply because we think that being genuine is priceless whereas originality in art is always questionable.

People are, as Goethe already observed, shaped and tailored by what they love. And in this, artists are more of a rule than exception. Take Stravinsky for example: when he was accused of stealing musical themes from respected composers from the past his answer was simple: ”You respect, but I love.” 

In the history of music, copying (from others as well as from oneself) is a perfectly normal creative process in which it does not matter from where one takes one's inspiration but where to and how one places it.

A simple fact, which with the industrial exploitation of music and the subsequent establishment of copyright laws became anything but simple.

In that sense our festival brings about a series of deliberate as well as unexpected discoveries. The multimedia project “Stolen?“ which is a fusion of drama and music has to be mentioned here. Created by Robert Murray, Joseph Nizeti, Aljaž Zupančič, Jure Ivanušič and Nejc Bečan under Richard Tognetti's creative leadership, it casts a new light on the ambiguous nature of originality. 

Our exciting detective story in which nothing is as it seems boasts an impressive line-up. In the role of creative leader we proudly and happily present Richard Tognetti. He is accompanied by international stars such as Giovanni Sollima (cello), Christian Schmidt (piano) or Gypsy Devils and acclaimed Slovenian artists, such as Marko Črnčec who composed a ”stolen“ theme based jazz suite commissioned by the festival, Božena Angelova, Bojan Cvetrežnik and Tim Urbanya in the roles of selectors and authors of “stolen“ programmes.

The leading role of the festival is again assigned to the Festival Orchestra, in which musicians from Slovenian orchestras as well as members of our partners Camerata Serbica and Bunt Festival from Belgrade are united. The orchestra will perform under the batons of Richard Tognetti, Simon Krečič and Bojan Sudjić.

Our efforts to unveil originality were supported by the Municipality of Maribor, the Ministry of Culture, and numerous sponsors, donators, co-producers and partners. Besides the Union Hall our story full of suspense and unexpected twists will also unfold in the glittering Congress Hall in Graz, in the Festive Hall of the mysterious Dornava Mansion as well as in the Theatre Hall of Vetrinje Mansion.

You are kindly invited to discover and celebrate Stolen with us. We are genuinely looking forward to your company! 


Brigita Pavlič

Director of Festival Maribor