Varaždin Ready for the 46th Varaždin Baroque Evenings

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For the 46th time this autumn, from September 23 to October 4, Varaždin is again returning to the baroque period, with baroque music filling the historical buildings in Varaždin, Trakošćan castle and several other Croatian towns

The partner nation this year is the Kingdom of Spain from which renown and recognised will arrive to promote authentic performances of baroque and renaissance music, with a total of 15 concerts in Varaždin and Trakošćan during the 12 festival days. At the end of the Festival a traditional concert of award-winning students of the Music School in Varaždin along with the Varaždin chamber orchestra, Večernji List reported on September 21, 2016.

This year’s programme of the Festival was presented at a press conference in the Varaždin city hall. “In the two weeks of the Festival the audience will have the opportunity to listen to the best of Spain’s baroque music. We’ve prepared, I’d say, an exotic programme which we haven’t had the chance to hear at the Festival and will be memorable to visitors,” announced Davor Bobić, director of the Varaždin Baroque Evenings. Varaždin Mayor Goran Habuš reminded that the Baroque Evenings are the oldest and culturally strongest brand of Varaždin. “In those festival days, Varaždin can be seen through baroque facades, felt through wonderful music, smelled at the flower show and tasted through the gastronomy delicacies,” pointed out Mayor Habuš inviting guests to visit Varaždin in the beginning of autumn. On the day of the festival opening, on Friday at 18h in the lobby of the Great Concert Hall of Varaždin’s Croatian National Theatre the exhibition “Sacral-processional sculpture of the Spanish baroque” will be opened, organised by the Embassy of Spain in Croatia, open until October 4, with part of it on display on the facade of Sermage palace.

Spain has given a great contribution to this year’s Festival, with the Spanish Ambassador in Croatia Eduardo Aznar especially proud of the partnership. “Organisers of the Varaždin Baroque Evenings are doing a great job and that was my first impression when I visited your Festival. It is special to me as it represents baroque music in an authentic way and I am impressed by the Varaždin Baroque Evenings. Due to all this I am not surprised the Festival has been going on over 40 years and I hope it lasts at least that much more,” said Ambassador Aznar. Director of the Concert Office Varaždin Raymond Rojnik thanked everyone who helped the Festival happen. “We have prepared 16 concerts in Varaždin and 9 outside of it, with 18 ensembles performing. 13 institutions is connected in the preparation of the Festival, and we are proud of the international dimension of the Festival, as we already know next year’s partner will be Hungary,” announced Rojnik. Concerts will b eheld in the next weeks in Križevci, Ludbreg, Krapina, Belc, Lopatinec, Varaždinske Tolice, Novi Marof, Prelog and Vinica, a total of four counties.

“Thanks to the fact that the partner nation of the 46th Varaždin Baroque Evenings is Spain we will have the opportunity to listen to works from its golden age. This is music from the Spanish royal court, palaces of the aristocracy, but also music from cathedrals and churches. On one hand we have the secular and on the other hand a spiritual repertoire, quite interesting Spanish guests, highly valued musicians and something new, a concert with improvisation which today is a new practice in the authentic performance of baroque music. It is an attempt to revive what was common in the baroque times, which is for musicians to be composers at the same time and as such improvise their own music without necessarily writing it down, something we are trying to renew,” pointed out Zdenka Weber, Croatian musicologist and president of the festival jury. The overture to this year’s edition of Varaždin Baroque Evenings will be an international flower show which opens its 21st edition on Thursday, September 22 with the already known theme “Baroque-music-flowers,” and the subtheme “Flower Flamenco.” Varaždin Baroque Evenings have through the decades become not only a cultural but a tourism brand, the only continental festival of national importance. The patron of the Festival is again this year the President of Croatia Kolinda Grabar-Kitarović.

View the festival programme here.



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