September 18, 2020 – Founded in 1971, Varazdin welcomes the 50th, most important musical and theatrical event of central Croatia – baroque evenings.
At this challenging time for the organizers, this festival of national significance will begin tonight in the Baroque city at 8 pm with a gala concert on the open stage near Varazdin’s Old Town. During the 11 days of the festival, there will be concerts of Croatian musicians and accompanying programs united under the name “Total Baroque”. An exhibition of photographs through the five decades of the festival has been set up on the Croatian National Theater building in Varazdin and the Ritz house. The international flower exhibition, which has been held for 25 years as a permanent accompanying program of the Varazdin Baroque Evenings (VBE) on the theme of music-baroque-flowers, will be held in Varazdin’s historic center. The set of floral installations will undoubtedly serve as a backdrop for photographs from the city cultivating the Baroque festival for half a century.
“As organizers, we are extremely satisfied with the audience’s interest in the Varazdin Baroque Evenings concerts, which is proof that many wanted to relax with timeless music. We have provided all the measures necessary for our visitors, musicians, and our logistics and production team to preserve their health and for the festival to run smoothly. Precisely because of the implementation of measures, there are fewer visitors to concerts. Still, the fact that Varazdin Baroque Evenings celebrate their half-century in a year when many festivals are canceled or postponed in the world is the greatest gift,” said the organizer of VBE and the director of the Varazdin Concert Office, Raymond Rojnik.
Tonight, after the opening concert, which will be broadcast live on the Third Program of Croatian Television and the Third Program of Croatian Radio, fireworks will follow from the Old Town walls at around 10 pm.
With about thirty concerts performed by several hundred musicians in front of tens of thousands of audience members worldwide, this two-week festival has established itself as a European and world-famous early music festival. Concerts are now held mainly in northwestern Croatia, but VBE has also been performed in many European countries. The European Festival Association (EFFE) commented on the Varazdin Baroque Evenings with the words: “The high cultural and national importance of the festival is unquestionable”. They awarded them with the prestigious label, Label 2019-2020.
It is important to note that the Varazdin Baroque Evenings’ focus is authenticity. Firstly, this is the authenticity of the space. Varazdin is one of the best-preserved Baroque cities, and the program is held in palaces, churches, and castles from that period. Secondly, the performance is authentic because the concerts are performed on baroque instruments. And lastly, the program is authentic because musicians performed music by Baroque composers.