What a fantastic year it is going to be!

Dear friends,

2017 is almost over. It’s been a great year for
Festival Maribor, and we are happy we got to share it with you! We thank you for your support and friendship and hope you will join us again in Maribor from September 20th until September 29th 2018 for new musical adventures!

It’s almost time for presents and nice surprises, and we are happy to announce we have one, too! A great one, so we can’t wait to share with you!

We proudly present the new Artistic Director of Festival Maribor orchestra: Mr. Nicolas Altstaedt! Having one of the most esteemed, sought after and versatile artists of our time at our steering wheel is a tremendous honour and it gives us immense pleasure to be able to share his artistic vision with you!

So, see you all in the New Year! What a fantastic year it is going to be!


Musical absolution

“Marriage is a wonderful institution, but who wants to live in an institution? “, cleverly remarked Groucho Marx. Well, definitely not artists! Their divorce rate (which in past times also meant scandal) is significantly higher than the one of mere mortals. Why? I’m no artist and no expert on the subject (read: not married to an artist) so my answer is a pure speculation (but such a one I would dare to wager my husband upon): because they want (read: need) their freedom!

Freedom to create and live in a realm, which has nothing to do with spouses holding a grudge when they come home hungover and two days too late, forget to pay bills, forget birthdays and marriage anniversaries, forget they are married in the first place! Their need of freedom to create and to be true to themselves (which usually means being untrue to their spouses) is such, the concept of marriage must really seem like an institution to them, probably the one with bars on windows. Or, to put it in Groucho Marx’s style: of the “till death do us part” speech they probably only hear the “death” part!

To redeem themselves those poor institutionalized souls often dedicate a piece of their art to their spouses. And as paradoxes go, the most unfaithful ones usually put most efforts into it!

So we can be quite sure Wagner’s marital transgressions must have been … well…significant. Because Siegfried Idyll, which he wrote for his wife, and engaged an entire orchestra conveniently placed on the stairs leading to her bedroom for its premiere, is a piece of such profound beauty, one forgets (and forgives) anything upon hearing it!

So, if you have anything to be forgiven for by your spouse: Festival Maribor offers a fantastic opportunity to let him or her know that when you’ve uttered the “till death do us part” you actually meant it! Just bring her/him to the Union Hall on September 13th and enjoy the “forgive and forget” effect of Wagner’s masterpiece on your marriage!

PS: Trust us: that 13 in the date is not a bad omen! If you skip the concert because of it – blame your marital disaster on yourself.

Text by: Maja Pirš


It’s all in the method!

As said in our first newsletter, being romantic is not easy. For all of you who struggle we have checked a WikiHow page with a step by step guide. Here are some of the recommended methods (yes, this is the expression they are using!).

Method one is called “be thoughtful” and suggests buying thoughtful gifts, taking your love on thoughtful dates and leaving thoughtful notes. Method two is called “be creative“. It includes writing "I love you" in unlikely places, declaring your love in an old-fashioned way, celebrating Valentine's Day on a random day and making a mixed CD with carefully (shouldn’t it be thoughtfully?) selected music.

Feeling overwhelmed?

We thought so, and that’s why Festival Maribor has a better method on offer! It is called visit our concerts, starting with the opening concert on September 3rd. Here’s our step by step guide:

I/ get her/him a ticket,
II / put it in an envelope with a thoughtful message (or just write “I love you on it”),
III/ get a glass of bubbly in the break
IV/ declare your love in an old-fashioned way (read: Get down on your knee!).

Surely your beloved will be hugely impressed by this both thoughtful and creative date (a celebration of Valentine’s day in September!) And best of it all: no tiresome (and tricky, possible fatal) business of choosing the right music for that CD. Our beautiful programme with music by Beethoven, Shostakovich and Haydn, and our world class musicians: violoncellist and conductor Nicolas Altstaedt and members of the Haydn Philharmonie will gladly do the work on your behalf. All you need to do is enjoy your newly achieved status of romantic super-hero!


P.S.: For a thorough explanation of all the above methods please visit:
P.P.S: No need to thank us just yet. (You might change your mind once you two get married)!

Text by: Maja Pirš


Deep emotions

Oh, love! The joy. The passion. The bliss. The yearning. The tears. The suffering. The agony! Love unrequited. Love ended. Lovers separated. Lovers dead. Hearts broken.

Ah, so much pain.

How glad we must be for it. For without it, we would be robbed of some of the most beautiful music ever written! And being a festival with a heart & forever tattoo it is simply a must to include it in
our programs.

Choose between Farewell (17. 9.), with music of Debussy, Schönberg and Mahler, firm believers of the indisputable power of music to influence emotions, and Till Death Do Us Part (13. 9.), for a share of pathos in Krek’s dealing with death, a share of exuberance of Suk’s young love and a share of ethereal beauty of Wagner’s marital idyll. Which, by the way, didn’t last much longer than the piece itself, but that’s another story.

Thinking of it Socrates comes to mind: “By all means, marry. If your marriage will be good, you'll become happy; if it will be bad, you'll become a philosopher.” Or, in our case – a composer!


Pure sources

Pure source is a riddle. Poems even
May hardly show the solutions. For as
You started, you will continue,
Whatever the workings of discipline
Or necessity; for most is
Achieved by birth
And the ray of light
That meets the new-born infant.

Let’s be romantic and start this writing with one of world’s greatest Romantics - Hölderlin! His description of the river Rhine is a perfect introduction to this year’s newsletters, for although a metaphor for artist’s life, we can just as well use it to depict our festival. From the enigmatic force of inspiration through a roaring start, we shall follow its course, pure and innocent, in the open, and watch it gain power and breadth enough to create landscapes in which productive energy can flourish.

Perfect, isn’t it?

But, there’s another reason for Hölderlin to appear in these lines. The verses cited above were namely also cited by Nicolas Altstaedt in one of his interviews**. He used them to illustrate his need of being pure to play music. “Art always needs to be created anew, to be born and experienced again and again,” he explained.

So, welcome to Birth. Of Festival Maribor 2017. Of Art. Of Music. Of Love!

Opening Concert: Birth
Haydn Filharmonie
Nicolas Altstaedt, Conductor, Solo Cello,
Sunday, 3 September 2017, 7.30 pm, Union Hall, Maribor

Haydnova filharmonija

*Friedrich Hölderlin (Der Rhein, 1801/1802, translated by Michael Hamburger)
**Der Standard, 2016, L. Tosic