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The Opening

Grand Hall, Slovenian National Theatre Maribor

Uroš Krek: Rhapsodic Dance for Symphony Orchestra
Frédéric Chopin: Piano Concerto No. 2 in F minor, Op. 21
Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky: Symphony No. 5 in E minor, Op. 64 


A coproduction with the Slovenian National Theatre Maribor.


The highlight of our opening concert is the triumphant return to our stage of Alexander Gadjiev. Since his last appearance at Festival Maribor in 2017, this brilliant pianist from Nova Gorica has achieved a string of decisive and career-making successes: winning first prizes at both the prestigious World Piano Masters competition in Monte Carlo and at the International Piano Competition in Sydney, being selected as a “BBC New Generation Artist” and surpassing all of this with his outstanding performance at the International Chopin Competition in Warsaw. Virtually every ambitious young pianist in the world enters this competition, earning it a reputation as the “Piano Olympics”. The demanding jury awarded Alexander Gadjiev second place, while he also received the Krystian Zimerman Prize for the Performance of a Chopin Sonata.

Mr. Gadjiev was even considered the favorite during the competition, which was watched live all over the world via the internet.  Alexander Gadjiev is not an artist limited to just 15-minutes of fame, however. A critic for Gramophone magazine wrote that he is distinguished by his “improvisatory instincts and formidable analytic power”. Indeed, we already know Gadjiev as a someone who, artistically speaking, blossomed at a very young age and is now maturing into a compelling artist who breathes new life into the standard repertory. His playing is clean, insightful and patient, as if coming from the fingers of a much more experienced concert musician, yet it is permeated with a youthful élan, often surprising us with measured bursts of energy and a clearly delineated path–to which we confidently surrender under his reliable guidance.

Mr. Gadjiev will offer us his interpretations of the music of Chopin at the opening concert and will be supported by the ever-reliable symphony orchestra of SNG Maribor under the baton of the internationally successful Italian conductor Gianna Fratta.

The romantically colored program will be complemented with a miniature gem of Slovenian music. Uroš Krek, one of the most strikingly original Slovenian composers whose innovations left a lasting mark on the domestic musical landscape, would celebrate his 100th birthday in 2022. Krek was an artist who was well aware of the importance of one’s roots and of their role in the international cultural environment. His music embraced both the powerful European classical music tradition and his love  for the folk music of his homeland. As an eclectic original, he always knew how to offer the listener something fresh wrapped in the familiar. This impeccable mastery can already be felt in one of his earlier compositions, the brilliant Rhapsodic Dance for Orchestra.

This concert is dedicated to the memory of Mr. Janko Šetinc (1932-2022), founder and artistic director of the Festival of Baroque Music (1968-1993) and of the Musical September festival (1994-1999), both predecessors of today's Festival Maribor.

Tickets (online purchase): 25 € / Senior 20 € / Students, Disability 12,50 €
Ticket sales begins on 11th July.
Discounted tickets can be purchased at the Information office of Narodni dom Maribor or at the concert venue up to an hour before the concert.

This concert is part of the Slovenian National Theatre Maribor’s Symphonic Cycle, for both season ticket holders and the general public.



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