About Festival Maribor 2019: Building Bridges and Making Connections

Dear Music Lovers,

You’ve probably already noticed the text and symbols accompanying our announcement. And why do they symbolize our festival? It’s simple: in our opinion they have just as much in common with music as they have with everything else which plays an important role in our lives. They describe the musical artists who lure us deep into those dimensions of music we never previously sensed, opening up new vistas and insights, connecting us and showing us that some boundaries are imaginary and porous. Musicians are able to do this thanks to their dedication to their craft, their faith in the message they wish to convey through music and their completely addictive passion for art and its inexhaustible riches, allowing them to connect with other like-minded artists and with audiences. All this requires no small amount of effort – no less, in fact, than the effort top athletes put into their work.

If you find the pursuit of these values too challenging and intense for peaceful day-to-day living, then you should definitely visit the festival. Because Festival Maribor is the right place for going  beyond the ordinary; it can be the incentive for realizing hidden desires and ideals that we do not dare take pleasure in in ‘normal’ life. It is like a parallel world where that which is unimaginable becomes possible.

Festival Maribor is an opportunity to discover something new, something different. It is an opportunity for us to challenge you and take you out of your comfort zone, a roller coaster of experience and sensation. It represents a readiness for surprises, consequently arousing an openness that we perhaps don’t often allow ourselves. Festival Maribor concerts offer something special, something we aren’t likely to experience again in our concert-going lives. The memories and lessons that we take home after such an extraordinary experience undoubtedly leave their mark on us forever, changing the way we listen to even the most standard concert programme.

Music has never lacked for ‘seismic’ changes, Maribor is no exception. This year, we commemorate the anniversaries of two events that changed local concert life forever: it is 50 years since the first Baroque Music Festival and 25 years since the beginning of the innovative chamber music festival called “Musical September.” Both of these events, predecessors of Festival Maribor, challenged both musicians of the time, as they struggled with music they had never performed before, as well as audiences, who came to the concerts with curiosity and a single expectation: to hear musicians with a powerful message.

Such festivals remind us that the boxes in which we tend to categorise things are only virtual. Who, for example, can show where the boundary between jazz, classical music and electronic music actually lies? Where is the dividing line between the various arts? Often the boundaries we erect around things prove to be as clear and effective as fog. Certainly, boundaries are sometimes necessary, for example, in order to musically profile ourselves. But in reality music is everywhere, flowing wherever its creators want, making new friends, stimulating fascinating dialogue and enticing listeners to unprecedented adventures.

Hence the 2019 Festival Maribor is driven even more to build bridges and bring things together: a symphony orchestra and electronic club music, musical instruments from the early Renaissance and contemporary improvised music, laid-back audiences with children and live classical music, nature and music!

Join us in celebrating openness, heartfelt emotion and connection. Take advantage of the chance to taste the classics in a festive setting, a time for everything that is daring, for passion, for dedication, for faith and devotion, for connection and earnest endeavour!


Barbara Švrljuga Hergovich
Artistic Director of Concert Management and Festival Maribor
Narodni dom Maribor Cultural Centre