FESTIVALS BRING INTERNATIONAL CLASSICAL MUSIC TO SLOVAKIA'S TWO LARGEST CITIES

Top Pick: The musical rites of spring

WITH spring in full blossom, dulcet tones delivered by international classical musicians will soon ripple through the country's capital and eastern metropolis of Košice. Renowned conductors leading established orchestras featuring professional soloists will present significant composers in a dozen concerts throughout May.
Spanish soprano Montserrat Caballé will be the headline act of the Bratislava Spring Festival that starts on May 5. Accompanied by pianist Manuel Burgueras, Caballé will sing famous opera arias, later switching to Spanish zarzuelas, which are local traditional forms of musical comedy. Her two-part concert begins at 18:00, May 16 at Pasienky sports arena.
Opening with the Slovak Philharmonic Orchestra and the Slovak Philharmonic Choir performing works by Czech Antonín Dvořák and Italian Vincenzo Bellini, the Bratislava festival will hold three more concerts before June 8, including a Swiss duet on May 19 and the Fire of Dance show on May 30.


SPANISH diva Montserrat Caballé.
photo: Courtesy of BHJ

WITH spring in full blossom, dulcet tones delivered by international classical musicians will soon ripple through the country's capital and eastern metropolis of Košice. Renowned conductors leading established orchestras featuring professional soloists will present significant composers in a dozen concerts throughout May.

Spanish soprano Montserrat Caballé will be the headline act of the Bratislava Spring Festival that starts on May 5. Accompanied by pianist Manuel Burgueras, Caballé will sing famous opera arias, later switching to Spanish zarzuelas, which are local traditional forms of musical comedy. Her two-part concert begins at 18:00, May 16 at Pasienky sports arena.

Opening with the Slovak Philharmonic Orchestra and the Slovak Philharmonic Choir performing works by Czech Antonín Dvořák and Italian Vincenzo Bellini, the Bratislava festival will hold three more concerts before June 8, including a Swiss duet on May 19 and the Fire of Dance show on May 30.

Three days before Bratislava's 6th such annual festival begins, Czech pianist Igor Ardašev will open the 47th annual Košice Spring Music Festival on May 2 at 19:00 at the town's House of Art. Under the baton of Polish conductor Jerzy Salwarowski, Ardašev will perform a piano concert and symphony by German Johannes Brahms.

Also to be seen in Košice will be French violoncello soloist Gautier Capucon, winner of several international competitions, who will play Russian composers Prokofiev and Rimsky-Korsakov on May 9. The Košice State Philharmonic, led by Hungarian Péter Oberfrank, will introduce a concert version of Béla Bartók's opera Bluebeard Castle on May 16. Both concerts begin at 19:00 at the House of Art.

May 14 at Košice Old Town's Concert Hall will belong to the Bratislava Chamber Soloists. Focusing on international and Slovak classical and romantic composers, the ensemble, led by popular and jazz music composer Oskar Rózsa and featuring saxophonist jazzman Radovan Tariška, will revive works by German Paul Hindemith, Russian Dmitri Shostakovich, American Samuel Barber and Slovak Ali Brezovský.

The oldest contemporary Czech conductor, Otakar Trhlík (1922), will celebrate his 80th birthday at the festival. He will conduct a May 23 concert at the House of Art featuring Japanese violinist Shizuka Ishikawa. Another jubilee conductor, Slovak Ondrej Lenárd (1942), will close the Košice festival on June 6 with Carl Orff's Carmina Burana.

For programme information on Bratislava Spring Music Festival (May 5-June 8) visit Bratislava Information Service on Klobučnícka 2 or call 02/5443-1252. For the Košice festival (May 2-June 2) visit the House of Art (Dom umenia) on Moyzesova 66 or call 055/6226-541.

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