ON THE OCCASION of the anniversary of the composer's birth, the Johann Strauss Orchestra from Germany ceremonially opened the Bratislava Summer of Culture last Thursday. The festival annually fills in the gap caused by the theatre and concert holidays, featuring international performers and attracting a wide range of visitors.
"During its 29-year history, the Bratislava Summer of Culture has become a leading cultural event in the city, inviting citizens and visitors of all age categories to its centre from the middle of June to mid-September," said Alexandra Bučková from the Bratislava Culture and Information Centre, the event's organiser.
The festival's 29th year is scheduled to deliver 100 various programmes by performers from 16 different countries on 15 stages. The organiser focused on enriching the traditional events - including the International Guitar Festival of JK Mertz, the Days of Organ Music, and regular Jazz Clubs - with new programmes and musical genres.
The guitar festival, running from June 25 to 30 at the Klarisky Concert Hall, will welcome performers from six countries. The organ melodies delivered by musicians from Austria, Italy, Poland, France, and Slovakia will fill the Music Hall of the Bratislava Castle between August 12 and 29. The jazz evenings will take place in the courtyard of the Old Town Hall on Wednesdays.
Among this year's novelties, festival visitors can look forward to Music Meetings at Vodná veža, or Promenade Concerts on the Danube embankment - Nábrežie Ludvíka Svobodu. Individual events will present local and foreign performers delivering dozens of pop and classical concerts, while children will present traditional folk dances and music, and dancers will hold hot Latino fiestas.
According to the organisers, most of the happenings do not require the knowledge of the Slovak language. The festival equally serves locals and foreign visitors to Bratislava.
"Even some theatre programmes, such as the Summer Shakespeare Festival at the Bratislava castle, will also be in English [August 1 and 2, starting at 20:30]," said Bučková.
"The first step toward and invitation to the Bratislava Summer of Culture for foreign visitors is its programme listed on the Vienna city webpage. The information in the programme in English will also be available on the many posters placed in the centre of Bratislava throughout the summer."
Many Bratislava citizens were looking forward to the traditional Celtic Korzo Party, scheduled to take place during the festival's opening weekend on June 19, to welcome its headliner - the Irish folk band The Cassidys - for the seventh time on the streets of Bratislava.
The six brothers, who include Bratislava each year on their list of European summer concerts, say that they like to return to Bratislava because of the friendly and spontaneous people.
21. Jun 2004 at 0:00 | Zuzana Habšudová