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SUMMER OF CULTURE AND CASTLE FESTIVAL

Musicians converge on Bratislava

IN THE PAST, families met to enjoy playing and listening to music at home in a spirit of togetherness. Today, cellist Jozef Lupták tries to revive the feelings of bygone days within the annual Convergences festival, which brings together musicians from various countries and cultures at Bratislava's Klarisky Church.

IDA Kellarová will inspire again.
photo: Courtesy of Convergences

IN THE PAST, families met to enjoy playing and listening to music at home in a spirit of togetherness. Today, cellist Jozef Lupták tries to revive the feelings of bygone days within the annual Convergences festival, which brings together musicians from various countries and cultures at Bratislava's Klarisky Church.

"The festival focusses on composing chamber music on the spot. It revives the tradition that once existed here," Lupták said.

In its sixth year, the festival will present classical and contemporary music, including alternative genres, from September 15th to 18th. In previous years the festival hosted prominent international musical personalities such as Robert Cohen and Vladimir Mendelssohn, but this year the focus is on Slovaks living abroad, including violinist Igor Karško, pianist Peter Breiner and viola player Milan Radič.

The festival will open with "convergences of Vienna's classics and music of present days" performed by Karško and Lupták, along with Slovak pianist Eleonóra Škutová and American viola player Simon Tandree. Breiner and accordionist Boris Lenko will heat things up the next day with performances of Argentinean tangos by Astor Piazzola, accompanied by talented young violinist Stano Palúch.

Festival organizers have invited Ida Kellarová and her Apsora choir for the third time. The Opera Aperta ensemble will join in the Alla Zingarese programme with classical compositions inspired by Roma music.

On Sunday there is a concert from Soozvuk, young Slovak musicians who have created their own musical vision. Soozvuk's appearance is proof that the festival gives opportunities to young Slovak composers. In the festival's final concert, the performers will pay tribute to Bratislava native, composer Erno Dohnányi, as well as to Johannes Brahms.

The event most faithful to the "converge" tradition is the Bratislava's Night of Chamber Music on September 16. Several mini-concerts within the same evening will offer a space for Bratislava's musicians to take to the same stage. The programme will start at 16:30 with a concert for children and continue with the Albracht Collegium, the Moyzes Quartet with Boris Lenko, Ivan Šiller, Andrej Šeban and Anton Kubasák. Paintings by Czech artist Rudolf Brančovský decorating the church's wall and Bratislava rožky (special cakes) with glasses of wine will add to the homely atmosphere.

(For more information please see the box above).

Prepared by Spectator staff

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