Bratislava Music Festival celebrates its 47th year

LATER this month the 47th Bratislava Music Festival (BHS) begins in the capital. Devoted to classical music, the festival continues into early December. This year's BHS will be marked by the return of a special guest to the BHS stage after 30 years: soprano Ľubica Orgonášová, who will sing with the Camerata Salzburg orchestra on November 27.

LATER this month the 47th Bratislava Music Festival (BHS) begins in the capital. Devoted to classical music, the festival continues into early December. This year's BHS will be marked by the return of a special guest to the BHS stage after 30 years: soprano Ľubica Orgonášová, who will sing with the Camerata Salzburg orchestra on November 27.

The ambition of the organisers is to introduce to Slovak audiences several outstanding symphony orchestras with famous conductors and performers, for instance the Czech Philharmonic with Ken-Ichiro Kobayashi; The Hague Residential Orchestra with Neeme Järvi and soloist Dagmar Pecková; the Budapest Festival orchestra with Iván Fischer and pianist Emanuel Ax; the Armenian Philharmonic with Eduard Topchian; and others.

The climax of the event will be a guest performance by the Orchestra of the Mariinsky Theatre from St Petersburg with legendary conductor Valery Gergiev. In connection with the World Expo exhibition in Shanghai, and the associated promotion of artistic ensembles from China and the city of Shanghai, BHS organisers have taken advantage of a European tour by the Shanghai Philharmonic – it will perform at the BHS, conducted by Muhai Tang and featuring soloist Mélodie Zhao, whom Slovaks already know from the Hummel Piano Contest in Bratislava.

One of the BHS concerts marks Slovakia’s current presidency of the Visegrad Four regional grouping: on November 28, musicians from all four V4 member countries will play works by regional composers: Hungarian pianist Jeno Jando will play music by Béla Bartók, Antonín Dvořák and Juraj Vajo, accompanied by the Slovak Philharmonic conducted by Polish conductor Tomasz Bugaj.

Another theme in the selection and arrangement of the festival is the Year of Christian Culture, reflected for example in the choice of Dvořák’s Te Deum, Dzymanowski’s Stabat Mater, and others.

The organisers also intend to recall the anniversaries of renowned world composers as well as Slovak ones, for instance those of Frederick Chopin, Gustav Mahler, Robert Schumann, and Slovakia’s own Roman Berger.

Chopin’s music will be heard three times: once performed by Piotr Paleczny from Poland with the Krakow Philharmonic conducted by Pawel Przytocki; the second time at a chamber concert with pianist Pavel Gililov and cellist Ivan Monigetti; and then at a piano recital by Finland’s Henri Sigfridsson. Guests from The Hague and St Petersburg will perform Mahler. Another anniversary marks 50 years of the Slovak Chamber Orchestra of Bohdan Warchal, which will be commemorated by a concert featuring Czech violin virtuoso Václav Hudeček.


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