25 Jan 2020
26 Jan 2020
16 Nov 2019
17 Nov 2019
The theatre performance The Bailiff Yerney and His Rights, directed by Žiga Divjak and produced by Cankarjev dom, Cultural and Congress Centre and Academy of Theatre, Radio, Film and Television (AGRFT), supported by the Slovenian Cultural Centre in Berlin,
at the Fast Forward European Festival of Young Directors
24 Jun 2019
27 Jun 2019
Theatre performances Stockholm, Pennsylvania, directed by Nataša Barbara Gračner and produced by Ljubljana City Theatre (MGL); Martin Sherman's Bent, directed by Alen Jelen and produced by the ŠKUC Theatre, Cankarjev dom Culture and Congress Centre and Kolaž Institute; and For the Good of All, directed by Nenni Delmestre and co-produced by Slovene National Theatre Nova Gorica and Koper Theatre,
at the Golden Lion International Festival of Chamber Theatre
15 Jun 2019
16 Jun 2019
11 Jun 2019
25 Oct 2018
27 Oct 2018
30 Sep 2018
Croatia Mljet Mljet National Park
25 Sep 2018
2 Oct 2018
The performances Staging a Play: the Glass Menagerie, choreographed by Matija Ferlin and produced by Emanat Institute (with artist talk with Matija Ferlin and Maja Delak); Solo for Two Voices by Anja Golob, Magdalena Reiter and Milan Tomášik, produced by Mirabelka Institute and co-produced by Dance Theatre Ljubljana and Cankarjev dom, Cultural and Congress Centre; and performance for children Juri Muri in Africa, directed by Ivana Djilas, choreographed by Maša Kagao Knez and produced by the Dance Theatre Ljubljana, supported by the Slovenian Culture and Information Centre, Vienna (SKICA) (Embassy of the Republic of Slovenia Vienna),
at the Pelzverkehr Festival of Dance and Performance
12 Sep 2018
25 Aug 2018
Croatia Korčula Summer Cinema
7 Aug 2018
20 Aug 2018
The performance The Little Wire Girl, directed by Marjan Nečak and produced by the Slovene National Theatre Drama Ljubljana, and The Iliad, directed by Jernej Lorenci and produced by the Slovene National Theatre Drama Ljubljana, Ljubljana City Theatre (MGL) and Cankarjev dom, Cultural and Congress Centre, as the closing performance
at the Ohrid Summer Festival
8 Jun 2018
Poland Gdansk Klub Zak
28 Apr 2018
21 Apr 2018
25 Oct 2017
29 Oct 2017
6 Oct 2017
18 Jun 2017
9 May 2017
Croatia Zagreb Zagreb Youth Theater
27 Apr 2017
30 Apr 2017
A national stand presenting Slovene jazz music, organised by SIGIC, Slovene Music Information Centre, in addition to stands organised by Cankarjev dom, Jazz Cerkno Festival, supported by the Slovenian Cultural Centre in Berlin and the Embassy of the Republic of Slovenia Berlin
at the jazzahead! Festival and Trade Fair
2 Jul 2016
6 Jul 2016
Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf, produced by the Koper Theatre, No Tears for Queers, produced by ŠKUC Association and Cankarjev dom, Cultural and Congress Centre, Madame Bovary, produced by the Slovene National Theatre Nova Gorica, Plato: The Apology of Socrates, produced by Potodom, and Hero 1.0, produced by Mladinsko Theatre and Moment Arts and Culture Association, at the Golden Lion International Festial of Chamber Theatre
17 Jun 2016
Austria St. Johann im Rosental/Šentjanž v Rožu Pfarrsaal
8 Jun 2016
Bulgaria Sofia Aleko Konstantinov State Satirical Theatre
5 Jun 2016
Bulgaria Varna Drama Theatre
26 May 2016
Poland Torun Centrum Kulturalno- Kongresowe Jordanki
27 Jan 2016
20 Jan 2016
6 Jan 2016
22 Oct 2015
Italy Gorizia/Gorica Gorizia Cultural Centre
16 Oct 2015
Poland Tarnów Centrum Sztuki Mościce
18 Sep 2015
21 Sep 2015
Serbia Belgrade Bitef Theatre,Madlenianum
14 Sep 2015
Serbia Loznica Centar za kulturo Vuka Karadžića
3 Sep 2015
5 Sep 2015
Croatia Zagreb Zagreb Dance Centre Ilica 10
27 Apr 2015
28 Apr 2015
Croatia Split City Puppet Theatre,Croatian National Theatre
31 Jan 2015
Serbia Belgrade Opera&Theatre Madlenianum
24 Apr 2014
27 Apr 2014
16 Jan 2014
Croatia Pula Dom hrvatskih branitelja
Niccolò Piccinni's opera buffa La Cecchina or The Good-Natured Girl, co-produced by the Slovenian Chamber Music Theatre, Cankarjev dom, Academy of Music, and Slovene National Theatre Opera and Ballet Ljubljana,
6 Nov 2013
North Macedonia Skopje N.I. Albanian Theatre
16 Oct 2013
Czech Republic Ostrava Komorní scéna Aréna
10 Oct 2013
12 Oct 2013
Slovakia Bratislava A4 – Associations for contemporary culture
27 Jun 2013
28 Jun 2013
23 Aug 2012
7 Aug 2012
9 Aug 2012
13 Apr 2012
16 Apr 2012
The proposal for a national cultural centre was first put forward in 1975 when preparations were being made to mark the centenary of the birth of writer Ivan Cankar (1876–1918), after whom it would be named. Despite considerable bureaucratic and financial obstacles, ground was broken on the project in January 1978, on a site that had formerly been owned by the Ursuline Monastery in Ljubljana and nationalised in 1960. In his design, which was nevertheless striking, Ravnikar was keen to avoid overwhelming the proportions of the rest of the square. This led to a sizeable portion of the auditoriums being placed underground.
CD's first events were held in the spring of 1980 (in Linhart Hall), although it was not until 1982 that the site became fully operational. The famous monument to Cankar by sculptor Slavko Tihec, which stands adjacent to one of the main entrances, was unveiled in 1982.
Over the years, CD has established itself as a major tour stop for world-class ensemble and individual performers in almost all branches of music and the performing arts, with younger experimental artists also gaining an ever-stronger foothold. It has also become a prolific organiser or host, alone and in collaboration, of a wide variety of festivals; these include the Ljubljana International Film Festival (LIFFe), Ljubljana Documentary Film Festival, Ljubljana Jazz Festival, Bi Flamenko International Flamenco Festival, the Biennial of Slovene Book Illustration and the Slovenian Book Fair.
CD is constituted as a public institute (javni zavod) providing a public service in the area of arts and culture; as such, its main programme is funded by the state via the Ministry of Culture, as well as, at various times, by the Creative Europe – MEDIA programme, foreign embassies based in Ljubljana, the French Institute in Slovenia and the Goethe-Institut Ljubljana, among others.
The centre is also free to pursue market-funded activities in the form of fairs, conferences, conventions and certain international projects, as long as they accord with its general policies, and to raise funds through ticket sales, merchandise, donations and sponsorship. In 2018 these non-budget funds accounted for just under 47% of total income.
CD is led by a director-general, of which there have been only three since 1980: Miran Kert (1980–1982), Mitja Rotovnik (1982–2014) and Uršula Cetinski (2014–). Programming takes place across six departments, each with its own director: classical music, opera and ballet (Ingrid Gortan), theatre and contemporary dance (Andrej Jaklič), jazz and world music (Bogdan Benigar), exhibitions (Nina Pirnat-Spahić), film (Simon Popek) and cultural education/humanities (Barbara Rogelj). The director-general is supported in their work by the institute's council (svet zavoda) and by a council of experts (strokovni svet) responsible for ensuring that CD operates in accordance with all the relevant legislation.
CD's Music Programme spans a wide variety of genres and styles, with a particular emphasis on classical music, jazz, roots and folk music music. It has been the main organiser of Ljubljana Jazz Festival since 1982 (although the festival's roots go back much further, to 1960), and stages several medium- and large-scale opera or ballet co-productions every year. A range of season tickets are available for various strands of CD's music programme (orchestral and symphonic, chamber music, contemporary classical, roots and folk music, and so on).
CD also stages several major performances a year by popular local and regional artists (Vlado Kreslin, Magnifico, Janez Bončina, Rade Šerbedžija and the like) on a lease basis, i.e. they are not produced by CD itself, and provides venues for the annual Druga Godba international music festival, which takes place in late May.
Theatre and dance
An extensive Theatre and Dance Programme is another major feature of CD operations, with a particular focus on new works in theatre, physical theatre, contemporary dance and contemporary ballet, particularly by international companies and artists.
With Ljubljana well-served elsewhere by arthouse and world cinema, the Film Programme is free to specialise in festival-based offerings, which are mostly staged in Linhart Hall and the smaller Kosovel Hall. It organises and co-hosts Ljubljana International Film Festival (LIFFe) and Ljubljana Documentary Film Festival (in November and March, respectively) and, since 2007, has co-hosted the Mountain Film Festival, which takes place in February. CD is also one of the main distributors of art film production throughout Slovenia, a member of the Europa Cinemas network and a founder member of the Slovenian Art Cinema Association.
Major exhibitions are held in the Cankarjev dom Gallery – highlights in recent years include exhibitions on Ancient Greek science and technology, cult scientist Nikola Tesla and Slovenian writer-traveller Alma Karlin, and exhibitions of photography by Robert Kapa and Henri Cartier-Bresson. The gallery also hosts the Biennial of Slovene Book Illustration.
The Small Gallery has a long tradition of staging photography exhibitions. Exhibition space is also available in the Europlakat Gallery, which is located in the First Foyer, one of the centre's main trade fair and reception areas.
The Slovenian Book Fair, which takes place in November, is one of the most important dates in the centre's calendar. CD also co-produces and co-hosts the Stories Today storytelling festival and the Fabula world literature festival. CD began a new series/festival of talks in 2020, Slovenia 2050, which explores the future of the country with the help of scientists, social scientists and artists.
The late 2010s also saw three major festivals devoted to literary figures, all of them exploring the life and work of the chosen writer through theatre performances, exhibitions, lectures and talks: Shakespeare (2016), Tolstoy (2017) and Ivan Cankar (2018/19, to mark the centenary of the writer's death).
The Lili Novy Glass Hall, formerly the Lili Novy Club, holds smaller-scale talks, readings and book launches. It is named after one of Slovenia's most distinguished 20th century poets, and was renovated in 2019.
While single tickets are almost always available for performances of music, ballet, opera and dance, CD has for many years operated a system of subscription series (abonmaji), which enables audiences to pay up front and secure their seats for a particular strand of programming across a single season. For music, these are the Gold series (generally for larger-scale orchestral and symphonic performances); the Silver series (for chamber work and soloists); the Blue and Orange series (for Slovene Philharmonic Orchestra concerts, replaced by the NOW, PC and SMS series from the 2020/21 season); and the Kromatika series (for RTV Slovenia Symphony Orchestra concerts). There are two season tickets available for lovers of contemporary music: the self-explanatory Music of the World series, and the Tuesday Clubbing series, which mainly presents jazz, rock and various flavours of roots music at the CD Club.
The Magnificent 7 series, introduced for the 2015/16 season, caters specifically to opera, ballet and theatre, and there are series for younger audiences as well: My First Subscription (ages 5–10), Ivan (11–15) and Cankar (15 and up). The children's series run across programmes, incorporating music, theatre, ballet and storytelling.
Cankarjev dom has two main visual arts and exhibition spaces: Cankarjev dom Gallery (364m²) and the Small Gallery (303m²). Exhibition space is also available in the Europlakat Gallery, situated in the First Foyer (1,576m²).
Other venues and facilities