19 Apr 2012
22 Apr 2012
Slovenia's love of classical music is reflected in the sheer number of concerts staged by CD every season, and by the quality of the domestic and international orchestras, chamber groups and soloists it is able to attract. The programme is made somewhat easier to negotiate by being largely divided up into subscription series/season tickets, which enable audiences to pay up front and secure their seats for the type of music they wish to listen to across the season, which usually runs from October to May.
The best-known of these series, and one of the longest-running, is the Gold Series (Zlati abonma), which is generally dedicated to larger-scale orchestral and symphonic performances. The list of orchestras to have appeared since 2013 is highly impressive and includes, in alphabetical order: the BBC Philharmonic, the Bergen Philharmonic Orchestra, the Borusan Istanbul Philharmonic Orchestra, Budapest Festival Orchestra, Camerata Salzburg, the Czech Philharmonic, the Dallas Symphony Orchestra, the Dresden Philharmonic, the Frankfurt Radio Symphony Orchestra, the Franz Liszt Chamber Orchestra (with pianist Martha Argerich), the Freiburg Baroque Orchestra, the Lahti Symphony Orchestra, the London Philharmonic Orchestra, the Luxembourg Philharmonic Orchestra, the National Symphony Orchestra of Mexico, the Novosibirsk Philharmonic Orchestra, the Oslo Philharmonic, the Philharmonia Orchestra (London), the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra, the Royal Scottish National Orchestra, the Slovak Philharmonic, the Spanish National Orchestra, the Venice Baroque Orchestra and the Vienna Symphony Orchestra.
The Silver Series (Srebrni abonma) generally encompasses chamber music and soloists, while performances by the Slovene Philharmonic Orchestra were, until the 2020/21 season, organised under the Blue Series (Modri abonma) and Orange Series (Oranžni abonma). These two series have been replaced by three new series: Philharmonic Classics (Filharmonični klasični koncerti or FKK), Symphonic Masterpieces (Same mogočne skladbe or SMS) and New Orchestral Works (Sobodne orkestrske skladbe or SOS). Like their precedessors, they take place at the Philharmonic Hall, around ten minutes' walk from Cankarjev dom. Unfortunately, the first season was more or less wiped out by the second Covid-19 lockdown – indeed, all subscription series (if not every concert) were cancelled for the 2020/21 season, following on from the curtailment of the previous season.
CD produces two further series: the Kromatika Series, for concerts by the RTV Symphony Orchestra, and Youth to Youth, a platform for young and emerging classical music talents (although this is a season of concerts rather than a "subscription" series in the strict sense). Cankarjev dom also provides venues for the annual Ljubljana Festival, which takes place between June and September.
CD generally stages one opera production per season in the Gallus Hall. Highlights include productions of Verdi's Aida in 2014 and Puccini's Turandot in 2016 (both by SNG Maribor); Verdi's Macbeth and Othello by the Third World Bunfight Performing Company from South Africa and SNG Opera in Balet Ljubljana, respectively, both of which formed part of the Shakespeare Festival (2015/16); Shockheaded Peter, an operetta by cult British cabaret act the Tiger Lilies (2017, in collaboration with SNG Nova Gorica); Handel's Giulio Cesare (2017, HNK Zajc, Rijeka); and The Snow Queen, a fairytale opera for children by Matthew King (2019/20, in collaboration with the Slovenian Chamber Music Theatre and Glasbena matica Ljubljana). The Covid-19 emergency forced the cancellation of a production of Richard Strauss's Elektra by HNK Zajc, which had been scheduled for June 2020.
SNG Maribor's productions of Aida and Turandot were both revived in January 2019 for the Maribor Is Ours festival, which celebrated the 100th anniversary of the founding of the theatre. CD's collaboration with SNG Maribor has been strong over the years across theatre, opera and dance programmes.
CD organises, produces and hosts a very wide range of contemporary music of all types throughout the year. It has been the main organiser of Ljubljana Jazz Festival since 1982 (although the festival's roots go back much further, to 1960), provides stages for the annual Druga Godba international music festival in May, and runs two popular seasonal series focused on jazz, roots, folk, experimental and cross-genre music: the Music of the World (Glasbe sveta) series and Tuesday Clubbing (Cankarjevi torki, also known as the Tuesday Series), which has a slightly stronger emphasis on jazz and improvisation. Both series can be accessed via their respective season tickets or abonmaji, or on a concert-by-concert basis. The Music of the World concerts are staged across CD's various auditoriums, while the Tuesday Series takes place in the more intimate surroundings of the CD Club.
The Snowdrops and Primroses Festival (Zvončki in trobentice), inaugurated in 2015, is a one-day festival that showcases local jazz artists. It is part of the Tuesday Clubbing series and takes place in February. Owing to the Covid-19 pandemic, the festival was forced online in 2020, like most of the contemporary music output in 2020 and 2021 (with the notable exception of the 2020 Ljubljana Jazz Festival). However, the jazz and world music department's agility in responding to events and its ability to produce top-quality streaming content drew wide praise from across the arts world in Slovenia.
Two further events are worth mentioning here: the 4th European Jazz Conference, co-produced by CD and Europe Jazz Network and supported by the Ministry of Culture, the City of Ljubljana and the Creative Europe – MEDIA Programme, which took place in September 2017 and included a three-day festival of Slovenian jazz in the CD Club; and the John Zorn-curated Stone Series (2018/19) of seven concerts, which formed part of the Tuesday Clubbing series for that season.
CD stages the regular annual concerts of the Tone Tomšič Academic Choir, based at the University of Ljubljana, and the France Marolt Student Folk Dance Group. It also hosts other performances by Slovenian choirs and vocal groups on an occasional basis.
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.