Union Hall in Maribor is a multipurpose venue for chamber music, congress, dance and other cultural events. It is located in the heart of the city, in the former Götz Brewery, in its central building, Götz Hall, built in 1911, which is considered to be a magnificent representative of historicist, neo-baroque architecture. Since the Union Hall has, besides the architectural, also a great historical value, it has been protected as a cultural and historical monument. It falls under the auspices of the public institution Narodni dom Maribor; it is its most beautiful and largest hall.
Union Hall is the only preserved building of the former Götz Brewery, which was the leading brewery in Maribor since the second half of the 19th century until the First World War. In 1911, a central building was built, Götz Hall, which was already then the largest venue for events in Maribor. In 1926 Götz Brewery became part of the Ljubljana’s Union Brewery; hence the name Union Hall. But Union Brewery first limited its production in Maribor, and then stopped, and the Union Hall became the property of the music society Glasbena Matica.
During the two world wars, the Union building and its hall were a place of musical activities and played an important role in the response of Slovenes to the increasing germanisation in Styria region. In 1910, Slovenes founded the music society Glasbeno društvo, which had its premises in the Union building until 1918. Its heritage was continued by Glasbena Matica – its founder was a composer and choirmaster Oskar Dev (1868-1932) – which from 1919 on organized its own choir, music school, symphonic concerts. In this context, General Rudolf Maister (1874-1934), who has a special significance in Slovene history as a fighter for the northern Slovene border, organized “The Military Music Band for the Lower Styria”.
After the Second World War, since 1946, the Concert Management which today is considered to be the cultural organizer with the longest tradition in Slovenia began to organise its events in the Union Hall. Acclaimed ensembles of classical music that performed there were the Chamber Orchestra of Czech Philharmonic, the Netherlands Philharmonic Orchestra, the Moscow Philharmonic, the Leningrad Philharmonic, the BBC Philharmonic Orchestra, the Borodin Quartet, the English Chamber Orchestra, the Tokyo Quartet, and the Leipzig String Quartet, etc. Conductors who performed there were Krzysztof Penderecki, Sergiu Celibidache, Mariss Janskons, Neeme Järvi, Paavo Järvi, Vasily Petrenko, Sir Roger Norrington and pianists Svjatoslav Richter and Ivo Pogorelić, violinist Julian Rachlin, baritone Christian Gerhaher, violinists Hilary Hahn and Sarah Chang, cellos Antonio Janigro, Miša Majski and Nicolas Altstaedt, violist Jurij Bašmet, mezzo-soprano Marjana Lipovšek, soprano Bernarda Bobro, jazz musicians Lester Bowie and Sam Rivers and many others.
Unions Hall is a multifunctional complex of facilities: in addition to the Hall there are also subsidiary, training and accompanying rooms with a total area of 1,872 square meters. Its users are the Maribor Philharmonic, Public Fund for Cultural Activities, the Union of Cultural Societies, music societies Glasbena mladina and Glasbena matica, female vocal orchestra Carmina Slovenica and other cultural associations. It is one of the venues of the Maribor Festival, the Lent Festival, ballet performances and concerts of chamber music of the Slovene National Theatre Maribor Opera Ballet’s Symphony Cycle, choir festivals, as well as concerts of pop or jazz music and congress and social events, such as the Festival of Health and Wellbeing.