Concept and background
The project was initiated by the musician and pedagogue Primož Lorenz (1942–2007) in the second half of the 1980s. In order to revive the old town centre of Ljubljana, he and some others started to organise open-air concerts there. This enterprise soon began to spread outside the local area and to handle this expansion, the Imago Sloveniae institute was established in 1994. It currently collaborates with 25 municipalities and towns and manages a network of cultural venues spaced all over the country, utilising these contacts to also realise musical programmes in the more peripheral regions.
The revitalisation of architectural heritage by way of live music, the discovery of new, often unusual sites for cultural events like castle courtyards and churches, a poly-centric and regionally dispersed promotion of new music, the artistic development of young musicians, and the free accessibility of arts are the main coordinates of the Imago Sloveniae project.
Imago Sloveniae organises several festivals and cycles, with Summer Imago Sloveniae Festival being the primary one. It takes place from June to September in locations all over Slovenia.
The Ljubljana part of this festival, which also uses its historic name Summer in Ljubljana Old Town, lasts from June till the middle of August and is co-organised by the still-active Society for the Revitalisation of the Cultural Image of the Old City Centre. It has a further subsection, the Jazz Stage, which takes place at Gornji trg, quite near the organisation's offices. A similar December edition is called Winter in Ljubljana Old Town.
The event Nights in Old Ljubljana Town is a more condensed festival, set in the last few days of August. Another, more recent project, established in 2005, is the Young Talents Cycle.
Imago Sloveniae organised the European Music Summer 2009, a project supported by the EU Culture Programme (2007–2013). Seventy-three concerts of music (early music, world music, jazz) were performed by around 970 musicians from 17 European countries and took place at architectural heritage sites in Slovenia, Italy, Croatia, and the Czech Republic. In the course of this project (and naturally also its regular work), Imago has established firm links with a number of festivals and cultural institutions worldwide.