The International Biennial of Contemporary Music Koper was established in 2008 by the Koper Music School and the Music Friends Association, Koper on the initiative of pianist Tatjana Jercog. From the small festival in the province it has become an international event that attracts musicians and music audiences from all over the world.
Focused on contemporary musical languages, the Biennial raises questions about the synaesthesia in art, the notion of creativity, madness etc. As the art director Tatjana Jercog who runs the Biennial together with the wind player Michele Marelli says, the Biennial is an opportunity to come face to face with contemporary art; it is a proof of genuine cultural presence in local and wider milieu; it is also an opportunity for the young to express themselves through new music languages.
In six editions of the International Biennial of Contemporary Music Koper, a considerable number of foreign and domestic musicians or ensembles were presented; to name only a few Slovene ones, who today represent the artistic highlights of contemporary music: Nina Prešiček, Irena Tomažin, Larisa Vrhunc, Uroš Rojko, Matej Bonin, Slovene Chamber Choir, Dissonance String Quartet, and many others.
Every year, Biennial opens with a different theme. At the sixth edition of the Biennial, in December 2018, the theme was a human being and five senses, the discovery of new languages with a use of all the senses, for they are a pathway leading to a more tangible perception of music and art, and thereby of life itself. Each concert had a task of analyzing one of five senses, presenting a reflection on it, for example, in the first concert the group of percussionists SToP Slovene Percussion Project described the touch through musical instruments made of stone. The sense of smell was entrusted to exceptional musicians such as Francesco Dillon, Emanuele Torquati and Helena Winkelman. The theme of taste was featured by one of the most brilliant bassoonist on the international scene, Élise Jacoberger, flanked by Luka Batista on guitar. The Biennial 2018 ended with a concert of high intellectual and music profile: the Ensemble Neofonia, conducted by Steven Loy and accompanied by the soloist Carl Rosman. In five days, the Biennial 2018 offered concert performances of almost 50 contemporary compositions: 12 of them were performed in Slovenia for the first time, and 5 passed the world premiere. In total, 61 musicians from six countries participated.
Exhibitions, lectures and workshops, related to the theme, are also held at Biennial. Its venues are Koper Regional Museum, Koper Music School Hall, and Concert Hall of St. Francis Church.