Established in 2001 the Tartini Festival is an international music festival dedicated to one of the greatest violinists of the Baroque period, the Piran-born Guiseppe Tartini (1692–1770). The programme directors and founders of the festival, Jasna Nadles and Milan Vrsajkov, strive to bring world renowned performers of Classical and Baroque music to Piran and the Slovene Istria.
The festival focuses on the promotion of the cultural profile of the Istria region and the Slovene musical culture. From the beginning, the festival has presented many accomplished performers, such as cellist Erich Oskar Huetter, pianist Francesco De Zan, the Ensemble 1756, the Choir of Salzburger Konzertgesellschaft and the Vienna Instrumental Soloists (Rudolf Gindlhumer, Konrad Monsberger, Helmut Ascherl, Karl Eichinger).
In 2002, the festival started out with 4 classical music concerts and has been steadily growing each year with well-attended concerts at the main events; the Golden Tartini Festival, and open-air concerts of the Tartini Junior programme. Some of the leading Baroque musicians, such as violinist Giuliano Carmignola, bassoonist Sergio Azzolini, and cellist Christophe Coin, have appeared together for the first time at one of the festival's main events.
In 2009, the festival's programme featured 10 concerts within a two-week time frame, thus enhancing the festival atmosphere. 2011 marked the 10-year anniversary of the festival, featuring 8 main festival events with performances by Slovene and international master musicians, including the festival ensemble Il Terzo Suono, founded in 2005. The ensemble performs its repertoire on Baroque instruments and accompanies famous soloists at the Tartini Festival as well as other venues.
The Festival Ensemble Il Terzo Suono
The international ensemble Il Terzo Suono is composed of members of various international orchestras and operates under the direction of Sergio Azzolini. The ensemble has in the past 4 editions of the Tartini Festival accompanied famous soloists. The name of the ensemble, The Third Sound, is in reference to the acoustic phenomenon first discovered by Giuseppe Tartini, whereby using the technique of playing double stops on a string instrument one can hear a third sound. The ensemble tours the wider European region, increasing the visibility of the Slovene cultural scene with performances at European festivals, such as the Ravello Festival and the Emilia Romagna Festival. Preparations are under way for the recording of a CD with pieces by Slovene and European composers of the 17th and 18th century (A. Vivaldi, G. Tartini, G. Pulitti and I. Posh).
Festival themes and concerts
Each year the Tartini Festival is held in the Primorska region, with most events taking place in Piran. Chamber concerts and solo performances are performed at main events, featuring performances of established musicians from all over the world. The festival's aim is to promote classical music and Tartini's works among the local public, especially those who does not usually attend classical concerts. The side event Tartini Junior focuses on the presentation of talented young Slovene musicians, who have received awards at international contests and the main national contest TEMSIG. It highlights the Slovene musical culture with young musicians performing works by Slovene composers. Another side event, Tartini under the Stars, features open-air concerts on Tartini Square by promising young Slovene artists.