Music

Okarina Festival Bled

27. 07. - 8. 08. 2021

Bled

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Okarina festival Bled

Riklijeva cesta 9 SI-4260, Bled

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The Okarina Festival is a world music festival, held in the alpine town of Bled since 1991. Presenting a very wide range of musicians, its focus spans from the many traditional folk genres to the more contemporary, hybridised idioms. The festival’s creed is in part summed up by its name, which alludes to a very ancient wind musical instrument called the ocarina that can be found all over the world.

The festival is currently held at two venues – the Bled Castle and the so-called Bled Promenade, a grassy beach beside the lake. There, one can listen to those concerts that are free of charge. Additionally, the Bled Festival Hall is usually meant as a backup in case of rain.

Background

The founder of the festival is Leo Ličof, who even after half a century still acts as the main organiser and the artistic director of the festival. He set up its first few editions at the grounds of the restaurant he then ran on the shore of Lake Bled, but the following editions brought different venues.

While there were only a few bands on the bill at the start, the festival progressively grew and so did the names hosted. Some of the artists hosted during the early years of the festival were the legendary UK folk bands Fairport Convention and Pentangle and the singer Marta Sebastian (HU).

Programme

The festival invites all sorts of musicians, from flamenco bands, qawwali artists and Irish folk singers to US blues guitarists and jazz-influenced Moroccan gnawa musicians. The festival line-up has in recent years featured Aziz Sahmaoui (MA), Catrin Finch and Seckou Keita (SN, UK), Ester Rada (IL), Orquesta Revé (CU), Osibisa (UK), Tenores di Bitti (IT), Barcelona Gipsy Klezmer Orchestra (ES), Taksim Trio (TR), Earl King Boogie Band (UK), Frankie Lane (IE), Big Daddy Wilson (UK) and Esme Redžepova (MK).

Of the local artists performing here, one can name Brina, Neca Falk, Kontrabant and – numerous times – Vlado Kreslin.

Music

Radovljica Festival

6. 08. - 24. 08. 2022

Radovljica

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Festival Radovljica

Linhartov trg 1 SI-4240, Radovljica

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Launched in 1982, Radovljica Festival is the oldest early music festival in Slovenia. It regularly features internationally-renowned singers and instrumentalists, performing on period instruments and ensembles, such as Sequentia, Gothic Voices, Trio Mediaeval, the Rolf Lislevand Ensemble, Café Zimmermann, Sonatori della Gioiosa Marca, London Baroque and Ensemble Zefiro.

The 2011 edition of the festival presented a literary-music evening The Saga of Hallgerd by Svetlana Makarovič and Milko Lazar and international groups Die Singphoniker, Black Narcissus, , Zefiro, Sequentia, Lisa Rydberg and Gunnar Idenstam, James Bowman and Andrew Plant at the Radovljica Manor, while Yves Rechsteiner in Henri-Charles Caget interpreted the Jean-Philippe Rameau’s arias and dance music at the Velesovo Church. A one-day vocal workshop was led by Ian Honeyman, an English tenor (also actor and pianist).

Concerts, new works and education

The Radovljica Festival features a wide scope of music, from reconstructions of performances from before the advent of musical notation through the most recent works of the 21st century.

The 2010 edition of the festival presented Slovene musicians (Barbara Kozelj and Ensemble musica cubicularis with Domen Marinčič and Stefan Temmingh, Trio Quo Vadis) as well as international groups Le Concert Brisé, The Harp Consort (Guernsey), Amphion Wind Octet, John Potter and Ariel Abramovich, La Colombina, Pino De Vittorio Ensemble, and the project Mahler Plays Mahler. The festival closes with Benjamin Bagby’s performance of the the Anglo-Saxon epic Beowulf.

Radovljica Festival also commissions some new works by Slovene composers. In 2010 the new compositions by Nana Forte and Uroš Rojko were specially commissioned by the Radovljica Festival and premièred by Trio Quo Vadis: Uroš Rojko (clarinet), Klara Tomljanovič (guitar) and Luka Juhart (accordion).

In 2010 the festival hosted John Potter, a singer, author and vocal coach, who held a lecture on “Singing Early Music in the 21st Century” and led a one-day workshop for singers and vocal ensembles.

International networking

The Radovljica Festival is a member of the European Early Music Network (REMA).

Venues

Concerts are held at the Radovljica manor, on Linhart Square, in St Peter’s Church as well as in the Annunciation Church at the nearby village Velesovo, which since 2007 treasures a high-quality organ built by the Močnik organ workshop (modelled on an instrument by Bach’s friend and preferred builder Zacharias Hildebrandt). A free bus is organised for visitors coming from Ljubljana and Kranj.

Music

Pisana Loka Festival

20. 08. - 29. 08. 2021

Škofja Loka

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Pisana Loka

4220, Škofja Loka

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Pisana Loka is a local summer festival taking place at various locations in Škofja Loka in August. At first a rather modest endeavour, it began in 2008 and has since grown into an annual event of ten packed days, encompassing music, theatre, urban sports, stand-up comedy, a children’s programme, film screenings and more. The name of the festival means “Colourful Loka”, a bit of an archaic way of calling Škofja Loka when alluding to the charms of the town.

The festival locations are numerous, among them Sokolski dom Cultural Centre, Loka Castle, the summer garden of various local bars, some smaller squares and the main square of the old city centre (one of the best-preserved medieval squares in Slovenia).

Background

Launched with urban reinvigoration plans in mind, Pisana Loka used to be just a series of music concerts in the city centre. In 2011 (and later in 2013, 2014, 2015 and 2016), the festival organisation was handed over to Zavod O, a cultural association run by local youth, and its ambitions noticeably rose. The festival started to connect various local institutions, groups, and actors, from local skateboarders to the pensioners society, the Ivan Tavčar Public Library, scouts, student organisations, and various local cultural enthusiasts and associations.

Since 2017 the festival has been coordinated by the Škofja Loka Municipality. The number is events is growing.
Additional festival locations include the Church of the Vision of St Mary in Strunjan, or the Church of St Mary of the Rose in the neighbouring town of Portorož.

Programme

Pisana Loka has hosted bands such as Laibach, Bakalina, Uršula Ramoveš in Fantje z Jazbecove grape, Katarina Juvančič & Dejan Lapanja, Vasko Atanasovski Trio, Dan D, Joe Cocker Tribute, Jan Plestenjak, Hamo & Tribute 2 Love – all in all, a varied line-up that joins alternative musicians with big pop acts.

The festival presents also numerous theatre and street theatre performances, workshops and other events that actively try to engage the local and regional population.

Galleries

Kranj Foto Fest

24. 08. - 25. 09. 2022

Kranj

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Kranj Foto Fest

, Kranj

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Kranj Foto Fest has the goal to transform the medieval Kranj into a hub of contemporary photography in this part of Europe. Our aim is to promote contemporary photography searching for original forms of visual communication. The festival wants to exhibit, promote, support and develop the works of Slovenian and international artists, building a strong and lasting platform for contemporary photography. The program includes exhibitions, talks, workshops masterclasses, portfolio reviews and more!

Theatres

Week of Slovenian Drama

27. 03. - 8. 04. 2022

Kranj

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Teden slovenske drame

Glavni trg 6 SI-4000 , Kranj

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Organised annually by the Prešeren Theatre Kranj since 1971, the prestigious theatre festival Week of Slovenian Drama presents the most successful performances based on a Slovene play or text and staged in the last season by Slovene theatres. The festival, which usually runs for nearly 2 weeks, concludes with a ceremony at which the Grum Award is bestowed on the best original Slovene play, the Grün-Filipič Award is awarded for excellence in dramaturgy. Two awards are given for the best staging of a Slovene play appearing on the festival: the Šeligo Award, decided by an expert jury, and the Audience Award, voted by the festival audience.

Programme

Besides showcasing national productions, the programme also includes presentations of international stagings of Slovene plays. Thus far, the festival has hosted performances from Austria, Japan, Monte Negro, Great Britain, Serbia, Slovakia, Luxembourg, etc. Prešeren Theatre Kranj works hard to further expand the international part of the festival by devising round-table conferences involving famous dramatists, experts on theatre, producers, and publishers.

Libraries

Kranj City Library

Kranj

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Mestna knjižnica Kranj

Gregorčičeva ulica 1 4000, Kranj

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Established in 1960 with the merging of two existing city libraries, the Kranj City Library serves as a regional library as well as a cultural and information centre for the wider Gorenjska region (it consequently boasts a comprehensive and ever-growing collection of books and multimedia items on the region and its people).

In addition to managing branches in Stražišče, Naklo, Preddvor, Šenčur, Cerklje na Gorenjskem, and Jezersko, it also runs so called mobile library stations at five further peripheral locations. The Library Association of Gorenjska is also based at its premises. In 2011 the library moved to newer, state-of-the-art premises in the city centre.

Prešerniana and antique book collections

Kranj City Library is notable for its collection (called Prešerniana) of various editions of works by the renowned Slovene Romantic poet France Prešeren (1800–1849), who for a period of time lived in Kranj. There is also a very broad array of secondary literature on him, with the goal of building a complete selection of works on and by this artist.

Additionally, there is also a collection of antique books with about 500 hundred pieces that include such important works as Jurij Dalamtin’s Bible (1584) and the original copy of Janez Vajkard Valvasor’s most famous work Die Ehre des Herzogthums Crain [The Glory of the Duchy of Carniola] from 1689, a monumental work of at least 3,532 pages on the late 17th-century Carniola.

Furthermore, there is yet another 500 pieces set, this one featuring various bibliophile book editions.

Programme and services

Kranj City Library hosts various events that range from literary evenings, book clubs, story-telling hours, and author presentations to visual arts exhibitions, educational courses and creative workshops. It is especially active in screening film and for this it collaborates with the likes of Animateka Festival, the Film Mixer Independent Film Festival and the Slovene Film Archives.

The library has a set of (stationary as well as tablet) computers freely available for use. There is – for registered members – also a room dedicated to listening to music by audiophile technology as well as a room where small groups can (with upfront reservation) watch films by their choice. There are three (play)rooms for children of different age groups, with one fo them being a provisional gallery space.

One of the services offered is also the digitisation of VHS tapes, done for a very small fee.

Architecture

The building where the library is now stationed is called Globus. Built in 1971, it was set to be a modern department store with a car park on the 3rd floor. Designed by the famed Edvard Ravnikar, it is one of the most prominent examples of Slovene architectural modernism. Its front façade consists of striking, Corten steel panels that give of the appearance of rust. The building is enlisted in the register of immovable cultural heritage.

The renovation plans, set out by API Architects, retained most of the building’s spatial logic. However, they nevertheless very decidedly followed the idea of a library being the most open, even democratic public institution in the city and adapted it very much to follow this perceived role. To this end, the east part got enlarged, with the façade was done in glass.

Libraries

Ivan Tavčar Public Library, Škofja Loka

Škofja Loka

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Knjižnica Ivana Tavčarja, Škofja Loka

Šolska ulica 6 4220, Škofja Loka

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Ivan Tavčar Public Library in Škofja Loka, named after writer and politician Ivan Tavčar (1851–1923), opened its doors to the public in December 1945. Despite changing its name and location several times over the years, it has consistently functioned as a place where people can read newspapers and borrow books since 1862.

The library runs five branches in Trata, Poljane, Gorenja vas, Žiri, and Železniki, a lending unit at the Centre for the Blind, Visually Impaired and Elderly in Škofja Loka, and a bookmobile. The chief aim of the library is to afford its members access to knowledge and information and to foster reading culture. It strives to achieve this also by hosting a number of events for young and adult library-goers, including art exhibitions, storytelling hours, lectures, book and author presentations, and creative workshops.

Clubs

Rdeča ostriga Club

Škofja Loka

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Mladinski kulturni center Pri Rdeči Ostrigi

Partizanska cesta 1 4220 , Škofja Loka

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Founded in 1995 by Škofja Loka Students’ Club (Klub škofjeloških študentov, KŠŠ) and located in the town’s old army barracks, Mladinski kulturni center (MKC) Red Oyster (‘Youth Cultural Centre Red Oyster’) presents an ongoing programme of music, theatre, DJ guest appearances, film and video, plus a bar which serves Red Oyster’s trademark Kloštergajster drink. Foreign bands have appeared at the venue since 1997, and in 1998 Red Oyster became recognised as one of the best and most active clubs in Slovenia. The club owns a hall with 80 seats. Red Oyster encourages new bands and organises a variety of cultural workshops. The club runs the OBC electronic music section and the Frnikula Theatre section.

Museums

Gorenjska Museum

Kranj

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Gorenjski muzej

Tomšičeva 42 4000, Kranj

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Founded in 1953, the Gorenjska Museum in Kranj collects, houses, researches, and represents the movable cultural heritage of the wider Gorenjska (Upper Carniola) region. The main permanent exhibition Beautiful Gorenjska is located at the Khislstein Castle in the centre of Kranj, the museum, however, manages also several sites in Kranj and smaller museums in the region.

Background

The idea of establishing a museum in Kranj was born before World War I. In 1953 the Municipal Museum of Kranj was founded and had its seat in Prešeren House, the former residence of Slovene poet France Prešeren. In 1957 a second museum was established in Kranj: the Gorenjska Regional Museum, which was renamed to the Museum of the People’s Revolution in 1961. The Gorenjska Museum was established in 1963 by the merging of the Municipal Museum of Kranj and the Kranj Museum of the People’s Revolution. The following locations in Kranj were assigned to the new museum: Town Hall on Glavni trg (Main Square), Prešeren House, and a Baroque Palace on the street Tavčarjeva ulica. In 1993 the Baroque Palace was returned to its original owners. The Gorenjska Museum acquired new spaces in the Khislstein Castle, where its headquarters, administrative and service spaces were located until 2008, when the museum moved to a new location on Savska cesta, Kranj. Today the castle accommodates the museum’s main permanent exhibition.

Programme and mission

The mission of the Gorenjska Museum has been built on the basis of fundamental collections, such as the archaeological and ethnological collections of folk art and ancient, cultural and modern art history, as well as modernity, a Cabinet of Slovene Photography, the creative art of Gorenjska and “Prešereniana” – the study of the work and life of France Prešeren. The museum’s collections and work are presented through exhibitions, publications, workshops, study circles, and lectures.

From the outset Gorenjska Museum has taken a keen interest in contemporary art and events in Gorenjska, which are continuously reflected in its gallery activities. The museum is also an active publisher, especially of the cycle Gorenjski kraji in ljudje [Places and People of Gorenjska].

The museum’s library is a valuable research facility for many in-house and external scholars and interested parties, as it covers all the areas of the museum.

Branches

Today in addition to the Prešeren House the Gorenjska Museum also oversees the Kranj Town Hall, Khislstein Castle, Kranj Archaeological Site, the Museum of Alpine Dairy Farming, Stara Fužina, Oplen House, and the Tomaž Godec Museum. All the major museum branches are represented in the museum, along with a series of auxiliary services (a restoration and conservation workshop, historical archives, a photo-laboratory, a picture library, and a library).

There are numerous permanent and temporary exhibitions related mainly to Gorenjska region topics, held in the above locations.

Departments and collections

There are multiple collections in the main and branch units of the museum, divided and arranged according to the policy of each museum department. The Ethnological Department’s notable collections include those of embroidery, wraps, and horse hair sieves. The Ancient History Department contains artefacts dating from the 18th, 19th, and the beginning of the 20th centuries. The Recent History Department collects and maintains materials on political, military and economy, mainly of the WW2 period, while the Contemporary History Department focuses more on the end of the 20th and the beginning of the 21st century. There is also the Archaeological Department which participates in numerous digs in the region and has organised the permanent exhibition The Iron Thread in the Kranj Town Hall.

The Art History Department’s collection encompasses numerous sculptures and paintings by masters of the 15th through the 18th centuries, as well as works by Leopold Layer (1752–1828) and his contemporaries, and the realists of the 19th Century. The collection of Slovenian Modern Art is also extensive and includes works by Gorenjska artists and by the recipients of the Prešeren Award. The museum keeps also the Cabinet of Slovenian Photography, the oldest public collection of photographs in Slovenia (since 1970). There is also the Cultural History Department, which focuses primarily on the Prešeren House and the burgher life in Kranj.

In addition, after the completion of excavations at the Kranj Parish Church an archaeological monument was arranged in which the visible remnants of the late Roman octagonal baptistery. Remnants of the late 13th century baptistery and other finds are visible.

Projects

The Gorenjska Museum participates in the Iron Route, an Interreg III B project for the Alpine area, which connects different and remote Alpine lands through a common history of mining and iron manufacturing. The 15-year-long archaeological research in the East Julian Alps was conducted in collaboration with the Triglav National Park and the Institute of Archaeology of the Scientific Research Centre (ZRC SAZU), Slovene Academy of Science and Arts. Iron Route reveals the early settlements in the high-mountains from the bronze age to the early middle ages. The in situ display panels were installed on five different trails above 1,500 metres altitude. The discoveries are presented also in a temporary exhibition in the Gorenjska Museum.

Awards

The museum’s long-standing (1965–1972) director Cene Avguštin (1923–2010), the first museologist of the Gorenjska region, won the Stele Award in 1999 for his lifetime achievements.

Cultural Centres

Layer House

Kranj

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Layerjeva hiša

Tomšičeva ulica 32 4000, Kranj

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The renovation of a former residence of the Slovene painter Leopold Layer (1752–1828) in Kranj has resulted in the development of a significant cultural venue known as Layer House. Maintained by Carnica Institute for Culture and Tourism, the house has become a junction of cultural happening in Kranj, hosting social, creative, various cultural, urbanistic and educational events. In addition to a coffee house located in the atrium with a garden offering a delightful venue for concerts, literary or theatre events, Layer House also includes a small museum dedicated to the glass photo inventor Janez Puhar), gallery spaces for temporary exhibitions, artists studios, and artist residences. There is also a small gift shop with unique souvenirs.

Situated near the Khislstein Castle in Kranj, Layer House’s 18th-century architecture is characterised by classicism and baroque. The building’s recent transformation into a multi-purpose art area was funded in part with a grant from the European Regional Development Fund.

Layer House is also available for rental; its ambient is especially appropriate for any type of banquet (business conventions, anniversaries, birthday celebrations, New Year’s gatherings, weddings and other private functions). The house can accommodate smaller parties (20 people or less) or larger assemblies (120 people).

Leopold Layer

The son of painter Marko Layer, Leopold Layer was most active in the early part of the 19th century. His works can be found in many churches throughout Slovenia as well as in the National Gallery of Slovenia. He is perhaps most famous for his work in at the Basilica St. Mary Help of Christians in Brezje. For this Slovenian National Shrine he painted the chapel and the portrait “Marija Pomagaj Brezje” (“Mary Help of Christians at Brezje”).

Cultural programme and activities

Layer House collaborates with a number of artists and partners from Kranj and the rest of Slovenia in creating unique and multifaceted activities. There has been many a music concert by both emerging as well as established Slovenian artists, numerous theatre and cabaret shows, workshops and a number of other events.

Museum and gallery spaces

The first-floor museum is divided into two parts, with one room exhibiting walls with restored 19th-century frescoes and another regularly hosting temporary exhibitions. The basement spaces are devoted to the life and work of Janez Puhar, a pioneer of early photography credited with inventing a novel method of capturing images on glass in 1841. Aside from these, there are also two additional spaces where temporary exhibitions are held – the neighbouring Škrlovec tower (operated otherwise by Prešeren Theatre Kranj) and the multi-purpose room called Mahlerca.

It should be noted that all three galleries for temporary exhibitions are actively used, presenting a very varied and colourful pallet of artworks.

Živa ulica

Živa ulica (Slovenian for “lively street”) is an annual string of events, workshops, exhibitions and many other activities first organised in June 2013 by Layer House on Tomšičeva ulica where the house is situated. These events aspired to liven up the neighbourhood by inviting nearby residents, shop-owners, artists, and visitors to participate in co-creating a lively and energetic atmosphere.

Dvocikel

Dvocikel (Slovenian for “bicycle”) is a programme organised by Layer House and Moonlee Records. This innovative concert experience features various music acts or groups that participate in pairs in a Layer House musical residency. Each Dvocikel concert event represents the results of the residency and is headlined by the two acts on two locations (one venue is usually in Kranj and the other one in Ljubljana). In this way, Dvocikel aims to explore the possibilities of live concert set-ups, to provide unique concert experiences, and to support artists by granting them both creative space and an opportunity to connect through diverse musical expressions and genres. Other collaborators in the series include Kataman – Association for Artistic Production, Glej Theatre, and Normala company.

Residences and tourist facilities

The Layer House residence apartments were primarily conceived with the intention to host artists included in its artist-in-residence programme, but when available these spaces (three apartments) are also available to tourists wishing to stay in the old part of the city of Kranj. The house offers this unique stay to business travellers, couples, friends, and families who aim for a warm atmosphere and enjoy being surrounded by arts and culture.