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