MBZ artictic director reveals some of its highlights!

Krešimir Seletković, umjetnički ravnatelj MBZ-a otkriva neke od najatraktivnijih programa idućeg festivalskog izdanja.


Music Biennale Zagreb is a cultural event which will definitely mark the month of April and during its week conquer numerous cultural venues in the city of Zagreb. As each time untill now, Biennale will surprise or shock its audience, giving them something unexpected as well as expected. New program guidelines will interweave with some of the Biennale's traditions, and by various interdisciplinary programs Music Biennale Zagreb strives to satisfy listeners of all generations and artistical affinities – from modernistic traditions to fully new, isolated individuations of young artists whose expressions are their cry of our time in which they are struggling as artists.

Krešimir Seletković, the artistic director of the Music Biennale Zagreb and professor at the Zagreb Music Academy has discovered some program secrets of the next edition, as well as few concerts which represent program novelties or long-awaited names of the European contemporary music scene. First such novelty occured at the last edition. It is about the 5-minute forms competition. This time Biennale will be opening with the opera written by the winner of the 5-Minute Opera Competition, and one of the Festivals' concerts will be the finale of the 5-Minute Piano Concerto Competition.

 „The 29th edition of the Music Biennale Zagreb will present a number of really interesting projects. First of these projects is certainly the grand opening of the Festival and the finale of the 5-Minute Opera Competition which started in 2015. The winner of the Competition, Martyna Kosecka, will present us her new piece – opera Klothò which will be realized in collaboration with Croatian National Theatre Ivan pl. Zajc from Rijeka and premiered in Zagreb at the Komedija Theatre, directed by the Polish director Krzysztof Cicheński. We are especially proud at the fact Biennale will open with an Polish opera, in collaboration with a Polish author team. Also, I would like to underline that Croatian National Theatre in Rijeka was very cooperative and readily responded to our request. The opera will remain a part of their official season. My opinion is such collaborations between institutions are very important, especially today when its getting harder and harder to preserve quality program and attract new audience. Here at the Music Biennale Zagreb we support and encourage joint development and co-productions of projects. In 2015 when the 5-Minute Opera Competition was held there was in total 91 applications. This year, the 5-Minute Piano Concerto Competition has doubled the number of applications coming from all around the world – United States of America, numerous European countries, Japan, South Corea, Mexico, South African Republic... Also, the age of the composers was different and it could be expected their artistic expression will be such as well. A time-limited 5 minute form was a challenge to composers who were forced to show what they can do in a very limited material and didn't have space to develop their musical ideas. All member of the jury agreed such a challenge is a great way of practicing concise writting, which was a problem for some, while others successfully overcame these restrictions. Amongs finalists was the Croatian composer Bruno Vlahek who currently lives in Spain. In any case, it is important to mention the following: Wednesday, April 26th 2017, Croatian Music Institute, the presentation of 10 best pieces and the choosing the winner who will be comissioned a „real“ piano concerto for the Music Biennale 2019.

One of the successfull collaborations which have already become a tradition are the ones with the Zagreb Philharmonic and the Croatian Radiotelevision Symphony Orchestra. Those are concert at the Lisinski Concert Hall which are in the same time a part of the Biennale's programme but also Zagreb Philharmonic's programme and Master Cycle of the Croatian Radiotelevision Symphony. At those concerts we will present domestic musical „forces“ and the seize the oportunity to present the 2nd and 3rd placed composers from the 5-Minute Opera Competition. When speaking about domestic forces, Cantus ensemble as one of the piers of the Croatian contemporary music scene is an unvoidable part of our programme, but let's not reveal their creative surprises at the moment...

Music Biennale Zagreb will bring to its audience also the best of the European musical scene – we are extremely happy at the next edition there will be two ensembles which are considered to be one of the best interpreters of contemporary music. These are the French ensemble Intercontemporain and the German ensemble Modern. The ensemble Intercontemporain was founded in 1976 by Pierre Boulez, today they are residents at the Paris Philharmonic where more than 30 musicians share their passion towards contemporary music performance. Under the direction of a fabolous conducter David Fulmer, they will perform at the Zagreb Youth Theatre, at the same venue as ensemble Modern under the direction of Rossen Gergov. It is important to emphasize both ensemble's programmes will include pieces of Croatian composers, which is good for the promotion of Croatian music, and for the composers certainly a great honor.“

During the Festival, the majority of important cultural venues in Zagreb become a part of the Biennale programme. Besides the mentioned Lisinski Concert Hall, Komedija Theatre and the Zagreb Youth Theatre, the programmes will be held also at Mimara Museum, Museum of Arts and Crafts, Zagreb Puppet Theatre, Theatre &TD... But Music Biennale will step inside other, unusual venues which will maybe become initiate some new traditions.

 „At the next Biennale we will promote a completely new and untill now unfamiliar concert venue of the Grič tunnel. The composers Ana Horvat and Dalibor Bukvić are preparing a surprise which will be performed by the Antiphonus ensemble, a vocal ensemble which has established itself as an extremely creative and artistically highly profiled ensemble under the direction of maestro Tomislav Fačini. A theatrical moment of their performance will be added by the direction of a Croatian director Natalija Manojlović. This will be the closing concert of the 29th Music Biennale Zagreb on Saturday, April 29th. Information on other events which will complete the Festivals' programme will be published at our web site www.mbz.hr as well as our facebook page.