Music Biennale Zagreb to transform Zagreb into a centre of New Music

26 March 2013

Every April of odd number years, ever since 1961, Zagreb is transformed into a centre of the latest in contemporary, alternative, cutting edge culture and art, into a centre of New Music, which is gravitated by composers and top performers, but also music critics and fans of contemporary music from wider region and entire Europe. This is when the Music Biennale Zagreb (MBZ) is taking place. The 2013 edition runs from 6 until 13 April. Entirely dedicated to New Music – including “classics“ of contemporary music, as well as new generations of composers from the entire world – the programme of the Music Biennale Zagreb features a range of diverse projects, from symphony orchestras and chamber ensembles, experimental music theatre, contemporary dance, jazz, electronics, all the way to alternative music scene. The Music Biennale Zagreb is associated not only with music programme, but also with other arts and related disciplines, and precisely that is the reason why it has taken such an exceptional and quite distinctive position on the Croatian and regional culture scene. Numerous guest performers, all of whom represent the top of music professionalism, as well as composers like Messiaen, Stockhausen, Stravinsky, Cage, Berio, Penderecki, Lutoslawski, Maderna, Kagel, Globokar, Nono, Xenakis, Lucier, Schnabel, Reich, Murail, Maxwell Davies, Birtwistle, Schaeffer, Nyman, Cerha and others who were guests at the MBZ, also contribute to that kind of positioning of the festival. From6-13 April 2013, the programme of the 27th edition of the MBZ will present 31 concert, 2 exhibitions, a number of lectures and artists' talks and will feature some of the most prominent artist names on the Croatian and international scene, such as Petrit Ceku, Monika Leskovar, Pierre Alexandre Tremblay, Edward Clug, etc. For the opening the festival is preparing a staging of Claude Debussy's Six Antique Epigraphs and In Black and White, as well as Igor Stravinsky's Rite of Spring. A work that, inspite of all the drastic changes music has undergone in the meantime, has lost none of its power and is still avant-garde. In a year full of major composers' anniversaries, The Rite enjoys a celebration in its own right. As a main programme framework of this year's MBZ edition, a series of concerts under the common title EU: OUTSIDE/INSIDE will be held each day of the festival. Considering the political transition phase Croatia is currently in, it was almost an inevitable point to reflect on from an artistic point of view, since our cultural policies also arrive to a challenging (turning) point, as will perhaps our cultural identity in some way, depending on the tendencies that our contemporary art scene brings forth. Therefore, it is not to answer the questions, but to allow them to come through that this concept was created. The afternoon cycle of concerts, Inside EU, features a number of prominent musicians and ensembles performing pieces by 28 composers from 27 EU Member States and the last concert presents music from the EU member to be – Croatia. Outside EU will present a wide range of pieces by established contemporary music composers from all over the world, as well as those from Croatia, performed by our very best young musicians gathered in HR Project, dedicated to performing new music and promoting music by Croatian composers. Apart from that, in collaboration with the National Theatre, the Puppet theatre, Zagreb Youth Theatre and &TD Theatre, the Zagreb Music Biennale will present newly composed operas and ballets as well as music theatre programme, with a new production of Schönberg's Pierrot Lunaire and Boulez's Le marteau sans maître. The opera and symphonic programme will be presented through regional collaboration with Serbian and Slovenian artists and orchestras and the late night concerts in collaboration with the Student Centre's Music Showroom will bring performances by some of the most interesting ensembles and performers active on the European music scene – Heather Roche, Slagwerk Den Haag, jazz pianists Bojan Z & Matija Dedić, Damas Quartet from Poland, Dutch Klang Ensemble and many more.