June 24, 2020 - The nineteenth KotorArt Don Branko Music Days are being held in all known extraordinary circumstances caused by the pandemic, what caused more than 95% of programs and artists, initially planned for 2020, to be canceled or changed.
This program included the celebration of Beethoven's significant anniversary with artists and ensembles such as Miša Majski, soloists of the Verbia Festival, soloists of the Berlin Philharmonic, Dubrovnik Symphony Orchestra, Stefan Milenković, Kemal Gekić, Giovanni Gnocchi, cycles of Jazz Square with ensembles from Slovenia, Hungary, Austria; China stage, with five concerts by renowned musicians from China; Piano marathon in Luštica Bay and Kotor with winners of piano competitions and prominent pianists of the region and Europe; three shows of the Festival Orchestra, Coca-Cola Stage with three concerts: Josipa Lisac, Vasil Hadžimanov, Božo Vrećo, Bojan Zulfikarpašić and the group Frajle; over two hundred performances within the cycle of the Port of Art.
Total program change, a drastic budget reduction of over 70% (of which 60% is a reduction from the sponsors - the Ministry of Culture and the Municipality of Kotor), and cancellations of sponsorship funds for more than a third prevent KotorArt from offering the best. After all, KotorArt has faced extraordinary circumstances in the past, when it has always reacted readily and professionally, with a great desire to maintain its quality and image in the country, but also the region and Europe, "said the Festival's PR service.
Recognized for years as a gathering place for the world's music elite and specially conceived original programs, despite this multiple budget cuts, with the support of patrons, sponsors, and friends, as well as the understanding and solidarity of artists and the organizing team, KotorArt Don Branko's Music Days will be held from July 14 to August 14 through a relevant program to confirm social responsibility, artistic and tourist attractiveness, thematic relevance and reasons for the status of the event of special importance for the culture of Montenegro, as well as its place on the festival map of the region and Europe.
After an incredibly busy spring on social networks, the Festival will organize events at a total of ten locations in more moderate summer dynamics, through a dedication to Beethoven, instead of the usual twenty. At the same time, most programs will be held in the Church of St. Spirit, with a live broadcast on the neighboring Piazza from the cinema. Over a hundred artists from a total of six countries will perform in front of an audience that will be distributed in sparse audiences.
"At the very beginning, on July 14, in front of the Cathedral of St. Tryphon, as part of the celebration of Statehood Day, the Beethoven program, eternal inspiration, is planned. Having in mind the measures and recommendations of the competent services and the desire to present the most promising domestic musicians, the Montenegrin Youth Orchestra will perform at the opening ceremony, led by the conductor of the Dubrovnik Summer Festival, Tomislav Facini. The program includes some of Beethoven's most dramatic works prepared for this orchestra and the premiere of the commissioned work on the Ode to Joy by Montenegrin author Aleksandar Perunovic, after which the premiere of a documentary on European heritage and identity of Montenegro produced by RTCG is planned.
In addition to celebrating Statehood Day, opening the Festival, celebrating Beethoven's anniversary, and artistically marking Germany's presidency of the European Union, this event will also be an occasion to rethink the European identity of today's Montenegro, share and understand the values inherited by the European Union. - Go for joy ", they say from the PR service of the Festival.
After this program, several different program units are planned, which will include performances by renowned international artists, including maestro Tomislav Facini, one of the most famous European coloratura sopranos Erik Miklos from Hungary, famous jazz ensembles from Austria, world-renowned pianist Kemal Gekic with Beethoven sonatas, members of the KotorArt trio, as well as participants in the planned regional conference Festivals in Times of Crisis.
"The celebrated Montenegrin guitarist Miloš Karadaglić will have a special evening, who will talk to the audience about various aspects of the global crisis on classical music and the consequences for artists and art in general, along with his interlocutor Ratimir Martinović, the director of the Festival. In addition to the Montenegrin Youth Orchestra, Montenegrin musical forces will be represented through performances by well-known local and internationally renowned artists such as the Montenegrin Guitar Duo and the Allegria Quartet and a trio of professors from the Cetinje Music Academy. Also, through the established segment of KotorArt Talents, promising Montenegrin musicians studying abroad, soprano Petra Radulović and pianist Andrija Jovović will perform, and students of the Music Academy of Cetinje, as well as the youngest - students of the Music School Vida Matjan in Kotor, will have the opportunity to perform. Local performers will be the backbone of the concert entitled Homage to the Professor, dedicated to the tenth anniversary of the death of Nikola Gregović, who left an essential mark in the city's music. In addition to the city choir and mandolin orchestra, original Klapas led by the Professor will perform. The sounds of jazz can be heard through the series Jazz Square in the regular Sunday period through four concerts, two Austrian guest bands, and musicians from Montenegro and Serbia.
The Port of Art cycle will be presented through dozens of performances by chamber ensembles of classical and popular music, inspiring the life and musical content of today's unusually empty Kotor squares.
In collaboration with Deutsche Welle, the Festival provided a screening of the valuable feature-length documentary Symphony of the World, which tells the story of Beethoven's latest symphony.
The KotorArt Academy, conceived initially with three artists, is still planned to be held at the beginning of August, through the piano course of pianist Kemal Gekić.
Beside Miloš Karadaglić and the aforementioned conference on Festivals in times of crisis, which will be addressed by artists and directors of renowned festivals from Montenegro and the region, planned for August 4, reflections on important social topics will be the backbone of for August 11, with the editor Paula Petričević. This year's topic is "European identity - the answer to which question?" on which the relevant speakers will participate.
The Wild Beauty Art Festival is taking place this year, organized by the KotorArt team, with planned concerts in Žabljak, Kotor, and Luštica bay.
This year's KotorArt Don Branko's Music Days will be held under UNESCO's auspices, the Ministry of Culture and the Municipality of Kotor, and sponsors.