Already in the first week of the new programme arch, we will have the premiere performance of Mahler’s Symphony No. 2 presented by the Vojvodina Symphony Orchestra, under the baton of the famous Aleksandar Marković. On the other hand, the highlight and one of the biggest and most important events of the year in the world of classical music, something you shouldn’t miss, is the Beethoven Marathon. Experience all nine of Beethoven’s symphonies in one day and be a part of an unusual and unique event only in the European Capital of Culture. During the entire Fortress of Peace, Novi Sad will bring you important concerts that are definitely worth visiting, and which will transform this year’s capital of culture into the capital of classical music.
17 June at 9 p.m.
Plateau at the Svilara Cultural Station
At the very beginning of the Fortress of Peace programme, one of the most famous chamber ensembles in the country, St. George’s Strings, awaits us to perform Shostakovich’s Chamber Symphony, a famous example of the triumph of art over destruction and totalitarianism as part of the NEO Festival. The famous Dmitry Shostakovich arrived in Dresden, the city that suffered the most in the Allied bombing in 1945, in the summer of 1960, to work on the music for a film made in East Germany. The death toll in Dresden exceeded that of Hiroshima. For Shostakovich, this impression evoked the memory of the siege of Leningrad, when the Leningrad Symphony was created, the historical and musical piece that was at the same time a reaction to totalitarianism in general, with a universal meaning and clear motto: in memory of the victims of fascism and war. Admission is free.
18 June at 8 p.m.
Gallery of Matica Srpsk
Another concert within the aforementioned festival held during the Fortress of Peace is the Quartet for the End of Time, the work of one of the most important composers of the 20th century, Olivier Messiaen, which will be performed in the Gallery od Matica srpska. This work was created during his captivity in the camp during World War II. Namely, Olivier Messiaen was in the army from the very beginning of World War II, and only a year later he arrived at the camp. In front of an audience of as many as 400 prisoners, his composition for piano, cello, violin, and clarinet – Quartet for the End of Time – was premiered. Although half a year after his captivity the musicians were released and returned to France, the composer noted that he was never listened to with more attention and understanding. That is why this work will be performed for the first time in the European Capital of Culture by musicians from different parts of the world. Admission is free.
19 June at 8 p.m.
Serbian National Theatre
After tales of the horrors of war, the victory of life will be symbolically celebrated by Mahler’s Symphony No. 2 in the language of music and sounds of peace. One of the most successful conductors from the region, maestro Aleksandar Marković, together with the famous Vojvodina Symphony Orchestra which we always enjoy listening to, will present to the Novi Sad audience the famous Symphony No. 2, ‘Resurrection’ by Gustav Mahler, on 19 June at the SNP, and we invite you to get tickets and don’t miss this evening to enjoy. We are listening to this work for the first time in Novi Sad, and the entire programme is being realised in cooperation with the Music Youth of Novi Sad
Reflecting on the multi-layered messages delivered by Gustav Mahler’s Symphony No. 2, we can conclude that this monumental work is in itself a ‘Fortress of Peace’, of love and faith in the grandeur of the human spirit. In the European Capital of Culture, during the Fortress of Peace, we will listen to the Symphony No. 2 performed by the Vojvodina Symphony Orchestra, conducted by the world-renowned maestro who became the chief conductor of the Innsbruck Opera at the age of 29. Tickets can be purchased at the SNP ticket office.
26 June from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m.
City Concert Hall and Petrovaradin Fortress
One of the biggest events in the world of classical music will unite two twin cities, Dortmund and Novi Sad, which will join forces in one of the biggest endeavours of the European Capital of Culture – the performance of nine Beethoven symphonies in Novi Sad in one day! Over 250 professional singers, as well as musicians from Germany, Serbia, and Slovakia, will turn the most important orchestral works of this master into one magical meeting and spectacle that you simply must not miss! Both orchestras will first alternate in performing eight symphonies from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m., in the City Concert Hall, before the orchestras merge in the grand finale with Symphony No. 9, when they will be joined by the Slovak Philharmonic Choir. We will listen to the crown of the marathon and the final symphony under the clear sky of the Petrovaradin Fortress, and the magnificent concert will start symbolically at 8:22 p.m. The orchestras will be conducted by the chief conductor of the mentioned philharmonics and the author of the entire project, Gabriel Feltz, whose interview on this occasion you can read on our website. Admission to the open-air concert is free, while tickets for the concerts in the City Concert Hall are sold for each of the four concerts separately, and you can buy them on the Gigstix website.
Unification Park, 1 July at 9 p.m.
How to turn noise into sound? This issue was addressed by the Novi Sad sculptor and professor at the Academy of Arts – Nikola Macura, who made instruments from military waste to study the relationship between sound and sculpture. On the first night of July, walk to the Unification Park and listen to a combination of Serbian and Austrian marches performed by musicians from Serbia and Aporon 21 from Graz, at a concert that is a unique way of sending an anti-war message and affirming demilitarization through artistic intervention. This unusual concert on instruments created from military waste is an overture to the exhibition of the mentioned artist, in the Museum of Vojvodina, which will show objects with a new purpose. The holder of the project is the Academy of Arts in Novi Sad, with the support of the Austrian Cultural Forum.
15 July at 9 p.m.
The anti-war composition by the Novi Sad author Aleksandra Vrebalov – Beyond Zero, which has achieved great international success, will be performed in front of the Novi Sad audience as part of the NEO Festival. While working on the composition, the composer was inspired by anti-war prose and poetry, music and art created during or immediately after World War I. The work contains audio recordings dating from the wars that marked the 20th century, starting from World War I, through World War II, all the way to the civil war that led to the disintegration of the SFRY. Admission is free, and the programme was supported by the Austrian Cultural Forum.
July 16 at 8:22 p.m.
The classical music programme that will close the Fortress of Peace, also performed as part of the NEO Festival, is a concert by the Philharmonic Orchestra ’For New Bridges’, which consists of students from regional music academies. We will have a unique opportunity to listen to the premiere of the Overture for Peace, a composition specially written for this occasion, which will be performed by the Philharmonic Orchestra ’For New Bridges’ and musicians from Austria, Hungary, Italy, Croatia, and Bosnia and Herzegovina. In this way, we will symbolically mark the Treaty of Karlovac and express hope for the peace of the new millennium and the future Europe. Admission is free
Author: Marina Marić
Photo: Promo / ECOC