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News 21 Oct 15

BEMUS Headlines Busy Culture Month in Belgrade

Mongolian Orchestra and Russian ballet star feature in this year’s classical music festival that celebrates sounds of the 20th Century.

David Galic
BIRN
Belgrade
A virtuoso Russian pianist Nikolai Luganski comes to the BEMUS festival. Photo: Facebook.

BEMUS, Belgrade’s most prominent and important classical music festival, will be entering its 47th year with an exciting array of performers from all over the world.

The BEMUS festival takes place from October 21 to 31 and will include virtuoso Russian pianist Nikolai Luganski, a Mongolian traditional music ensemble, famed ballerina Svetlana Zaharova, also from Russia, and many more highly esteemed performers.

Belgrade Secretary of Culture Vladan Vukosavljevic said that this year’s festival will coincide with two anniversaries that are very important to Belgrade’s classical music scene: 30 years of the public broadcaster RTS Symphonic Orchestra and its choir and 50 years of the city’s lauded Dusan Skovran string orchestra. Of course, both will be participating and performing at the festival as well.

As far as the general focus of this year’s repertoire is concerned, BEMUS Art Director Svetislav Bozic said that this year’s programme will be dedicated to sounds of the 20th Century, noting that this year’s performers were specifically chosen to give the festival a lively and bombastic vibe. He described the  pieces chosen for this year as anything but “lullabies”.

“The music of the 20th Century showed authors  who were aware of the past, very observant of the current state of the world at the time and were also able to predict various levels of apocalypse and salvation in the future,” Bozic said.

By far the most exotic act that is going to be featured this year is the Mongolian “Ih Tsetsen” Orchestra, who use very specific traditional string instruments, which can be likened to the ancient Serbian instruments known as “gusle”. The music performed will give the audience great insight into the spiritual world of the Mongolian people.  

The Mongolian Orchestra concert is also special because of the fact that it’s going to take place in the Serbian Parliament building on October 23.

As for the other stars of programme, Nikolai Luganski will be performing on October at the Kolarac Endowment, while Svetlana Zaharova, prima ballerina of the Bolshoi Theatre, will be at the Sava Centre on October 26. That night will be entirely dedicated to Russian ballet, with several more solo dancers from Minsk filling out the programme.

For the full list of concerts, locations and dates, visit the festival’s official website: www.bemus.rs.

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