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News 19 Oct 16

Pianists in the Spotlight at Belgrade's Classical Festival

Now in its 48th year, the Belgrade Music Festival, BEMUS, will again showcase some of the best classical musicians, including works by young Serbian talents as well as the great composers.

David Galic
BIRN
Belgrade
Berezovsky is one of the headliners. Photo: CEBEF.

Pianists are at the forefront of the programme at Serbia’s longest-running music festival this year, with two Russian virtuosos - Boris Berezovsky and Dmitri Masleev - announced as headliners.

This year’s BEMUS runs from October 19 to November 1, with concerts at five different Belgrade venues - the Ilija M. Kolarac Endowment, the Serbian parliament building, the Ethnography Museum, the Madlenianum Theatre and St. Michael's Cathedral.

BEMUS Artistic Director, Composer Svetislav Bozic, told local Belgrade TV station Studio B that the festival this year will be diverse both musically and in terms of performers.

Bozic said that the programme will include everything from early to contemporary classical music, performed not only by musicians with longstanding careers but also artists by who are still in school and making a name for themselves.

“The forthcoming BEMUS is a programme designed to sound on stage like a tonal archipelago of the legacy of the styles of the past, but also of the new age, the contemporary people, the composers and performers of our time,” Bozic was quoted as saying by Danas daily.

All the great masters will be covered, including performances of pieces by Beethoven, Mozart, Chopin, Brahms, Stravinsky, Debussy and many more.

But there will also be performances of pieces written by young Serbian classical composers, with the BEMUS team putting in special efforts this year to promote the work of up-and-coming, domestic artists.

Bozic said that one of the events that the organisers are most excited about is the ‘Young Artists Concert’, which is going to be held at the parliament building.

The three young artists featured are violinist Nemanja Belaj and two pianists, Vuk Bozilovic and Nenad Ivovic.

Belgrade’s culture secretary Ivona Jevtic said that there will be a total of 14 concerts and two film screenings, adding that the government has invested a significantly larger sum of money in the festival this year.

Jevtic said that this trend is expected to continue next year, promising that the “cultural strategy will be much more serious” in 2017.

The showing of films is something new for BEMUS. Classical music fans will be able to see performances of two operas, Debussy’s ‘Pelleas et Melisande’ and Mozart's ‘Temerari...Come Scoglio’ at the Yugoslav Film Archive.

The festival will be opened at the Ilija M. Kolarac Endowment by the RTS Symphony Orchestra, conducted by Bojan Sudjic and featuring soloist Dragana Sredojevic, one of Serbia’s best violinists. The Vojvodina Symphony Orchestra will get its chance to shine on October 28th, with violoncello soloist Dragana Djordjevic.

Another performance of note takes place at Madlenianum in Zemun on October 22, when the opera ‘Twilight’ will be performed. Written by Serbian composer Stevan Hristic, it’s a completely domestic production, directed by Nebojsa Bradic and conducted by Vesna Souc.

Tickets for the concerts will cost between two euros and €16. However, music fans can also get tickets to all the concerts for a discounted price of about €50. For more information on the programme and where to purchase tickets, visit the festival's official website: www.bemus.rs.

This article was published in BIRN's bi-weekly newspaper Belgrade Insight. Here is where to find a copy.

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