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First Names of the 19th Annual Viva Musica! festival
Canadian mezzosoprano Emily D’Angelo, world-famed violinist Gidon Kremer with the Kremerata Baltica orchestra, and soprano Simona Šaturová with her Nocturne.

Bratislava, 2. 5. 2023

Viva Musica! festival has been on the cultural map of Slovakia for 19 years. During that time, its audiences have experienced matchless concerts by such world-renowned names as Philip Glass, Michael Nyman, Kronos Quartet, John Malkovich, Víkingur Ólafsson, or the amazing Laurie Anderson. A powerful dramaturgy, with the emphasis on classical music and all its hues and shades, once again dominates the current year’s event, during which visitors will be captivated by Canadian mezzosoprano Emily D’Angelo, world-famed violinist Gidon Kremer with the Kremerata Baltica orchestra, and soprano Simona Šaturová with her Nocturne.

“I weep because there is something on earth so surpassingly beautiful as Brahms’s Violin Concerto played by Gidon Kremer,” this is how the Danish writer Peter Høeg described Gidon Kramer’s playing in Miss Smilla’s Feeling for Snow, the book which won him a nomination for the Nobel Prize for Literature. Gidon Kremer is an icon of solo and classical music, who has perhaps done more than any other person for the contemporary art of violin. He began playing violin as a four-year-old under the guidance of his father, whose family lost 35 members during the Holocaust. “I was the son of one who had survived. To survive, I had to be better than the others,” Kremer has said. In the course of his career he has recorded more than 120 albums. He has won many awards, including Grammys, and he has sustained a world-wide reputation as one of the most original artists of his generation.

Kremer is coming to Bratislava with his Kremerata Baltica orchestra, with a programme that will undoubtedly be a musical delight. “The Kremerata Baltica orchestra, which I founded, is extremely important to me – it is a means of handing on my experience and love of music to a new generation,” Kremer has observed. In the first half of the concert Haydn’s Concerto for Violin, Piano and String Orchestra will be performed, featuring the outstanding Latvian pianist Georgijs Osokins as soloist. The simplicity and relaxed sonority of Haydn’s concerto will be followed by Ligeti’s String Quartet No. 1, subtitled “Métamorphoses nocturnes” (in an arrangement for string orchestra). The second part of the concert will present a series of compositions by several contemporary composers entitled Eine (andere) Winterreise (A (Different) Winter Journey), which were written on the occasion of the 25th anniversary of the founding of the orchestra (est. 1997), commissioned directly by Gidon Kremer. The concert will be held on Sunday July 16, 2023 at 20:00 in Slovak Radio.

Emily D’Angelo’s Premiere in Bratislava and a Stroll through the Landscape at Night with Simona Šaturová 

A further confirmed appearance at Viva Musica! is the Canadian mezzosoprano Emily D’Angelo, who is one of the most striking and fascinating phenomena of contemporary vocal art. Despite her youth, she has sung at the Metropolitan Opera in New York, Teatro alla Scala in Milan, London, Paris, Berlin, Munich and Zürich, and she has become an established figure on prestigious concert podia and at festivals. In Bratislava Emily D’Angelo will perform for the first time, together with the American pianist Sophia Muñoz.

The programme of the concert will connect with her debut album enargeia, released in 2021 by Deutsche Grammophon. In place of the ornamentation and striving after effect that often accompanies debut recordings, D’Angelo conceived her debut as a profound poetic statement. “Sophia and I are both honoured to be making our Slovakian debuts at the Viva Musica! festival this summer. Our program, which we have previously toured in New York, Toronto, and Barcelona, includes pieces by Hildegard von Bingen, Clara Schumann, Arnold Schoenberg, Rebecca Clarke, Aaron Copland, Missy Mazzoli, Sarah Kirkland Snider, and Randy Newman. We look forward to sharing this wonderful music with the audience in Bratislava,” D’Angelo has said. The concert will be held on August 3, 2023 at 20:00 in the Slovak National Gallery.

An unusually designed solo programme will be presented to audiences by two further outstanding artists: the Slovak soprano Simona Šaturová and the Czech pianist Marek Kozák. Simona Šaturová is one of the fixed stars of our opera scene. She has partnered several prominent orchestras and conductors and regularly performs in opera houses in Vienna, Dresden and Brussels. Not long ago she lent her voice to the actress Barbara Ronchi in the epic historical film Il Boemo about the Czech opera composer Josef Mysliveček, which was awarded six Czech lions. Pianist Marek Kozák also is a representative of the up-and-coming generation of young artists. His name is synonymous with exceptional musicality, outstanding piano technique, sense of proportion, and last but not least, an admirable humility towards the notated music. They will conduct us through the world of nocturne and on a musical stroll through the night landscape, compiled of lullabies and songs with nocturnal themes, at their concert on August 10, 2023 at 20:00 in the spaces of PONTON at Tyršové nábrežie.

Festival for All

Viva Musica!’s position as the largest international summer festival in Bratislava is a result of an 18-year-tradition based on artistic distinctiveness and rootedness in the local setting while at the same thinking globally. “We believe that art and culture, far from being only a source of entertainment and relaxation, have an incalculable social value. In harmony with this conviction, it is our aim to provide the best of classical music, in such a way that each will find his/her own in the festival programme. Besides our standard spaces, this year concerts will be held also in two new halls, specifically in the newly reconstructed Slovak National gallery and in the spaces of PONTON on the Danube, with a panoramic view of Bratislava. Apart from that, we have also included some concerts in public spaces in the programme,” says the festival director, Janka Kubandová.

Since last year the festival has been the holder of the international mark of quality EFFE Label, conferred by the European Festival Association for undertakings whose common features are a high artistic level, contribution to developing the local scene, and important international dimension. “We place an extraordinarily high value on our partnership with Viva Musica! Festival. This is an outstanding musical and social event, which brings remarkable achievements of Slovak and world artists to Bratislava during the summer. Together we have not just a love of art but a theme of long-term sustainability. For Tatra Bank and its Foundation, that is an equally important strategic theme. We have long been directing attention to that, in everything that we do,” said Michal Liday, president of the Administrative Council of the Tatra Bank Foundation and general director and president of the Tatra Bank Governing Board.

The 19th annual Viva Musica! Festival will be held from June 29 to August 17, 2023 at various places in Bratislava, and this year it will provide up to 15 concerts.