Kvarner newsletter / no 49

Festival Kvarner 2012
A festival that returns Opatija to its former glory

Now in its third year, Festival Kvarner has reached its goal – Opatija is once again a meeting point of Europe's top musicians, as proved by this year's excellent programme of classical music concerts in June and September.

In the periods from 1 to 10 June and from 1 to 7 September, Festival Kvarner has prepared a series of concerts designed to evoke the spirit of Opatija as it was in the past. This town used to be a favourite of European nobility and numerous famous composers. At the end of the 19th and at the beginning of the 20th century, Opatija was one of the most popular European destinations for holidays and relaxation, and a meeting place for the high society. This festival was created to restore this aristocratic atmosphere with a high-quality repertoire and extraordinary musical talents. It also provides an enjoyment for all senses through a perfect combination of culture, gastronomy, and unique ambience.  
After two very successful seasons and performances by numerous renowned musicians – soloists, ensembles, conductors…  (Gottlieb Wallish, Reiner Honeck, Hans Peter Ochsenhofer, Martina Filjak, Cappella Istropolitane, Ensemble Berlin and many other), this year will bring some new surprises and interesting projects. The Festival will again be divided into two parts because of the tourist season. The first period from 1 to 10 June will be dedicated exclusively to concerts and series of concerts on several locations in the town – in the Hotel Kvarner's Crystal Hall and on the Open Airt Theatre. The audience will have the chance to enjoy performances by renowned international guests such as Jordi Savall and Nigel Kennedy, the fascinating early music ensembles Accordone and L’Arpeggiata, and virtuosos such as Albena Danailova, Martina Filjak and Monika Leskovar. The series of concerts dedicated to Beethoven (it is planned to play all nine symphonies until 2014) will continue with the Symphony No. 4 performed by the new Festival Kvarner Ensemble. 
The central part of the second festival period – which will take place from 1 to 7 September – will be an opera project that will be realised in cooperation and with a subvention of the European Union (in the Culture 2007-2013 programme). The European Purpur orchestra, which also includes Croatian musicians and has already thrilled the audience within the Festival Kvarner programme, will perform the opera Armida by Joseph Haydn. According to the organisers, this project will be a true sensation because this will be the first time that the opera will be performed at two locations.
In addition, the September programme will also include a performance of the Ensemble Berlin, which consists of members of the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra. Another sensation will be the performance by Ernst Ottensamer (solo-clarinettist of the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra) with his sons Daniel and Andreas, who are also members of the Vienna and Berlin philharmonic orchestras as solo-clarinettists.
The high quality of the Festival Kvarner is proved by its year's programme, but also by numerous excellent reviews by world's best musicians. The festival is also supported by numerous foreign media and partners such as the Austrian Radio Ö1, which has included the Festival Kvarner into its catalogue of Austrian cultural events as the only event outside Austria. In addition, Festival Kvarner has also been listed in the Kulturwinter 2011/2012 catalogue of the Austrian Kleine Zeitung newspaper. Having in mind the high quality and the increasing number of guests who come to Opatija because of this festival, there is also an excellent cooperation with numerous travel agencies from abroad.