The idea about the festival that would consolidate Varaždin’s rich tradition and history in culture, music and education – particularly in music, was born in 1968 on the occasion of the 140th anniversary of the Music School Varaždin. A group of Croatian musicians and cultural public workers decided this tradition could be best illustrated by the festival Varaždin Baroque Evenings that would consolidate and present the richest and the most extensively preserved heritage: musical, architectural, horticultural, visual, literary and educational. In the year 1971, the first three-day-long festival was held, at that time one of the few in Europe, specialized in this type of music in Europe. At that time musicologists and musicians were extensively discussing the ways of performing this music – whether to use the contemporary instruments and existing ensembles or using instruments and sorts of ensembles from the past times. Europe had renovated architecture and instruments; among the corpus of ensembles and orchestras there were artists profiled in Baroque music. The leading countries in the mentioned aspect were England, Germany and France.
Baroque music has been persistent in Croatian baroque capital and former capital city for almost fifty years. Varaždin Baroque Evenings (VBE) is held in autumn, mainly in churches and palaces, but not only in Varaždin – the festival had overgrown the city boundaries since 1971 when the first three-day-long festival was held. Now it is a two-week festival with thirty concerts, performed by few hundreds of musicians in front of approximately ten thousand people from all over the world. It is renowned as a European and world-famous early music festival. Concerts are now held mostly in North-western Croatia, but VBE had been a guest in numerous European countries. European Festivals Association (EFFE) commented VBE saying: “The high cultural and national importance of the festival is unquestionable” and then gave the festival the prestigious Label 2019-2020.
Some of the most memorable performances from the past festival years are: the concert of Jordi Savall, a doyen of baroque music, the festival opening concert of The Vienna Boys’ Choir (in 2012), Le Concert Spirituel concert conducted by Herce Niquet and numerous concerts held by Le Tendre Amour, a Spanish ensemble, which prove that Baroque can be funny and grandiose at the same time.
It is important to mention that VBE is mainly about authenticity – the authenticity of ambient because Varaždin is one of the best-maintained baroque cities and the program is held in palaces, churches and castles from that period; authenticity of performance because concerts are performed on baroque instruments; and authenticity of the programme consisting of baroque compositions
Festival 50th Varaždin Baroque Evenings
- Financial support provided by:
- Ministry of Culture of the Republic of Croatia,
- City of Varaždin,
- Varaždin County
- Organizer: Concert Agency Varaždin
- Patron: President of the Republic of Croatia Zoran Milanović
- Director of VBE: Davor Bobić
- Director of Concert Agency Varaždin: Raymond Rojnik
- Festival council members:
- – dr.sc. Nina Obuljen Koržinek, Croatian Minister of Culture
- – dr.sc. Ivan Čehok, Mayor of the City of Varaždin
- – Radimir Čačić, prefect of Varaždin County
- – dr.sc. Hana Breko Kustura
- – prof. Višnja Mažuran
- – prof.art. Ljerka Očić
- – mr.sc. Davor Matačić
Festival Varaždin Baroque Evenings contact information
A. Cesarica 1
Bank account opened in PBZ bank
IBAN: HR72 2340009 1110219514
SWIFT: PBZ GHR2X
You can find a wide selection of photographs for each day in our galleries.
All the images can be downloaded and used free of charge for the purpose of reporting or reviewing of the Varaždin Baroque Evenings if you state source of photographs. In all other cases (folders, CDs or DVD booklets, school books, posters, touristic brochures and other printed material) please contact the photographer directly regarding usage rights.
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