“Golden BEMUS” – 50th Belgrade Music Festival

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The press conference of the 50th BEMUS took place on 11 September, 2018 at the City Hall in Belgrade.

The journalists were addressed by:

Ivona Jevtić, Secretary for Culture of the City of Belgrade

Damir Handanović, Acting Director of CEBEF

Milica Kadić, chair of the festival board and editor of the CEBEF music programme

Jelena Janković-Beguš, moderator of the press conference, member of the festival board and editor of the CEBEF music programme

Fiftieth, “Golden BEMUS”, should fulfil many expectations – to remind these with a longer memory of the festival’s “glory days,” when the greatest artists and ensembles from all over the world were welcomed in Belgrade; to illuminate festive aspect of the festival, which in the year of the jubilee calls for a particular sparkle; to acknowledge the ensembles from Serbia which helped create BEMUS and were the pillars of the programme over the decades; and finally, to highlight the direction which this multifaceted event will take in the new millennium, in times when technology largely suppresses the artistic content and ways of presenting art from the past.

Bearing all this in mind, the programme of this year’s BEMUS summarizes the most important program segments which were constituents of the festival during its history: starting from the “golden classics” of symphony, opera, soloist and chamber repertoire – performed by some of the world’s greatest music stars – moving to traditional folk music and introducing talented musicians of the youngest generation, arriving to the present moment and reaching out to other music genres.

Here we have the most attractive world artists, whose performances have always given that dimension of prestige and unrepeatability to BEMUS. At the opening of the festival, the original violinist Nigel Kennedy brings his new program, which presents a homage to the great jazz composer George Gershwin. We are confident that this spectacular concert in the Sava Center will delight the widest audience and the most exciting music lovers.

The leading tenor of the opera stages Ramón Vargas, who is equally famous for his brilliant voice as well as for his humanitarian work, is the special guest star at the concert of the RTS Symphony Orchestra and Choir under the baton of Bojan Suđić, marking the centenary of Leonard Bernstein’s birth. Performing the most popular opera arias and songs, Vargas will bring us closer to the sounds of Latin America.

Soloist performances include Russian pianist Vadim Rudenko, double laureate of the prestigious “Tchaikovsky” competition in Moscow, as well as Korean violinist Edwin E. Kim, who will present his artistry for the first time to Belgrade audience.

The Belgrade Philharmonic Orchestra, one of Serbian music institutions that made a decisive contribution to the formation of BEMUS, returns to the festival after ten years’ break. At the closing concert of the “Golden BEMUS” the orchestra performs precisely those works that opened and closed the first Belgrade Music Festival in 1969 – the poem “Belgrade” by Dragutin Gostuški and the Ninth Symphony of Ludwig van Beethoven. In this monumental homage to the beginnings of BEMUS, the Belgrade Philharmonic Orchestra and conductor Gabriel Feltz are joined by the Slovenian Philharmonic Choir and the quartet of soloists of the leading European opera houses – Akiho Tsujii, Charlotte Quadt, Brenden Gunnell, Markus Eiche.

Two renowned foreign chamber ensembles further enrich the program of the 50th BEMUS: the Scharoun Ensemble of the Berlin Philharmonic, named after the famous architect of the Berlin Philharmonic Hall, and the eminent Brodsky Quartet from Great Britain, which is also known for its collaboration with the stars of popular music (Sting, Elvis Costello, Björk …).

The tickets are now on sale at the box offices of the Kolarac Endowment and the Sava Center as well as through the Eventim network.

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