Musical Evenings in St. Donat (Glazbene Večeri u Sv. Donatu)

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Country and Region CroatiaZadarska
Type of Festival Music
Location of Festival Zadar, Zadarska, Croatia
Festival Contact Information

Glazbene večeri u sv. Donatu
Trg Petra Zoraniča 1
Zadar 23000
Phone: (385) 300-430
Fax: (385) 315-807

Festival Description

Musical evenings in St. Donat have existed since 1960. The manifestation is concentrated exclusively on classical music. Concerts are held in the central location of the 9th century church of St. Donat, as well as beautiful locations in Old town.

Festival Dates July 9 - August 14, 2013
Festival Links

Festival Story:

“The creation of the Evenings was inspired by two long-standing wishes of mine: that the churches of St Donat and St Dimitrij become concert venues and that Zadar gets its own orchestra once again.” (Pavlje Despalj, conductor and founder of Musical Evenings in St Donat)
Since the initial idea of Zadar’s conductor Pavle Despalj and its realization 46 festival years have already passed, making the Musical Evenings in St Donat one of the oldest Croatian festivals. Its quality as well as the ingenuity and concept of its programmes keep refreshing the hot Zadar summer nights each year.
During almost half a century of its existence, Musical Evenings in St Donat as a musical manifestation has undergone many conceptual changes, all of which were successful, as we might say. During the first festival summers the aim was to bring to Zadar prominent performing artists from all over the world as well as Croatia but also to strengthen local performing forces, allowing them to equally participate in the programme. A radical change was made in 1975 lasting until 1990. The programme focus began relying more intensively and systematically on earlier centuries of music, following novel trends but also starting new ones under the watchful eye of the audience, which either thrillingly accepted the new concept or openly attacked it.
After the dramatic interruption of the festival in 1991 and the even more dramatic festival held under the fire of bombshells in 1992, the Evenings were finally renewed with a fresh concept in 1994. In those days efforts were made to come up with new things under the circumstances and on the basis of what the past festival years had defined as the true values of the programme.
The selected themes presented their content along accepted lines of music as a unique and wholesome term. The theme content ceased to be oriented towards the rigidly drawn boundaries between old and new music; it was accompanied by a musical stage, contemporary Croatian work and Zadar’s performing artists. The 46th Musical Evenings in St Donat are characterized by fresh impetus and driven by the justified ambition to permanently make our Evenings the most important musical event of the entire Croatian Adriatic.
“All the known and unknown concert venues, squares, parks, atriums, hideaways, waterfronts and walls will come to life, those which hadn’t even suspected that pure music would overflow them. The music will pour out of old sleeping tanks and wells, rising from the churches like holy smoke. Fireworks will crackle over Fosa and in the end the Sea Organ will swell as well, accompanied by the thunderous booming of trumpets and horns.” (Tomislav Facˇini, the Artistic Director of Musical Evenings in St Donat)
For one whole month Zadar’s residents and their guests will have the opportunity to enjoy the performances of the greatest names of every music genre—The Hilliard Ensemble, Herbert Lippert, Pro Cantione Antiqua, Amandinda, Šostakovič Quartet, Salome Kammer, also of our own artists Pavle Dešpalj, Tomislav Mužek, Vjekoslav Šutej, Ivan Repušić, Vedran Kocelj, Zadar Chamber Orchestra, Alen Kopunović-Legetin, The Soloists of St Marco and of course of the Glagolitic priests, preservers of our national heritage.
This years Evenings will unite and reconcile all the ideas that have fermented to this day and also implement them in various unusual and magical town locations—just as appealing now as they were forty years ago. And to those who come across their threshold it will present a challenge, because of its long underlying tradition of superb music-making, its rich history, present and hopefully future…


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