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Music for Modra

The picturesque wine-growing townlet deserves a festival of quality and originality

The 17th international festival dedicated to jazz and chamber music will bring six concerts on four summer days to the Slovak capital of wine.

In the townlet at the foothills of the Little Carpathians, in addition to excellent wines, you can traditionally enjoy classical music and jazz in the highest quality. The programme of the festival combines traditional, proven compositions with something new, inspiring and often provocative, encouraging reflection, stopping, deeper content. Admission to all concerts is free of charge.

Festivals taking into account the promotion of domestic works are quite rare in Slovakia. The 17th edition of Music for Modra dedicated its organizers to two anniversaries celebrating composers: Ilya Zeljenka (1932 – 2007) and Marek Piaček (*1972).

In addition to a more traditional repertoire, several compositions by Ilya Zeljenka will be performed by various performers and, on the festival’s order, they will premiere Marek Piaček’s Trio for Clarinet, Cello and Piano dedicated to the Berger Trio.

Jazz concert dedicated to women in jazz will bring the international project Jazz Divas, in which five great jazz singers – American Dena DeRose, Adriena Bartošová, Lucia Lužinská, La Jana Dekánková and Silvia Josifoska will perform. They will be accompanied by Gabo Jonáš Trio. The concert in the courtyard of the Modra historic town hall begins on Friday, August 19, at 7 p.m.

The annual cooperation of professionals with aspiring artists will be reflected in the concert of pupils and teachers of the Primary Art School in Modra, but also in the concert of the Moyzes Quartet with Eva Šušková and the hosting young promising flutist Johanna Horniková. Both concerts are held on Saturday, August 20. A Little Concert of Great Hopes at the German Evangelical Church in Modra will begin at 5 p.m., a concert of chamber music by Slovak prominent artists in the same place two hours later.

On Sunday, August 21, in the unique premises of the German Evangelical Church in Modra, the Berger Trio in the line-up of Jozef Eliáš, Ladislav Fančovič and Ján Slávik will be presented again. At 7 p.m., leading Slovak performers will present compositions by Bach, Irsai, Zagar, Zeljenka and in the world premiere the Trio for Clarinet, Cello and Piano by Marek Piaček. Members of the trio also participate in the organization of the International Festival of Jazz and Chamber Music named Music for Modra, Ladislav Fančovič being its director.

This year, the festival extended its duration by another day and will bring a number of original accompying events. One of the novelties will be an exceptional cine-concert with a screening of a silent grotesque with live music of a saxophone quartet, another will be a breakfast with a Lotz Trio or a special access to log-cabin of the composer Ilya Zeljenka in Modra – Harmónia, where he spent almost 40 years of his life.

Do you want to experience a 1916 movie screening? A silent Charlie Chaplin grotesque with live accompaniment by the Pressburg Saxophone Quartet will take you over a century back in time. As the only saxophone quartet in Europe, they are specialized in the interpretation of the ragtime music genre in its authentic form. The courtyard of the historic town hall in Modra will enliven the cinema concert of classical music on Thursday, August 18, at 8:30 p.m. The musical evening will be complemented by an interesting repertoire of the saxophone quartet also from the jazz musical genre.

On Saturday, August 20, from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m., you have a rare opportunity to visit the former log-cabin of the composer Ilya Zeljenka. The house near the meadow of Otčenáška in Harmónia neighbourhood of Modra is almost in its original condition, so you will be able to find yourself for a while with the guide Zuzana Godárová in a space that has become a home, an oasis and a creative refuge for the Maestro for many years in difficult times.

The Music for Modra festival will not only make musical admirers happy. Come and have breakfast in the exquisite Cuvée in Modra with the Lotz Trio – amazing, and perhaps more famous, basset horn players in the world. And what that basset horn is will you learn if on Sunday, August 21, you would come to have some fine goodies in the stylish Modra venue Cuvée. Breakfast with an interesting talk about an extraordinary musical instrument and a concert begins at 10:30 a.m.

Enjoy the second half of August in a magical wine-growing region with fantastic music. Come to Modra for great jazz and classics, excellent wine, coffee or desserts and enjoy the unique atmosphere that not only music gives to Modra.

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