Partner festivals of #synegy gathered in Kotor

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The first meeting of representatives of all partner festivals on the project #synergy: Sharpening the capacities of the classical music industry in the Western Balkans, was held this week in Montenegrin city of Kotor.

The #synergy is a European cooperation project initiated by KotorArt Don Branko's Music Days supported by the European Commission, through the Creative Europe program, which brings together some of the largest art music festivals in the region, such as the Center of Belgrade Festivals (BELEF and BEMUS), Dubrovnik Summer Festival, Ljubljana Festival, Vox Baroque organization from Albania and F. Chopin Association from Kosovo.


We are pleased that the European Commission has recognized the importance of the initiative of Don Branko's Music Days to strengthen cooperation at the international level and at the same time present local heritage and artists and thus contribute to the development of the art music scene in this part of Europe, said in his opening welcome speech Ratimir Martinović, director of KotorArt Don Branko's Music Days and host of this meeting.

All guests, representatives of partner festivals, expressed their joy of being in Kotor, the city of art, and starting with the implementation of this important, three-year project.


- I would like to congratulate the KotorArt team for managed to win this project. I know from personal experience that it is not easy and that it takes a lot of effort, knowledge, and certain skills to achieve this success. I believe that during this pandemic contemporary music, and music overall suffered a lot. This project will enable us to work on this extremely neglected segment, and restructure and re-establish the cultural ties we desperately need, said Dora Ružjak Podolski, director of Dubrovnik Summer Festival.


Representatives of Center of Belgrade Festivals (BELEF and BEMUS) Jelena Janković - Beguš and Milica Kadić expressed the joy of being part of this project through which "we will learn from each other, create music to the delight of audiences, professionals, and cultural workers from Europe and the region."


Denis Bizhga from Vox Baroque festival in Albania pointed out that his team is happy to be part of this incredible cooperation between some of the most important music festivals in the Western Balkans.
- This is a great opportunity to share musical experiences and build new communication bridges for our countries and organizations. We believe that the potential we are creating now will outlive the project and introduce us to successful professional challenges, said Bizhga.

Kosovo Association Chopin and Chopin PianoFEST from Pristina feel privileged for being a part of this project together with other most prominent festivals in the region.
- Knowing and respecting each other through music and common goals, I am convinced that we will create long-term ties of cooperation and understanding, explained Besa Luzha.

The participants were also greeted by Ms Milena Ražnatović, Creative Europe Desk Coordinator in Montenegro, Ms. Milica Kadović Đorojević, State Secretary at the Ministry of Education, Science, Culture and Sports of Montenegro, Mr. Vladimir Jokić, President of the Municipality of Kotor.

The goals of this project are training and connecting cultural workers, primarily those involved in festivals and art music, then encouraging the composition of new works of classical music inspired by the local heritage of all given countries, starting with Kotor and Montenegro, as well as connecting and collaborating of young musicians. composers and organizations dealing with art music in the Western Balkans.

During three years, the project will bring together 12 composers, over 50 young musicians, and managers in culture, 6 seminars for cultural professionals, 12 residences for composers where 12 new works will be created, inspired by the cultural heritage of the region and Europe itself. As the grand finale of the project, a festival tour is planned to present composers, new compositions, and young musicians during summer festivals across the Western Balkans.