August 25, 2023 Juli Széchenyi-Smythe

Closing the Summer Orchestra Camp with Ute Lemper - an unforgettable concert

Our Summer Orchestra Camp laid a foundation for young musicians, welcoming 97 talented individuals aged 12-22. Thanks to the generous sponsorship of Krka and Sava, Slovenian youth musicians from flood-stricken regions as well as underprivileged children from Ukraine who have found refuge in Slovenia could join the Summer Orchestra Camp at no cost. Their participation enriched our cultural tapestry, and together, they formed the Slovenian Youth Orchestra (SMO). The crescendo of this week-long exercise was an awe-inspiring concert at Ljubljana’s open-air theatre Križanke, featuring world-class artist Ute Lemper.

On August 23 the Križanke stage was the epicenter of a musical journey that transcended time, borders, and genres. The Slovenian Youth Orchestra, under the skillful baton of conductor Živa Ploj Peršuh, joined forces with the incomparable Ute Lemper for an evening that melded the classic and the contemporary, leaving the audience both awestruck and deeply moved. The Slovenian Youth Orchestra is known for helping young musicians get real-world experience. On this night, the young musicians showed that they could play challenging pieces with skill. The concert included a variety of musical styles. With French chansons from famous singers like Jacques Brel and Edith Piaf, to the lively rhythms of Argentine tango by Astor Piazzolla. This made the concert a rich experience.   

The concert also featured songs by Kander and Ebb, well-known for their musicals, and timeless hits from Bob Dylan and Van Morrison. One standout moment was the orchestra's performance of “Three Dance Episodes” from Leonard Bernstein's "On the Town." This showed the orchestra's wide range of skills. 

Ute Lemper was the star of the show. Her powerful voice and stage presence added a special touch to the stories told throughout the songs. Her collaboration with the orchestra was like a poetic dialogue, the chemistry between her and the musicians was there from the first note to the last. The concert programme featured pianist Vana Gierig and double bass player Giuseppe Bassi.