September 3, 2023 Juli Széchenyi-Smythe

Ljubljana International Orchestra celebrates its 10th anniversary with a concert at the Slovenian Philharmonic

The Ljubljana International Orchestra concluded the EU-funded Sounds of Change Orchestral Academy with a gala concert at the Slovenian Philharmonic Hall.

The Orchestral Academy welcomed 63 musicians from twelve different nationalities, who have been selected through the Sounds of Change open call for the 2023 Orchestral Academy. The Academy offers curious, passionate and enthusiastic musicians intensive programmes, the opportunity to develop their personal potential and to gain invaluable experience to build their professional careers.

This year's educational programme has been put together by the LIO's chief conductor, Živa Ploj Peršuh, in close collaboration with internationally renowned musicians who have been invited to participate as musical mentors. The selected emerging professional musicians were joined by young musicians from the Slovenian Youth Orchestra (SMO), whose families were affected by the floods that hit the northern parts of Slovenia in early August, as well as Ukrainian youth musicians who have been involved in SMO activities since March 2022. The invaluable experience of young musicians and emerging professional musicians rehearsing and performing alongside their mentors is a unique dynamic that we foster at LIO.

The last concert of the Ljubljana International Orchestra this year enthralled its audience with an evening of transcendent music, marking a decade of excellence. The concert was held in the Marjan Kozina Hall of the Slovenian Philharmonic, a venue that elegantly complemented the gravity and artistry of the occasion. Conductor Živa Ploj Peršuh led the evening with finesse, directing LIO in an immersive exploration of sound and emotion. One of the evening's highlights was the world premiere of 'Triple Goddess,' a composition by Serbian composer Igor Andrić, a momentous addition from the Sounds of Change project, co-funded by Creative Europe. LIO had the esteemed privilege of being the first ensemble to bring this intricate tapestry of musical elements to public attention.  

Soloist, Nuška Drašček, the featured mezzo-soprano of the evening, provided a performance that was both technically remarkable and emotionally evocative. Her interpretations of works by Wagner and Brahms added depth to an already captivating programme.  

The patron of honour of the concert of the Ljubljana International Orchestra on the occasion of its 10th anniversary was the Mayor of the Municipality of Ljubljana, Zoran Janković.

Representing a staggering 12 different nationalities, this year's orchestra embodies the international spirit for which LIO has become renowned. Over the last decade, LIO has brought together more than 800 musicians from 42 countries, with performances in Slovenia, Italy, and the UK and many more. Orchestra also collaborated with preeminent musical institutions.   

The event was further honored by the attendance of Dr. Nataša Pirc Musar, President of Slovenia, whose presence signified the impact and importance of LIO in both national and international cultural spheres. The evening concluded with heartfelt applause from the audience, affirming their continued support for what LIO contributes to the world of classical music.  LIO’s concert did more than commemorate a milestone; it signaled a promising future replete with musical explorations and global collaborations.  

Here's to the next ten years of harmony and artistic co-creation! 


Sounds of Change
The primary goal of the project Sounds of Change is to create opportunities for young music professionals to nurture and continuously develop their skills, guiding them to become successful artists. With the opportunity to enrol in the international orchestra academy, intensive chamber music exchange workshops, attend master classes, rehearse, and perform on international stages, we encourage the exchange of experience between young artists and renowned top-class musicians. Furthermore, performing on stages of diversity provides them with the deeper insight needed to discuss and improve artistic, social, political, and environmental issues.

Participating musicians were provided with accommodation, meals, and cost of travel by Sounds of Change.

Portuguese Philharmonic Orchestra (Portugal)
ART BSA (Slovenia)
International Music Festival Koblenz (Germany)
Noletia (Spain)
Serbian National Theatre (Serbia)