Changing Cultural History, The Belgrade Philharmonic Orchestra

On Sunday June 25 at 8 pm, we invite you to witness the making of classical music history in Serbia and enjoy in what promises to be one of the most unique musical events you have ever experienced. The Belgrade Philharmonic Orchestra will perform the biggest open-air concert of classical music in the Serbian history, directed by the orchestra’s new Chief Conductor, Gabriel Feltz.

A group photo of the Belgrade Philharmonic Orchestra

This will be the first ever outdoor concert of the Belgrade Philharmonic and it will take place at the site where the orchestra’s new concert hall will be built – in the Block 13, near the Palace of Serbia, on the New Belgrade side of the Sava.

The entry is free and everyone is welcome to this great concert picnic. Over 20,000 people are expected to attend and enjoy the most beautiful pieces of classical music.

“I am fascinated by the Belgrade Philharmonic’s subscribers, whom I have got to know well through our regular concerts. I feel a special connection with them, which I care about very much. That is why I am especially impatient to meet the audience from all over Serbia and the region in this open-air gift concert from the Belgrade Philharmonic Orchestra”, said Feltz.

The Director of the Belgrade Philharmonic Orchestra, Ivan Tasovac adds: “Concerts and tours have become a part of our routine, but this concert scares me a little bit because it is a serious challenge production-wise. We need to prepare the land, build the stage, have top-notch speakers, technicians, lighting and security”.

Audience-led Programme

As many as 17,397 music lovers accepted the invitation of the Belgrade Philharmonic Orchestra to vote for the programme of the concert. Over three weeks of voting, more than 5.8 million votes were cast for 25 compositions offered by the orchestra.

A bird's-eye-view of the Belgrade Philharmonic Orchestra performingThe landslide winner of the vote, with 634,865 votes, is the piece Danzon No. 2 by celebrated Mexican composer Arturo Marquez followed by Dmitri Shostakovich’s Waltz, with 594,269 votes. Saint-Saëns’ Danse Macabre won 446,636 votes, Stevan Hristić’s Turtledove got 423,338, while William Tell by Gioachino Rossini made the top five with 420,737 votes.

In the concert for tens of thousands music lovers, the Belgrade Philharmonic Orchestra will also perform A. Khachaturian’s Sabre Dance, Maurice Ravel’s Bolero, Richard Wagner’s Ride of the Valkyries, Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky’s Waltz of the Flowers, Edvard Grieg’s In the Hall of the Mountain King, Georges Bizet’s Carmen overture and John Williams’ The Imperial March from the film Star Wars.

It is still a secret what the orchestra will play for their encore, while the final list with the number of votes for each of the pieces can be seen at the Belgrade Philharmonic Orchestra’s official web page.

Special Guest

Maestro Zubin Mehta, the greatest conductor alive, will be a special guest at the concert. Legendary composer Mehta will join in at the end of this concert spectacle to conduct the finale of Beethoven’s Symphony No. 5.

“I am infinitely pleased that the long-standing dream of all people in Serbia who are wishing for a new concert hall is on the way of being fulfilled. I am very happy to take part in the laying of its musical cornerstone in the grand open-air spectacle organised by the Belgrade Philharmonic Orchestra”, said Zubin Mehta.

The majestic Finale of Beethoven’s Fifth Symphony under the baton Zubin Mehta will be the triumphant conclusion of this musical extravaganza.

A map of Belgrade's Block 13, where the concert will take placeA few days ago, the Orchestra announced that they sold over 20,000 tickets for the concerts that will take place from September 29, 2017 to June 15, 2018 at Kolarac in just four weeks which is almost five months before the beginning of the official season. The new season, entitled “The Five Elements”, comprises concerts that are categorised into five thematic segments – Earth, Air, Fire, Water and The Fifth.

For all those who have never visited the concert hall of the Ilija M. Kolarac Foundation – the orchestra’s current residence – the open-air concert is an opportunity to hear the orchestra at the site where construction of a new concert hall will soon begin.

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