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History

The festival through history

The roots of the Ljubljana summer festival stretch back to 1952, when the Tourist Society of Ljubljana organised the first Tourist Week, followed by the first Ljubljana Festival in 1953. Since then, the festival has showcased a number of cultural, economic, folklore, tourism and sports events. Ljubljana continued to host Summer Festivals from 1953 on, animating stages in the capital with performances by domestic and foreign musicians, actors, dancers and visual artists, including Dubravka Tomšič, Marjana Lipovšek, Katia Ricciarelli, Grace Bumbry, Lord Yehudi Menuhin, Mstislav Rostropovich, José Carreras, Slide Hampton, Yuri Bashmet, Misha Maiski, Shlomo Mintz, Krzysztof Penderecki, Riccardo Muti, Gidon Kremer, Valery Gergiev, Vladimir Askenazi, Julian Rachlin, Angela Gheorghiu, Maceo Parker, Celia Cruz, Gilberto Gil, Wynton Marsalis, Alexander Vedernikov, Marcelo Alvarez, Bernarda Fink and Mojca Zlobko Vajgl, Vadim Repin, Zubin Mehta, Sir Andrew Davis, Midori, Ennio Morricone and Manhattan Transfer, among the great array of celebrated featured festival artists. We have also hosted some of the world’s greatest symphony orchestras, including the superb New York and Israel Philharmonic Orchestras, The Royal Philharmonic Orchestra from London, the Orchestra of the Mariinsky Theatre from St. Petersburg and several opera houses like the famous Academic Bolshoi Theatre and the iconic La Scala from Milan. Through the years we have seen the Festival evolve, grow and come to play an important, influential role in the cultural life of the country. In the past few years alone, the Summer Festival has staged between 70 and 80 events of different genres, attracting some 80,000 domestic and foreign visitors. This illustrates just how successful and important the festival has become and encourages us, the organisers, to continue producing festivals of the very highest quality in the years to come.