Durres hosts eighth classical music biennale

Tirana Times
By Tirana Times July 28, 2017 09:32

Durres hosts eighth classical music biennale

Story Highlights

  • "The festival's most important part is the 'Quartet for the end of time' written in the 20th century and whose music was played in the notorious Nazi camp Stalag VIII on an icy January day of 1941. That is why the biennale's idea is art as hope," says Florian Vlashi, the Spain-based Albanian violinist

Related Articles

TIRANA, July 27 – Albanian and international musicians will be performing for eight consecutive nights in the eighth edition of the classical music biennale staged in the city of Durres by internationally renowned Spain-based Albanian violin virtuoso Florian Vlashi.

Art and power is the focus of this year’s edition which will tour some of the landmark sites of Durres, Albania’s second largest city and the traditional top tourist destination, from August 1 to 8.

The biennale also revives cultural life in Durres, already at its peak tourist season, and comes soon after the coastal city hosted an international chamber music festival.

“The festival’s most important part is the ‘Quartet for the end of time’ written in the 20th century and whose music was played in the notorious Nazi camp Stalag VIII on an icy January day of 1941. That is why the biennale’s idea is art as hope,” says Vlashi, the internationally renowned Albanian violinist.

“The whole festival has been built in this respect. This is the reason why we have dedicated one of the festival nights which we have named ‘In search of lost music’ to exactly those authors who were persecuted as many works have been left aside. One of them is Palok Kurti’s work, a piano sonata, that will make its premiere,” adds the festival’s founder.

Florian Vlashi is a 54-year-old Durres-born violinist who has been living and performing in Spain for the past two decades.

The biennale’s 2015 edition brought Spanish sounds under the motto “Spain: A musical journey in Cervantes’s home” bringing different genres of classical music and three ensembles from Spain, Kosovo and Albania.

Theprevious 2013 edition marked “700 years of music in Durres, tracing the history of music in the ancient coastal city of Durres starting with 14th century musician Jan Kukuzeli to continue with some 15th and 17th century performances.

The biennale made its inaugural edition in 2003 “in a natural manner and in just the right moment and place, as all things that seem predestined do.”

“Spending the holidays in my home city of Durres I would reunite every evening with my old friends from school. There, between endless talks, memories, beers and laughs, we would play the Mozart Quintets. In the end, we decided to perform these beautiful works for the public,” says Vlashi.

Since 1996, Florian Vlashi has been directing the chamber group Camerata Brigantina and the Grupo Instrumental Siglo XX, which is formed of soloists of the OSG, premiering more than 80 works by Spanish composers, some commissioned by the group itself.

Durres is one of the country’s busiest cities during summer when it is flocked by dozens of thousands of tourists enjoying its beaches and cultural heritage sites.

In addition to the landmark amphitheater and archeological museum, the port city of Durres offers tourists attractions such as the Roman thermal baths, the Byzantine wall with its towers, the Byzantine forum, the Venetian tower, the Arapaj Basilica and the ethnographic museum.



Classical Music Nights Biennale programme:

August 1, 20:00, Aleksander Moisiu theatre hall

“Bach Dynasty”

Durres Youth Orchestra

Soloists: F. Vlashi, I. Nanushi


 Young Stars Night

August 2, “Jan Kukuzeli” music school

Young talent competition


Classical Music Night

August 3, 20:00, St. Lucy cathedral

  1. Haydn, Mother Teresa lyrics

Seven Last Words of Christ Jesus on the Cross

Soloists: F. Vlashi, I. Nanushi, A. Llozi, R. Lukaçi, P. Kabo


Outdoor Music

August 4

Concerts in hospitals, orphanage, home for the elderly etc.

“Violin making in Albania”

August 4, 20:00, Aleksander Moisiu theatre hall

  1. Sinani, violin maker.


Piano Music Night

August 5, 20:00, Durres Archaeological Museum

Bach, Grieg, Silvestri, Gaqi, Piazzolla, Joplin etc.

Soloists: Gaqi Piano Duo


Albanian Music Night

August 6, 20:00, Archaeological Museum,

“Looking for lost music”

Palok and Lec Kurti, R. Sokoli, P. Jakova etc.

Soloists: E. Golemi, I. Pulizo, R. Deda, N. Kume, A. Tila


Romantic Music Night

August 7, 20:00, Durres Archaeological Museum

“Pilgrimage years”

Albeniz & Listz

Daniel del Pino, piano


Modern Music Night

August 8, 20:00, Durres Archaeological Museum

“Byblical Message”

  1. Part-Fratres
  2. Messiaen “Quartet for the End of Time”

Soloists: F.Vlashi, F. Charpentier, R. Prokopenko, D. Del Pino


Tirana Times
By Tirana Times July 28, 2017 09:32