Bienale Koper


Nothing will mark the year 2020 more than the COVID-19 virus. No idea, no discovery and no event in that time, will remain as embedded in people's memory as this virus will. The virus has claimed a big part of our daily lives. From certain points of view, this situation certainly marks a turning point and the consequences of this period have yet to be perceived and understood. We people often talk about hard times, bad times, or inadequate times as something bad, but certain events have occurred in the dark times that have brought great enrichment to the cultural heritage of humanity. One of these works of art is certainly The Quartet for the End of Time, composed by Olivier Messiaen in 1940, which was performed for the first time in a concentration camp. I often wonder to what extent we are able to sense time. Not just the time marked by rushing from one commitment to another or the time, which represents an escape from oneself and from life itself, but the time that fills us with true meaning of our existence. I believe we are at a crossroads. People of today find themselves at a height of insecurity, while the institutions are unstable with a sense of distrust prevailing in them. Perhaps these feelings are driving us towards the end of an era and towards a new beginning. Therefore, I wonder, if we will persist with the old thought patterns because of the fear of the new, or will we start looking for new patterns in life, new paths that will guide us towards the knowledge of the true essence of the meaning of life. Thinking about organising the festival in this period for me means a small step towards a new way of thinking, a step towards the exit from the comfort zone, from fear and inactivity. This year's Biennale is our contribution and support to culture and music. It is a challenge to seek alternative ways of expressing ourselves and connecting with each other. We cannot guarantee, that we will be able to carry out the festival or even find alternative ways to do so. What we can do, however, is to continue to cultivate our passions, thus remaining awake and attentive to the pulsations of life within us and immerse ourselves in the rediscovery of our abilities, but also in our duties, with the awareness that each individual, with his actions, affects the life of others. With that I believe that we will feel the strength in us to face new challenges and thus meet at the beginning of time...
Tatjana Jercog


The Koper Biennale reaches its seventh edition. In the past two years we have worked hard to define a program, a line of thought, imagining people, musicians, friends, their voices, their instruments, the many characteristics that make an artist, a composer unique. We then conceived each concert in a specific place, to give it a frame that would serve as a background worthy of the music on the program. All this has been erased by the pandemic with unsettling ferocity and indescribable and cold cruelty. During the first lockdown, Tatjana and I often spoke by phone and we were always convinced that the Festival would take place at any cost, anyway, like every two years for 12 years now. When the second wave overwhelmed us we didn't lose that belief: the Biennale had to take place. It was a categorical imperative, a sign of loyalty to musicians, composers, our audience and music itself. With online streaming, the concerts have undergone countless variations but the quality and originality of the programming has not been overshadowed.

We will have the fortune and the honor of hosting artists of the caliber of Ensemble Musikfabrik in a rare formation of brass instruments, the Trio Estatico formed by the three violas of Ensemble Modern, Ensemble Recherche and Ensemble Intercontemporain, the famous Slowind quintet, the young pianist Erik Bertsch, the Colorado trio that will present a streaming performance of that Quatuor pour la fin du temps by Olivier Messiaen which two years ago gave me the inspiration on which to build the primary idea of ​​the Festival and has now become the symbol of the 2020 Biennale expressing the strength of love for art that goes beyond any mental and physical constraint. This week will concentrate the forces of dozens of artists physically separated but united even more strongly by the desire to play despite the covid, despite the fear of a future that seems to never arrive.
The Festival will take place every day from November 30 to December 5: there will be interviews with composers in 4’33 "dedicated to each of them and the concert in streaming online at 7pm.
The Biennale Koper 2020 has not been canceled and this is very important for us!

Michele Marelli

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