Rossi Fest is an international music festival, named by the famous Jewish-Italian composer Salomone Rossi (ca.1570-1630). Rossi was a transitional figure between the late Italian Renaissance and early Baroque. His musical style was compound between a classical Renaissance and Jewish traditional texts, written in Hebrew. This combination makes him unique among Baroque composers. One of the most well-known is a famous collection of Jewish liturgical music, Hashirim asher leShlomo (The Songs of Solomon), published in 1623.
Having in mind the nature of Rossi’s work and his contribution to music history, the main objective of the festival is to focus on an intercultural dialog by promoting the respect for diversity and embraces a unique heritage of Jewish, European and Serbian repertoire of the highest musical, artistic and poetic quality. Allowing musicians to evolve through joint musical performances, workshops, advisory sessions and the choice of venues. In these terms, Rossi fest is committed to music education for all ages, young to adult.
One of many advantages of this concept is the possibility for all singers to perform in excellent choral ensembles appropriate to their interest and abilities. Meanwhile, music professionals can benefit from resources that help them increase their musical and leadership skills toward their own pursuit of excellence. Rossi Fest, conceived as an innovative and dynamic multicultural musical event, has inspiring passion for learning in its core, and provides a necessary foundation for achievement and success.
Intended to be among future leaders of Belgrade’s cultural events and committed to musical education and implementation of quality in performance, this Festival will also be involved in the life of a wider community, both local and international. Festival will raise awareness through partnerships with various ensembles, music organizations and individuals. This in order for all people to have same, equally designed opportunities in musical learning and education.
This project among other things, offers to prepare artists and other participants for new opportunities and contemporary challenges. Hopefully, sharing together our experience and enthusiasm, Rossi Fest has a chance to become a significant contributor for all groups and individuals to meet the artistic challenges of the future.
Founder and director of Rossi Fest. Graduated from the University of Arts, Faculty of Music in Belgrade, in two departments: conducting and solo singing. Additional education includes trainings and workshops with the most prominent european conductors, such as: Uros Lajovic (AU), Michael Sheck (BE), Andrew Parrott (UK), and Max Frey (GE). Currently, he's pursuing Phd at the University of Arts in Belgrade in the field of opera conducting. He began conducting at the age of 17 and since 2006 he’s the chief conductor of the Baruch Brothers Choir. He’s a founder and artistic director of the ensemble for early music Canticum Novum, and is the conductor of the Jewish chamber orchestra. Since the season 2009/10 he’s engaged at the National Theatre of Belgrade where his first performance was Le nozze di Figaro (W. A. Mozart). In 2014. he became the chief conductor of the Opera studio of the National Theatre and successfully performed two premieres - Die Zauberflote and Bastien und Bastienne. He also performed a notable concerts in cooperation with many different ensembles such as Madrigal Choir and Symphony Orchestra of University of Arts in Belgrade, Vocal Ensemble Oktoih, Musica (Slovenia), Vocal Ensemble Marienhain (Germany), St. George Royal Strings, Jewish Chamber Orchestra, Symphony Orchestra Stanislav Binički, Montenegro Symphony orchestra, etc. Stefan Zekic won numerous national and international rewards at the prestige festivals and competition, as well as special reward of the state of Israel for a remarkable contribution to strengthening Israel-Serbia relations. Among the prominent artists he has collaborated with are Oscar-winner Jiří Menzel, John Ramster, Martin Evans, Olga Makarina, István Székely, Eraldo Salmieri, Claudia Eder and others.
COMPOSER, PROFESSOR AT THE UNIVERSITY OF BELGRADE
Full-time professor of Composition at the University of Arts, Faculty of Music in Belgrade, rector of the University of Arts in Belgrade. He earned his BA and MA degrees in Composing (professor Stanojlo Rajičić) at the Faculty of Music, Belgrade, and specialized at the Orf University in Salzburg, as well as on V. Lutoslavski`s masterclass in Grožnjan. His opus includes works of different genres, ensembles and soloists, such as: balets Banović Strahinja and Jelisaveta, Slovo Siluana for baritone, women’s choir and tape, then Off, Cartoon, Talea Konzertstück, The Great Red Spot of Jupiter, Abnormalni udarci Dogona (Abnormal punches of Dogon), Helium u maloj kutiji (Helium in a small box), Nisam govorio (I didn’t speak), Oberon, Six scenes-comments, Ko je ubio galeba (Who killed seagull), Sedam pogleda u nebo (Seven looks into the sky) and more. Special place in his opus takes theater and film music that he created in collaboration with notable theater and film makers. He’s the winner of numerous rewards and recognitions. Additionally he was the artistic director and selektor of various music festivals (BEMUS and others), and currently is the president of the Executive Board of Serbian music copyright agency SOKOJ.
MUSICOLOGIST, PROFESSOR AT THE UNIVERSITY OF BELGRADE
Full-time professor at the University of Arts, Faculty of Music in Belgrade and associate Researcher at IreMus, Paris. She earned her MA degree at the Faculty of Music in Belgrade and her PhD in musicology at the Paris-Sorbonne University (Université Paris-Sorbonne, Paris IV). Main areas of her research are: baroque opera, solo song, relation between music and text, as well as questions of musical style and stylistic analysis.
She is also the author of six volumes of The Anthology of Serbian Art Song (Belgrade, UKS, 2008-2014), books La musique comme métaphore, La relation de la musique et du texte dans l’opéra baroque français: de Lully à Rameau, (Paris, L’Harmattan, 2006), Temporality and Narrativity in Music Drama (Belgrade, FMU, 2017), along with a large number of studies and articles published in reviews for musicology and music theory. Prof. Stefanović organized various international conferences in the field of music theory and is the author of various collections of papers in the field of music theory.
DIRECTOR OF THE BARUH BROTHERS CHOIR, DIRECTOR OF BELGRADE PHILHARMONIC ORCHESTRA IN RETIREMENT
Most of her career her held the leading positions in cultural institutions in Serbia. She graduated Flute and Piano at the Faculty of Music, Belgrade, where she also earned her MA degree. Her specialization she did in Paris at the École Normale de Musique, where she receives a diploma Licence de concertes. Since 1971 she was a full-time member of the Belgrade Philharmonic Orchestra, firstly as a soloist (first flute), and in 1988 she’s becoming the direct where she’ll stay for 12 years. Later she’ll become a deputy director at the National Theater in Belgrade (2000-2001), and then filled the role of coordinator and counselor on cultural and humanitarian matters within Karic Foundation (2001-2006).
VIOLONCELLIST, PROFESSOR AT THE UNIVERSITY OF BELGRADE
Full-time professor at the Chamber Music Department of the Faculty of Music in Belgrade, where he earned his BA and MA degrees. Specialization he did at the Franz Liszt Academy of Music in Budapest. His extensive artistic biography includes two seasons playing as a solo cellist of Sarajevo Opera and Philharmonic Orchestra, full-time membership in Belgrade Philharmonic Orchestra and lead cellist position (1975–2004), then solo performances with Sarajevo Philharmonic Orchestra, Vojvodina Symphony Orchestra, RTS Symphony Orchestra, Military Orchestra of Yugoslavia and more. He was a soloist and member of baroque ensemble Muzika Florida and academic chamber ensemble Ensemble Jeunesse Musicale. Among his performances stands out the Millenium Gala Concert in NY Lincoln Center in 1999. He is a permanent associate at the orchestra Camerata Serbica, as well as the member of Pancevo string quartet (today: Arco String Quartet). He’s the founder of Jewish Chamber Orchestra, with which he has made a large number of performances. The string quartet TAJJ, whose member mr. Mezei is, became in 2005 the first quartet that earned an MA degree at the Faculty of Music, Belgrade.
25 - 29th January 2022.
At the end of January, the Belgrade audience is expecting the fifth edition of the Rossi Fest festival, in which various programs with excellent foreign and domestic artists will be held from January 25 to 29, 2022, at the National Museum and the National Theater in Belgrade.
The opening of the festival will be marked by a music exhibition in the Atrium of the National Museum - hopefully the first in a series of concerts in a modern setting and carefully selected baroque gems in the repertoire, named Baroque Music Exhibition. Among the performers will be the chamber ensemble of the oldest Jewish choir in the world - The Baruch Brothers, the chamber instrumental ensemble, as well as eminent soloists - Aleksandra Jovanović (soprano), Ladislav Mezei (cello) and Stefan Zekić (conductor, baritone). An attractive and diverse program composed of carefully selected compositions by Rossi, Monteverdi, Loti, Lidarti, Handel, and other relevant baroque composers will be staged by the director Ana Grigorović.A special place in this year's program belongs to the pieces from Rossi`s Hashirim asher leSholomo, published exactly 400 years ago and to the nummers from Lidarti`s oratorio Esther - a work that will be present, among the others, in the lecture by. prof. Ana Stefanović, programmed for the third festival day.
At the traditional and unique concert for this festival, Portraits, and Rememberance, on the YouTube channel of the festival on January 27, works by young composers selected in the same competition by the festival's artistic council will be broadcast. The theme of the competition aims to interpret and maintain the memory of events and personalities in the context of the Holocaust, through new works of classical music. In recent years, the festival has had a surprisingly good response and received applications, presented and promoted works by composers from around the world, and this year will feature excellent works by seven young authors from five countries: Oto Vanke (Czech Republic), Jorge Andres (USA), Carmel Kuriel Israel), Marko Karanfilovski (Serbia), Gila Doria (Israel), Chesnia Palmera (South Africa) and Pavel Nesita (Czech Republic).
As part of the festival program is dedicated to scientific research, Dr. Ana Stefanovic, our distinguished musician, and professor at the Faculty of Music, University of Arts in Belgrade, will now traditionally hold a lecture - The Story of Esther in genre interpretations of Baroque music - at the National Theater Museum. January 28.
The concert of Inspiration for Violin and Harp, interpreted by Duo Edit (violinist Edit Makedonska and harpist Gorana Ćurgus) includes a wide range of program arranged specially for this unusual ensemble - from famous works of classical music to music from musicals, all composed by composers of Jewish descent. The duo was founded in 2011 and performs a wide range of repertoires - from virtuoso works, popular classics, evergreen music, as well as works by Serbian composers, some of which were specially commissioned for the duo. So far, Duo Edit has made notable appearances at numerous festivals in Serbia, as well as in important concert halls in Belgrade and other places across the country. The Association of Composers of Serbia, the Association of Music Artists of Serbia, as well as Organization of Music Authors of Serbia have recognized the importance of this duo and its contribution to the preservation and nurturing of Serbian cultural heritage. For the Lilac record company, the duo released two CDs (2021) - Rhapsody of Sound and Inspirations for Violin and Harp.
The final evening, January 29, will be marked by a concert by the attractive vocal ensemble Elinor from Slovenia, which will present a refreshing program composed of compositions of a wide range of styles - from the time of Salomon Rossi to the present day.
The festival was organized with the support of the Ministry of Culture and Information, the Jewish Community of Belgrade, SOKOJ, the Embassy of Israel, the Italian Institute of Culture, and private donors.