More than Words

Zagreb Classic: Heavenly Sounds Under Open Skies

The most magical nights are summer nights. Starry skies, warm evenings, and beautiful ambiance are perfect for a memorable summer in the city. If you add to that a little music, you get the Zagreb Classic. Keep on reading to find out more about this unique festival!

Summer in Zagreb is something special. The city goes quiet, but the events become alive. There are many festivals and concerts in the Capital during the summer, but my favorite one is Zagreb Classic. Let me tell you why! 

What is Zagreb Classic? 

Zagreb Classic open-air festival is truly an experience for all classical music lovers. First-class musicians from Croatia, and the world, perform the best of classical music on a unique stage under the stars, on one of Zagreb's most beautiful squares, King Tomislav Square. The event occurs in the evening, just in time for sunset, and continues until midnight.

Image credit: M. Mihaljević, TZGZ 

The festival has been held since 2016, and among artists and music lovers, it enjoys cult status, further reinforced by this year's edition. Lasting from 23rd to 29th June, people from Zagreb, and its guests, had a chance to experience outstanding music in an exceptional setting. Unlike the usual music halls, you can wear sporty or casual clothes for this occasion, and find your spot on the lawn overlooking the starry sky, beautiful flowers, and the city lights. The most remarkable thing is that you find yourself in the very center of the city, yet driven by music; you are so far away from the everyday city life. That's how you get a chance to enjoy Zagreb in the best way possible. 

Summer Nights to Remember 

This year's Zagreb Classic festival started on June 23rd, with a concert by one of the most outstanding violinists, Anastasiya Petryshak. This young Ukrainian violin star performed with the Croatian National Theater Opera Orchestra and respected Italian conductor Paolo Spadaro Munitto. The concert included compositions by W. A. Mozart, L. van Beethoven, and famous Ukrainian composer Myroslav Skoryk. Beautiful ambiance, perfect intonation, charming sounds, and brilliant technique made this a unique experience and a concert that I will remember for a long time.

June 24th was dedicated to Croatian composer, conductor, and arranger Alfi Kabiljo, who marked the music scene with all-time musicals, and created works that have delighted generations of audiences. Maestro Dink Appelt, numerous soloists, the orchestra, and the choir of City Theater Komedija, as well as dance choreographies made the night really special. The best part was the composition from my favorite musical, "Tko pjeva zlo ne misli." It was so magical that I forgot to film or photograph it. I just let the music take over and enjoyed the moment.  

Image credit: Boška i Krešo, TZGZ 

Just when you think it can't get any better – it does. As a big cinephile, I was super excited for "The Most Beautiful Film Music" concert on June 27th. Well-known Italian composers Nino Rota and Ennio Morricone, who won over audiences worldwide with their music for numerous blockbusters, were the main protagonists of this concert. While listening to the world's most famous movie soundtracks, I felt like I was in them, taking part in writing a significant page in the world of cinema.   

Unfortunately, I couldn't attend every concert at this year's Zagreb Classic festival. Nevertheless, I know that each one of them was unique in its own way. Zagreb Classic open-air is loved by many because of the carefully selected program, beautiful ambiance, and that vital chemistry between the music, performers, audience, and city atmosphere. This festival leaves no one indifferent. 

Image credit: M. Mihaljević, TZGZ 

Little Classic: Zrinjevac Park At Noon 

If you haven't had a chance to visit the Zagreb Classic festival, don't worry! You can still enjoy the sounds of classical music in the very center of the city. Little Classic takes place every Sunday from July 17th until August 7th, at noon, in the pavilion of Zrinjevac Park. All the concerts are of the promenade type, free, and contain good classical pieces. 

At the final concert on August 7th, you will have a chance to hear the Sebastian String Quartet. That's an excellent chance for citizens of Zagreb, and its guests, to enjoy the sounds of classical music in the most beautiful park in Zagreb.

Image credit: J.Duval, TZGZ 

I think it is very clear why I love Zagreb Classic so much. It's free, unique, exciting, and uplifting. If you ask me, that's the perfect recipe for a memorable summer in the city. Don't you agree? 

Header image credit: M. Gašparović, TZGZ 

Author: Magdalena Hegedić