Choral Music Events, Competitions and Festivals in Slovenia

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By Mihela Jagodic, Head of choral activities at JSKD (Public Fund for Cultural Activities)

Choral Events of the Public Fund of the Republic of Slovenia for Cultural Activities (Jskd), major Slovenian institution covering all branches of amateur culture and art. Headquarters in Ljubljana and branch offices across Slovenia stimulate a proportionate development by local, regional, national and international programmes.

VAL - Vokalna Akademija Ljubljana, dir. Stojan Kuret
VAL – Vokalna Akademija Ljubljana, dir. Stojan Kuret

Each of its 59 branches takes an active part in organizing their annual choral events where choirs are professionally consulted by the best Slovenian conductors (around 120 concerts).



Local: annual local presentation of all Slovenian choirs who sing three songs each. Experts present advise conductors and decide which choirs should go forward. 

Regional: alternating biennial regional competitions (six) for choirs going forward from the local level and non-competitive concerts (six) with themed programme.


  • National Competition Naša pesem (Our Song – biennial, since 1970): up to twenty-four top choirs and vocal groups are evaluated by the jury according to standards of exacting international competitions,
  • National Competition of Children and Youth Choirs (biennial, since 1968): for up to forty children’s, youth, girls’ choirs,
  • Festival of a cappella vocal pop and jazz Sredi zvezd (Amidst the Stars, since 2002):  competition for selected small ensembles and performances by guest groups,
  • Open-Air-Festival of Slovenian choirs (since 1970): joint concert of about two thousand singers, mostly senior, accompanied by brass orchestra.


Maribor International Choral Competition (biennial, since 1992). 

For up to twelve selected female, male and mixed choirs of 16-48 singers. Folk songs (non-competitive) and three competitive programmes. Member of the European Grand Prix for Choral Singing Association since 2008.

JSKD’s system of advancement and consulting is internationally unique and contributes to quality progress.


Vocal Season Series of The Slovenian Chamber Choir (Ljubljana, since 1991)

The choir is an individual unit within the Slovenian Philharmonic and holds approximately thirty performances per season, aiming for vocal/instrumental projects with Slovenian and foreign orchestras, and a cappella music concerts in the Vocal Season series. The Slovenian Chamber Choir has performed with Ericson, Kaljuste, Theuring, Penderecki,  Haenchen, Gronostay, and Muti, among others. Artistic director Martina Batič.


Koper International Choir Festival (Koper, since 2001) organized by Obala Koper Mixed Choir,

Biennial autumn festival at the seaside introduces concerts of invited home and foreign ensembles, workshops, seminars, and lectures. The programme focuses on diversity, with different-style programmes from world literature, presentations of Slovenian literature, and novelties. It supports the creation of new works.


‘Symphonic Voices’ International Concert Cycle  (Koper, since 2009) organized by APZ Univerze na Primorskem,

Hosting top international and home choirs and orchestras and aiming to offer a variety of musical events at the seaside, cycles of concerts take place throughout the year.


Festival of Slovenian Folk Song Arrangements (Prevalje, since 2009) organized by the Mohorjan Prevalje cultural association,

Annually presents new folk song arrangements for different adult ensembles and lectures on folk music.


Sacred Season Series (Ljubljana, since 2010) organized by the Schellenburg Cultural Society  and Surrexit Mixed Choir,

The organizers wish to compensate for a deficiency of sacred cultural-artistic content by organizing quality concerts throughout the year.


Celje International Youth Choir Festival (Celje, biennial since 1946) organized by Celeia Institute,

Three categories (children’s, youth, girls’). Evolved into a manifestation of the European character. Accompanying events: professional conferences for teachers and conductors, musical workshops, choral concerts, open singing.  


Attacca Festival (Maribor, since 2006), organized by Carmina Slovenica,

Includes the Attacca Concert Cycle, the Attacca International Festival and special programmes (e.g. for socially deprived groups). Attacca brings quality, rounded programmes of the ‘Choregie concept’ (presentation of music, movement, drama and other stage elements together), with special emphasis on music composed after 1950.

Carmina Slovenica, Maribor, dir. Karmina Šilec
Carmina Slovenica, Maribor, dir. Karmina Šilec


Edited by Gillian Forlivesi Heywood, Italy


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