Maribor – the city of choral singing
With its 100,000 inhabitants, Maribor is the second largest city in Slovenia, and the largest on Drava river, assigned by Charlemagne as the border between the »Alpine« patriarchy (Salzburg) and the »Adriatic« one (Aquileia). The city of Maribor sits half way between Vienna and Trieste, which has defined both its economical as well as cultural meaning. In mid 19th century, Maribor – then by the name Marburg – presented itself to Europe with a legendary concert by Franz Liszt, and in 2012, it was the “European Capital of Culture”. The city has a university, a series of museums and galleries, excellent ballet, opera and theatre, and interesting festivals.
In 1846, Marburger Männergesangverein was formed, deemed one of the best choirs of the empire, whose high quality was passed on to excellent Slovenian choirs to this day when Maribor is proud of the world-famous choir Carmina Slovenica (cond. Karmina Šilec).
The city particularity is the Union Concert Hall, built over a hundred years ago by the enthusiastic choral singer Anton Götz and has exceptional acoustics. This was key to Maribor having long since become the national centre of choral singing with the national choral competition »Naša pesem«, while also taking place here for the past 25 years is International choral competition Gallus-Maribor, its climax the finale for the »European Grand Prix for Choral Singing«.