VaClaF 2023: Back to the Roots!

VaClaF: Vareš Classic Festival in Vareš, Bosnia and Herzegovina, is celebrating its 11th edition, and we are delighted to be an essential part of it!

With a unique theme, “Back to the Roots,” VaClaF presents a new chapter in its development with the Festival – Academy – Residencies – On Tour program in Vares and throughout Bosnia and Herzegovina.

VaClaF 2023 – “Back to The Roots” – begins its second decade in its original conception as a chamber music festival. After ten years of intense growth, the 11th edition brings the favorite repertoire alongside a new phase of artistic development. Along with the Festival in Vareš, VaClaF will partner with various educational institutions, music schools, and academies to renew and expand the opportunities for their young artists and form its own Academy. The Festival will also start the “Star Trek” interdisciplinary program of artist residencies in collaboration with the internationally renowned artist Belma Bešlić Gàl, this year’s resident composer. Her music written for the Festival will also be presented at VaClaF’s On Tour program in Zenica (Bosnian National Theatre), Sarajevo (Art Gallery of Bosnia and Herzegovina), Tuzla (International Portrait Gallery), and Mostar (Pavarotti Center – MixArt Festival).

The Viennese quartet CIPRA is our ensemble in residence – named after Vareš composer Emil Milo Cipra and the Latin root “ciprus, cipra, ciprum” meaning good.
Revered Bosnian-Herzegovinian guitarist Boško Jović joins Andrea Nikolić and talented guest artist Azmir Halilović on the accordion to present his original compositions in a new and dynamic program. Oboist Ivana Nikolić, a regular guest of the famous contemporary music ensemble Klangforum Wien, will bring interpretations of contemporary works to five of our concerts this year. The internationally renowned soprano and vocal pedagogue Vedrana Šimić will be a special guest at the first two concerts. The fantastic accordionist Belma Šarančić, an indispensable partner in creating the VaClaF tour, will join it as a special guest.

Emerging talent is reserved for the very end of the festival – the joint RISING STARS and NEXT GENERATION concert will present the young musicians of the Vareš Music School and the Zenica Music School. This year’s festival finale will be the documentary film about VaClaF, “The Music I Call Home,” filmed in 2018 and produced by BHRT. It is fitting that after its television premiere, the documentary is finally getting a screening at the festival, thus completing a decade-long chapter of tireless work to bring engaging programs and talented artists to Vares and the region. Following the screening, a musical treat to celebrate togetherness and unity will be provided by pianist Stipe Bilić and Andrea Nikolić – this time on the viola.

We look forward to sharing this wonderful music with you all! Welcome!


More updates are coming soon!


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