Janez Podlesek- 1st violin Matjaž Porovne- 2nd violin Oliver Dizdarević- viola Klemen Hvala-cello   The musicians first came together as a quartet for the Slovenian premiere of a string quartet by Slovenian composer Lojze Lebič, which took place in 2014, more than 30 years after the composition was written. The performance was received enthusiastically by the specialist audience, with music critic Dr Gregor Pompe writing in the daily newspaper Dnevnik on 16 June 2014: “… the ad hoc string quartet that had been assembled for what was apparently the first Slovenian performance of Lebič’s String Quartet also proved to be a great surprise. This is a work that, with its uncompromising modernist solidity, did not find enough open-minded domestic performers when it was written, so the zeal and sonic passion with which the young members of the Slovenian Philharmonic pierced Lebič’s meander of sonic cascades was all the more thrilling – and it would be worthwhile for the ensemble to grow into a permanent performance body.” After the successful presentation of Lebič’s quartet, the musicians did in fact decide to develop their association into a permanent ensemble, due to a desire to continue their common music making. Only later did they choose the name Dissonance, which they took from the title given to Mozart’s String Quartet in C major, KV 465. To date, the Dissonance Quartet has performed within the context of the Concert Atelier of the Slovene Society of Composers, the ISCM World Music Days 2015, Imago Sloveniae, the festival Soboški dnevi 2016, the Maribor Festival, the International Biennial of Contemporary Music in Koper, and at other venues. In collaboration with the renowned Italian clarinettist Michele Marelli, the quartet appeared at the festival Musica In Estate 2015 in Acqui Terme, Alessandria (Italy), and it also realised the project “Mozart Destrutturato” within the framework of the international cycle Symphonic Voices in Koper. According to the members of the quartet, the name of the ensemble symbolises its mission, as the musicians are dedicated to the performance of classical literature as well as the works of contemporary composers, especially Slovenian composers.   Darko Brlek-clarinet   Darko Brlek is the General Director and the Artistic Director of the Ljubljana Festival. He became the youngest ever director of the Slovenian National Theatre Opera and Ballet in Ljubljana in 1991. A year later he also became the youngest ever artistic director of the Ljubljana Festival, eventually taking over as executive director of the country’s most important cultural festival in 1995. In addition to his long-running stewardship of the Ljubljana Festival, he has also held positions at other Slovenian cultural institutions. He was among the founders of the Cultural Chamber of Slovenia and has served as chairman of the Council for Culture of the Government of the Republic of Slovenia. He is currently the President of the Expert Council of the Slovene National Theatre Maribor and a council member of Avditorij Portorož. After becoming the Vice President of the European Festivals Association (EFA) in 1997, he served as its President from 2005 to 2017 and is now honorary member of the Association.  He is also the President of the Festival Academy, an initiative of the European Festivals Association (EFA) for young festival managers. Art and culture are more than just a profession for Darko Brlek for which he has been awarded numerous awards and prizes including the Župančič Award, which is the highest prize granted by the City of Ljubljana for outstanding creation in the field of art and culture. On July 4th 2018 Darko Brlek received the prestigious state award of the President of the Republic of Slovenia – Order for merits, for his contribution to Slovenian culture and merit for program excellence and international acclaim of cultural and artistic events. He is still active as a concert clarinettist, performing regularly on stages around the world.