Wonderful evening of “Ohrid Summer” with the Philharmonic Choir from Kosovo

The Pristina Philharmonic Orchestra, Kosovo delighted the audience of “Ohrid Summer” last night with its concert in the church “St. Sophia” under the baton of maestro Hajrula Sula.

Due to the pandemic conditions, only half of the members performed in the acoustic ambience of the cathedral and were rewarded with a standing ovation with the specially selected program.

– We have compiled a very interesting program of 9 compositions, four of which are by Kosovo composers of different generations with elements of Albanian folklore. Two of the composers are from the older generation, Fahri Bekiri who died recently and Rafet Rudy who was represented by two compositions. The repertoire also included one of my compositions as a representative of the middle generation of Kosovo composers, said Baki Jashari, director of the Kosovo Philharmonic.

The members of this professional choir ensemble prepared a surprise for the audience, performing the work “Macedonian Humor” by the Macedonian composer Todor Skalovski.

– I remember when I was a student at the music high school we sang this composition. In the former Yugoslav state when I was studying, it was much easier to cooperate and have concerts in all parts of the country so that we got acquainted very early with the works of Macedonian composers and other authors from the former Yugoslavia, and as a sign of gratitude yesterday we performed “Macedonian Humor” which is very popular everywhere, added Jashari.

The rest of the festival program was dedicated to contemporary authors such as the American composer Jake Runestad and the Estonian Veljo Tormis.
-We performed compositions with a modern approach, with rich harmony that shows our affinity for modern music. We cherish the tradition and we want to show that we are a professional choir, explains Jashari.

The Kosovo Philharmonic Mixed Choir performs for the first time at the Ohrid Summer Festival. In the distant 1985, the Professional Kosovo Choir performed at the “Ohrid Summer”, but at that time it worked within the Radio-Television Pristina, led by the conductor Rafet Rudy, whose works were performed last night.

– This is the first time that the Kosovo Philharmonic Orchestra performs with the choir at the international festival “Ohrid Summer”. We, the older generations, know that this is a very influential festival with six decades of existence, in which the biggest names from the world music scene participated, so we are very grateful for the invitation, said the head of the Kosovo Philharmonic, Jashari.

The Kosovo Philharmonic celebrated its 20th anniversary last year. After a seven-month hiatus due to the health pandemic, he continues his visits to Kosovo and the region.