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President Pahor attended the opening ceremony of festival Europa Cantat 2021

Ljubljana, 17. 7. 2021 | press release, speech

The President of the Republic of Slovenia, Borut Pahor, has attended the opening ceremony of Europa Cantat 2021, the largest international choir festival in Europe. President Pahor was the keynote speaker at the ceremony.

President Pahor is the honorary patron of festival Europa Cantat 2021.

Below is the text of the keynote address by President of the Republic of Slovenia Borut Pahor (Check against delivery!)

Mr Carlo Pavese, President of the European Choral Association,

Vasko Simoniti, Minister of Culture of the Republic of Slovenia,

Metka Šošterič, Acting Director of the Public Fund for Cultural Activities,

Singers and

Lovers of Choral Music,

It is with great pleasure and pride that I welcome you all to Ljubljana, Slovenia.

Music and singing, particularly choral singing, connect people and bring them together. We rejoice and mourn with music and singing, and they accompany us through the most pivotal moments of our lives. Music has also helped us through the most difficult period of our modern time. We thanked our health professionals with singing, as song resounded from our windows and balconies. We were united, although apart. We communicated with each other remotely by singing and playing instruments.

We Slovenians are one of few nations, perhaps the only one in the world, to celebrate culture with a national holiday. Culture is the foundation from which our community originates. We understand it as the most important component of our identity and statehood.

We pride ourselves on a rich tradition of choral singing. I am pleased that, in spite of all problems, the organisers succeeded in coordinating this festival where Slovenian music will be showcased to the international public. I consider the festival an important part of Slovenia’s promotion in the world, and I am proud to be the honorary patron of the largest international choral festival in Europe.

The Europa Cantat Festival is coming to Slovenia at a distinctly symbolic time. Our country is celebrating 30 years of its independence and we have recently taken over the Presidency of the EU Council. Slovenia’s independence and the European Union convey the noblest message of cooperation, respect, friendship and harmony. This festival has also grown on these foundations, as musicians of various nationalities joined and connected after the Second World War. Today, the festival motivates young people to collaborate through culture and singing in a spirit of friendship. Music sounds best when performed in harmony and in tune.

"Those who sing mean no evil," goes the old proverb and the Slovenians are a singing nation. Thank you to the European Choral Association for recognising this and thank you to the Public Fund for Cultural Activities of the Republic of Slovenia for believing and persisting. Thanks to your dedication, Ljubljana and Slovenia will join in the rhythm of music.

And to the singers, I wish you a pleasant and creative week, intertwined with music and new friendships.

Good luck, Europa Cantat!

President Pahor attended the opening ceremony of the festival Europa Cantat 2021
Photo: Tamino Petelinšek/STA