Živa Ploj Peršuh
Živa Ploj Peršuh has established herself on the Slovenian music scene as a conductor who delights audiences with her fresh and convincing performances. She is a versatile conductor with a broad symphonic and operatic repertoire who is dedicated to Slovenian new music. She is passionate about helping young musicians and refugees from Ukraine with her boundless energy and ability to get ambitious projects off the ground.
Repertoire she excels at include large symphonic works – Brahms, Shostakovich, Dvorak, Tchaikovsky, Bartok, Strauss, Stravinsky etc and particularly works where there is a vocal element due to her experience in the opera world, eg the Requiems of Brahms, Verdi and Faure as well as works such as Das Lied von der Erde and Mahler’s 4th Symphony.
After completing her musicology and vocal studies in Ljubljana she studied orchestral and opera conducting in Mannheim, Germany. By the end of her studies in Mannheim she had established her own orchestra Festine, with the aim of connecting professional musicians from Slovenia and elsewhere in Europe with young Slovenian musicians and to coach them in contemporary music performance. As part of her work with Festine Živa is committed to the education of children and young musicians, creating the family concert series Festinice whose innovative concerts incorporated theatre, silent film, paintings, dancing etc to attract wider audiences.
As well as conducting the string orchestra of the Academy of Music in Ljubljana and the Ljubljana Conservatory of Music Symphony Orchestra, Živa established the Ljubljana International Orchestra, formed of musicians from around the world, which has toured to Austria, Croatia, Italy, Serbia, Spain and the UK. The orchestra attracts international soloists and has received awards from the presidents of Slovenia and Italy.
In 2019 Živa established the Slovenian Youth Orchestra in conjunction with international and local partners. The orchestra has become an important symbol of Slovenian culture, standing alongside more established European national youth orchestras.
In 2022, Živa established the artistic and humanitarian project Music for the Future, to assist with the evacuation and integration of young Ukrainian musicians. She has helped 142 musicians relocate to Ljubljana and integrate into life in Slovenia. From this group of musicians she has formed a symphony orchestra which has performed in Slovenia, as well as in Austria, Croatia, Germany and elsewhere. Violinist Gidon Kremer has been a key supporter of the project and joined Živa for a concert in Ljubljana. More about the project: www.future.smo.ngo
Aside from her own projects Živa has been a regular guest conductor with the Slovenian Philharmonic Orchestra, the Symphony Orchestras of the Slovene National Theatre in Maribor and Ljubljana, and the RTV Slovenia Symphony Orchestra. She has conducted in France, Germany, Italy, Spain, the UK and many countries across Europe and North Africa.
Her debut as an opera conductor was Richard Strauss’s Salome at the Slovene National Theatre Opera in Ljubljana. Since then she has conducted countless new productions, most recently Stravinsky’s Oedipus Rex, Tchaikovsky’s The Maid of Orleans and Puccini’s Tosca leading to her appointment as First Kapellmeister in 2015.
“The musical side of the production was under the direction Živa Ploj Peršuh, who put in a polished performance conducting the Orkester SNG Opera in balet Ljubljana. She produced an energetic reading which drove the narrative forward. Peršuh maintained an excellent control of the tempi and dynamics, which both reflected and created the changing nature of the drama, as it quickly moved from scene to scene, capturing the underlying pulse of the work. She was respectful to the singers’ needs and was also successful in exploiting the interesting orchestral textures of the score.”
Operawire (La Belle et la bête, Review)
P. Eötvös: Alle vittime senza nome / excerpt from the performance
Živa Ploj Peršuh
Ljubljana International Orchestra and Sarajevo Philharmonic
July, 2018 (RAI5 broadcast)
Verdi Berlioz Ljubljana International Orchestra (BSA)
Bartók Béla: Concerto for Orchestra Ljubljana International Orchestra
Dvorak: Symphony No. 9, Ljubljana International Orchestra
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