Živa Ploj Peršuh is the first-ever female conductor of the Slovenian National Theater Opera and Ballet Ljubljana, where she has firstly appeared by conducting Strauss’ Salome. After that, she was immediately re-invited to lead both opera and ballet productions.
Among these are the new ballet production HeartMeat, by awarded Slovenian choreographers Rosana Hribar and Gregor Luštek and the new ballet Cacti by Alexander Ekman. She continued with conducting the new production of Tchaikovsky’s Swan Lake and Verdi’s Otello in the same season. She next conducted Puccini’s Madama Butterfly and premiered the contemporary ballet Symphony of sorrowful songs with music by Gorecki as a homage to late theatre director Tomaž Pandur. In the season 2017/2018, she also led new Jeroen Verbruggen’s ballet Orphic Hymn (with music by Stravinsky: Orpheus, Bach/Saito: Chaconne, Webern: Fuga Ricercata) and premiered both Philip Glass’ opera La Belle et la bête and Mozart’s Don Giovanni. She also conducted the Swan Lake in Teatro Verdi in Trieste with great acclaim and has stepped in for the ballet Dr Zhivago with Brno Philharmonic. In the season 2020/2021 she is part of production I. Stravinsky: Oedipus Rex and is conducting Puccini’s Tosca. She is next expected to revive Tchaikovsky’s Jeanne d’Arc. In May 2022 she will conduct Eugene Onegin.
“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.”
On the national podium, she conducts the Slovenian Philharmonic Orchestra, both Symphony Orchestras of the Slovenian National Theatre in Maribor and Ljubljana and the RTV Slovenia Symphony Orchestra. Internationally, she has conducted in Germany, Italy, Spain, Great Britain, France, Switzerland, Bulgaria, Poland, Slovakia, Czech Republic, Serbia, Croatia, Bosna and Hercegovina, Egypt. She is the conductor and founder of the Ljubljana International Orchestra and the national Slovenian Youth Orchestra.
Živa Ploj Peršuh is a conductor with a wide symphonic and operatic repertoire and enjoys leading projects that are diverse in terms of genre. Before she finished her studies in Mannheim, she founded her own symphony and chamber orchestra Festine which brought professional musicians together with students and allowed them to share their experiences of professional musical life with young people and to guide them in the performance of contemporary music. She firmly believes in the importance of passing on artistic knowledge and skills to young people, especially in classical music from all periods and genres. That is why she gathers around her the most skilful and renowned musicians from all over the world and brings them to Ljubljana, where she is the central figure, founder and artistic director of the Slovenian Youth Orchestra, the Ljubljana International Orchestra and the European Career Centre for Artists – Triple Bridge. Many of her projects are aimed at promoting Slovenia abroad and vice versa – projects that young people from all over the world can partake in Slovenia. She has been working with world-acclaimed soloists and with many foreign institutions that have become partners with the Center’s Orchestra Academy within EU project Music up close network: Accademia Nazionale Santa Cecilia of Rome, National Orchestras of Lille, Amsterdam, Barcelona, Belgrade and Sarajevo Philharmonic, Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra, Festival Ljubljana and others.
The continuous pursuit of the Živa’s project Ljubljana International Orchestra is personal development, providing top-quality advanced training and giving the young musicians the opportunity to be a part of and experience the frame of the professional orchestra where playing together with professional musicians is of utmost importance and the main essence. The orchestra has members from all over the world and has toured in Italy, Austria, Croatia, Serbia, Great Britain and Spain.
Italian president has awarded her recent programme presented at Ljubljana Festival and Mittelfest Cividale del Friuli in July 2018 and has been chosen to commemorate 100 years of ending WW1. The works included (Alfredo Casella: Pagine di Guerra, Slavko Osterc: Suite for Orchestra, Ravel: Left-hand piano concerto, Peter Eotvos: Alle vittime senza nome, Berio: The Rendering) were played by joined Ljubljana International Orchestra and Sarajevo Philharmonic Orchestra.
»Hard work, talent and expertise have led conductor Živa Ploj Peršuh to becoming an established figure in Slovene music. And she continues to surprise audiences with her fresh and convincing performances. « Festival Ljubljana