As the sun rise over Dubrovnik on the first day of summer, the 21st of June, the melodic tunes of the renowned Croatian cellist Ana Rucner will drift over the Srd mountain. For the fifth year in a row Ana has organised her Welcome to Summer concert at 5am in the morning of the 21st of June, and the date ties in nicely with the World Music Day. This year she will also be joined by the British piano player Oliver Poole for what should be a morning to remember. The Dubrovnik Times caught up with Ana before the big day to discover why Dubrovnik, and the first day of summer, are so special to her.
What can we expect from this year’s Ana in the City Festival?
This year’s festival has only one focus: My traditional concert on Srđ, on the 21st of June, the summer solstice and World Music Day. Oliver Poole, the great British pianist will be my guest, but I have also prepared some surprises for my dear public. I am looking forward to the concert, I am also so happy that there will be also organized public transport to Srđ and back to town - let me thank the City of Dubrovnik for all the support. This concert in beautiful Dubrovnik is always special to me and it is a privilege to play in such a place, surrounded by people who enjoy the music and came to experience something new and special. I promise a great concert and lots of fun.
The festival always has a humanitarian character, who will be the beneficiary of your kindness this year?
This year my concert is a gift to all the people from Dubrovnik and tourists and I will be offering a free entrance on the 21st of June.
How difficult was it to convince Oliver Poole to come back to Dubrovnik?
Oliver had a concert in Dubrovnik last year and he was very enthusiastic about the City, it’s beauty and he was very happy when I invited him to join me again this year. We are preparing something special and practicing a lot which is a real challenge as he is in London so we have made a lot of our rehearsals via Skype. These days we will also record a new song and video and I believe our public will love it.
What are the symbolic reasons for you connected to the Welcome to Summer performance?
Welcome to Summer is my idea, and while thinking of concert on summer solstice Dubrovnik was the first one that came to mind, as a special place with beautiful sun rises. Each sunrise is in a way a new cycle, new life, new beginning of the new day. It symbolizes for me happiness of greeting summer, as the most cheerful and relaxed season, but also new challenges and opportunities. The sun is also symbol of life and power and a great reason for celebration.
Classical music is having a renaissance period, mainly connected to the fusion of modern and classic music, do you believe this is a positive step and how do you see yourself in this modern movement?
Thanks to many enthusiasts playing classical music, like my parents in their quartet Rucner, there are more and more people listening to it. But it is very interesting to show many “faces” of classical music and one of them is also crossover or fusion which specially attracts younger people and it is a great way to showcase classical music in a less “serious” way. Each step, promoting classical music and its beauty is a positive step.
Do you have a message for the audience before the festival begins?
I warmly invite everybody to join us on Srđ on the 21st of June at 5 am, we will prepare a real show, you'll enjoy it and experience a really special and unique morning and the beauty of the sun rising.