Andrej Žust: A dream come true at the Berlin Philharmonic

Andrej Žust is one of the few Slovenian musicians who have been successful in joining one of the most esteemed orchestras in the world – the Berlin Philharmonic. What is more, he has brought together an ensemble of Slovenian musicians from all across the globe, which also performed in Slovenia this summer. For years, Žust has been a solo hornist at the Slovenian Philharmonic, having also performed with the RTV Slovenia Symphony Orchestra and the Orchestra of the Slovenian National Theatre Opera and Ballet Ljubljana. In 2011, he passed his audition at the Berlin Philharmonic. According to Žust, the Berlin Philharmonic is a highly international orchestra. It consists of musicians from all over the world and three of them are Slovenians. Taking into account the populations of countries where the musicians come from, Slovenia is thus the most represented country in the Berlin Philharmonic.


Meeting of Slovenian associations from Bosnia and Herzegovina

On 2 September 2023, Ženja Simonič and Jasmina Ilič Draković from the Slovenian Emigrant Association attended the meeting of Slovenian Associations from Bosnia and Herzegovina at the invitation of Dragan Gačnik, the President of the Association of Citizens of Slovenian Descent in Zenica. The 31st annual meeting was dubbed I Love Slovenia, which is a reference to the love and devotion with which the attendees from the nearby country cultivate the Slovenian language and culture. The meeting garnered considerable media attention across the region. It was covered by reporters from web-based media outlets as well as the regional television.


Dani (Daniel) Grbec: Acting is his life and the stage his home

In the second half of the 20th century, Slovenia boasted a handful of first-class theater directors – such as the late Jeločnik, Willempart and Borštnik – as well as actors – the late Maks Nose and Nataša Smrsu. They mostly remained confined to the theater community, and we rarely got to see any of them in public. Slowly, the theater industry waned, and our actors and directors never got their true successors.

Dani Grbec is active not only in Slovenia, but also abroad. He was happy to give an interview for the readers of Rodna Gruda in the Slovenian language.


Škocjanski Zatok Nature Reserve: A pristine nature experience saved from a gloomy fate

Škocjanski Zatok is the largest (semi-saline) brackish swamp in Slovenia. The swamp, which stretches over an area of of 122.7 hectares, developed at the deltas of the Rižana and Badaševica rivers. With its surroundings, it forms a unique Slovenian ecosystem that stands out for the immediate vicinity of the sea, the Mediterranean climate, sub-Mediterranean vegetation, its regulation and sheer size. In the past, an uncertain and gloomy fate loomed over Škocjanski Zatok. This is because in 1980, local authorities started realizing a municipal physical plan that foresaw a complete filling-in of Škocjanski Zatok and subsequent construction works on the land. Luckily, the complete filling-in never occurred and Škocjanski Zatok lives on thanks to devoted representatives of the civil society, who were headed by members of the Bird Watching and Bird Study Association of Slovenia. This was only after the Association proved to the Slovenian public that destroying an area with such rich and diverse natural heritage is inadmissible. A different future was proposed, which mandated the immediate cessation of all destructive activities, protecting the area, and designating it a nature reserve open to the public.


In the first days of September, during the Bled Strategic Forum, a storm once again raged over the northern part of the country. It wreaked havoc on certain areas which had already been devastated by the summer storms. Reconstruction will take at least five years to complete.

RTV employees and the Slovenian public were shaken by the passing of Sašo Hribar – a satire legend and Slovenian radio host who worked at RTV for 38 years. Hribar hosted his last Radio Gaga broadcast in September.

In mid-September, a record number of guests attended a spectacular charity event dubbed Football Stars for Flood Victims (i.e., Zvezde nogometa za žrtve poplav), which was held at the Stožice stadium. Joining the event was the ambassador of the Rebuilding Slovenia initiative (i.e., Obnavljamo Slovenijo) – none other than Aleksander Čeferin, the President of UEFA. At the event, former football giants showed their support by participating in the selfless initiative, which raised over 3.5 million EUR.

The European Parliament has announced the recipients of the prestigious 2023 European Citizen’s Prize. The Slovenian recipient is Sandi Curk, the Commander of the Regional Civil Defense in Notranjska and coordinator of the project for helping Ukrainian orphans and refugees.

Towards the end of the fourth week of September, Olympic champion and canoeist Benjamin Savšek won a gold medal in white water slalom at the ICF Canoe Slalom World Championships.