The two great producers of dance music Nile Rogers and Bernard Edwards penned and produced the classic Sister Sledge song Lost In Music. (That will give you a hint as to where my music comfort zone resides.) “Classical” music, as we generically refer to what is a much wider range of music (Renaissance, Baroque, Romantic, Modern) can be intimidating. We think too often that even before entering a concert venue you need to know about the music, the musicians, the composers, when to applaud and so on. But this year Festival Bled – and perhaps it always does this – extended an invitation “Here are some young musicians, they are learning, they have a passion. Let them help you explore this musical ideas.”

Prof. Robert Szreder who presented the evening

Some of the ideas are sheer beauty – and there are several examples tonight. Some ideas are tough and demanding, there to demonstrate the ability of the musician as much as anything. But most of these musical ideas lift you above the mundane and set your head reeling.

Tonight The Past The Present The Future is the theme.People say about young people that “they are the future” which tends to diminish their importance in the now. These young people performing tonight are the Now and the Future, the music is from somewhere in the past, yet it is brought to life in the now as it is being performed.

8 performers plus a violin quartet and pianist Antoni Brozek.

For over 2 hours we are lost in music – and geographically on a journey around this region. Performers are from Slovenia, Mexico, Poland, Latvia, and Japan. The music from France, Belgium, (what is now) Czech Republic, Hungary, Spain, Bulgaria, Poland and Germany. Lost in Central Europe.

Wojciech Niedziolka

I am only going to mention three of the performers, which is no reflection on the others, but just to highlight the “future-ness” of this theme. I don’t know what age Wojciech Niedziolka is, maybe 12 years old, maybe less. He played Drdla’s Fantasia on Carmen to an audience that was overwhelmed by his skill. He and Klara Gronet share a teacher who must have been very satisfied with her performance of Vladigerov’s Bulgarian Rhapsody. And finally Neža Capuder who played Wieniawski’s Romance for Violin. It was quite beautiful.

The concert finished with a very fine violin quartet by Bacewicz .

This is the last of the student performances I will see. There is another tonight “Contrasts”: Violinists under Prof. Barbara Gorzynska and Violists under Prof. Matthias Maurer.

The students last night were under the direction of Professors Piotr Jasiurkowski and Robert Szederja. Prof Szederja paid tribute to the festival director Jernej Brence and Selma Brence who organise Festival Bled, a tribute I wholeheartedly echo.

Prof Piotr Jasiurkovski, Antoni Brozek and some performers

There are more – and better – photos from the concerts at the Festival Bled website