The 42nd annual Varazdin Baroque Evenings classical music festival began in the northern Croatian town of Varazdin on Friday night with a concert by the Vienna Boys' Choir and the Bach Consort Wien Ensemble.
The festival was opened by Croatian President Ivo Josipovic, who said it was "one of the most important things in Croatia's global offer."
"Varazdin is the capital of baroque. It is also a European capital because this festival is the link connecting Varazdin and Croatia with many European countries," he said.
This year's partner country is Austria, whose Ambassador Andrea Ikic Boehm said, "When two countries such as Austria and Croatia are such extraordinarily good friends and partners, it's clear we don't want that only on the political and economic levels, but on the cultural level as well."
Before the concert, there was an exhibition of Austrian painter Gustav Klimt organised in cooperation with the Austrian Cultural Forum in Zagreb. It is on show in Varazdin until September 30, after which it will travel to other Croatian towns.
Varazdin Baroque Evenings last until October 2. They include 27 concerts, of which 18 in Varazdin and nine in other Croatian and European towns, featuring soloists and ensembles from Croatia, Austria, England, Poland, Serbia, Israel, and Spain.
The festival is being held under the auspices of President Josipovic and the Croatian Culture Ministry.