Pécs2010 – European Capital of Culture
20 April 2010 22:47
Pécs was awarded the title of European Capital of Culture for the year 2010 by the European Union. 2010 marks the 25th anniversary of the European Union’s ECOC program. The program, one of Europe’s most successful cultural endeavours, brings a plethora of art exhibitions, international musical events (both classical and jazz), street fairs, symposia and a general buzz to Pécs, this Mediterranean city of South Transdanubia.
A mere 120 miles southwest of Budapest (a two-and-half hour train or car ride), Pécs will be the centre of attention for all visitors attracted by world-class events.
Beyond the concerts, exhibitions and fairs, Pécs is an amiable town of about 160 thousand inhabitants, that has stood in its present place, as the Gate to the Balkans, since Roman times. Its 2000-year history manifests in a multitude of unique sites, from the 4th century early Christian necropolis of Sopianae, a UNESCO World Heritage site, to gracious places of worship (both Christian and Muslim, due to a 150 year long Ottoman occupation), dating back centuries.
Pécs, however, was not only selected by the EU for its cultural richness, but also for its 'Borderless City' quality: it's beautiful public squares and spaces and its multicultural spirit that draw foreign nationals from far and wide to celebrate the openness and the Mediterranean flair it exudes. Pécs is also famous for quite a few of its sons: artists like Amerigo Tot or Victor Vasarely were born here.
To give you a feel for what’s going on, let us list some of the main events – a mere fraction of the full program of the Pécs2010 series:
- Pécs Spring Festival (March 15-April 9) Mostly coinciding with the Budapest Spring Festival, Pécs events will include classical, contemporary, jazz and popular music, dance, literature, theatre and folk performances, chamber and choir concerts and folk art exhibitions, hallmarked by the appearance of world renowned artists like the Hungarian diva, Andrea Rost or performers and groups, like Bobby McFerrin (USA), Trilok Gurtu (India), Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane Dance Company (USA), ContempoDanza (Mexico), or Al Di Meola (USA)
- International Origami Meeting (August 9-15) Beyond the usual displays of this peculiar art, the 200 or so participants who arrive from over 50 countries will “build” some of their unique formations in public places on a grand scale – and the audience is welcome to join in.
- Force of Colours – Change in Scale 5 (June 8-July 6) This unique exhibition of huge paintings will investigate the creation of spatial works at the workshops of the city’s world famous Porcelain Manufacture: the Zsolnay China Factory. This 150 years old manufacture, whose intricate vases, figurines and commercial dinnerware is sold in the finest stores all over the world, will also host factory visits and educational discussions with their designers and artists throughout the year.
For the full Pécs2010, European Capital of Culture program please go to www.pecs2010.hu