La Lyra

When: 29. 10. 2016 at 20:00
Upbeat: 7 pm (Celje, Old Count's Mansion) / Festibus: departure at 17:45 (Hala Tivoli)

Ticket order:

Ticket price: 8-25 EUR

Festibus: Departure at 17:45 (Hala Tivoli)

La Lyra:
Bor Zuljan (SI): renaissance guitar
Massimiliano Dragoni (I): percussion

While the first guitars probably appeared in the late 15th century, the earliest known music for this instrument dates from 1546. Most probably originating from Spain, this instrument quickly got its audience all around Europe, but the music and its technique at the beginning hardly differed from that of the lute and the vihuela. The important Spanish theorist Juan Bermudo (1555) even said that the guitar is like the vihuela without its outermost strings.

It was not before the last quarter of the 16th century that the guitar started developing a musical language and technique of its own. Its popularity in Spain and in southern Italy started rising, and while many were seduced by the fresh and lively rhythmical strumming, others criticised this light music as opposed to the noble polyphony elicited from the vihuela. However, almost no music survived from this period and the scarce documents show simple strumming techniques.

About the programme:
The programme tries to recreate the music of this mysterious period and retrace the creation of the specific musical language and techniques that started emerging in the late 16th century and that later defined the Baroque guitar and its descendants. As the few surviving musical documents show, the music was extensively improvised. In a similar way, our programme will be almost entirely improvised, showing the passage from the polyphonic style of the 16th century to the lighter Baroque style; from the intimate fantasias, to the lively dances, some of which already flirt with Flamenco.

Our programme was inspired by the only surviving Renaissance guitar, a splendid little jewel made by Belchior Dias in Lisbon in 1581. Conserved in the Royal College of Music in London, the (small) size and body shape of this instrument suggest a Renaissance guitar while already introducing the 5th course typical of Baroque instruments. The only exact copy of it, made by the Spanish luthier César Arias, is used for this project.

About the artists:
La Lyra is a recently founded ensemble that takes on different projects, conceived and performed by the plucked strings specialist Bor Zuljan. Centred on the long Renaissance period, the original and rarely heard programmes all combine a creative approach with musicological research. The ensemble has collaborated with soloists, such as Pino De Vittorio and Jeffrey Thompson, and has performed at some major European festivals.

Bor Zuljan (1987) is active in different musical genres and projects and searches for a synthesis of contemporary and early music, different world music traditions, jazz and improvisation. He plays guitars, early and traditional plucked string instruments, such as different kinds of lutes, vihuela, oud and the tar. The search for the connection between sound, image and word led him to collaborate in different interdisciplinary projects.

He is an active performer in different musical fields: in early and traditional music he collaborated with musicians such as Pino De Vittorio, William Dongois and Jeffrey Thompson, groups such as the Capella Mediterranea and the Concert brisé, and performed in the most important festivals. He has been equally active in contemporary music, performing with the ensemble Contrechamps, the Vortex ensemble, soloists such as Kai Wessel, and collaborating with composers such as Helmut Lachenmann and Klaus Huber. He has had many concerts with Dusan Bogdanovic and performed as soloist with the Slovenian Philharmonic Orchestra, the Geneva Camerata, and the Ernen festival orchestra.

From 2011, he is the artistic director of an early music festival Dnevi stare glasbe in Slovenia. His critical edition of Gorzanis' Second lute book has recently been published by the Slovenian Musicological Society.

After graduating in jazz and classical programmes at the Ljubljana Conservatory of Music, he continued with his studies with Aniello Desiderio in Koblenz, Germany. In 2007, he started studying at the Haute Ecole de Musique de Genève where he then obtained a Bachelor’s and Master’s degree in Guitar and Lute (Dusan Bogdanovic, Jonathan Rubin), continued with a specialization in Medieval music and finished an MA in music pedagogy. From 2011 to 2013 he worked as research assistant at the same school and is continuing with a PhD on Fantasia improvisation at the Centre d'Etudes Superiéures de la Renaissance in Tours.

He has received teachings from lute and guitar players, such as Hopkinson Smith, Eduardo Egüez, Pascale Boquet, and Alvaro Pierri.

He teaches guitar and lute in Geneva and has given numerous conferences and master classes at institutions, such as the Juilliard School of Music, Schola Cantorum Basiliensis, Fondazione Giorgio Cini in Venice, Escuela Superior de Musica de Mexico, and the Ljubljana Academy of Music. He is a winner of different prizes and scholarships.

Percussionist Massimiliano Dragoni (1978) has performed and recorded extensively throughout the world with different ensembles, such as Lucidarium, Micrologus, Cappella della Pietà de’ Turchini (Cappella Napolitana), Complesso Barocco and Ensemble Elyma. He holds a Master’s Degree in Medieval Philosophy, his thesis dedicated to Boethius’ influence on medieval music theory. He regularly gives lectures and masterclasses on early and traditional percussion at important European music institutions. He is a founding member of the ensemble Anonima Frottolisti, and was the founder of Resonars – Accademia di Arti Antiche. In addition, he is a fervent researcher of Italian music, dance, folk-medicine and cooking traditions.


Concert programme

PROGRAMME - Il Bordelletto - The Birth of the Guitar

Si abrá en este baldrés (Juan del Encina)
Tastar di corde
Calata alla spagnola (Joan Ambrosio Dalza)
Calata alla spagnola ditta terzetti (Joan Ambrosio Dalza)

Fantasia n. 2 (Miguel de Fuenllana)
La gamba
Fantasia n. 6 (Miguel de Fuenllana)
Di, perra mora (anon., Cancionero de Medinacelli)

Paseabase el rey moro
Romance del Conde Claros (Luys de Narváez / Bor Zuljan)
Diferencias sobre Guárdame las vacas (Luys de Narváez / Bor Zuljan)

Fantasia n. 3 (Miguel de Fuenllana)
Fantasia n. 1 (Miguel de Fuenllana)
Passamezzo antico

Aria di Fiorenza, La sua corrente
Fantasia n. 4 (Miguel de Fuenllana)
Chi passa per sta strada (Filippo Azzaiolo)
Gagliarda napolitana (Antonio Valente)

La folia


Celje, Old Counts' Mansion

This most beautiful Renaissance building was built between 1580 and 1603 on the southern side of the city walls. At the beginning of the 17th century it was further embellished by arched hallways, and during the 1930s restoration its aesthetic value was increased by the discovery of the famous Celje ceiling.



The price of coach provided for all concerts from Ljubljana and Zagreb is 10€. Departure from Hala Tivoli and Lisinski Hall.