John Malkovich in Ljubljana
John Malkovich in the company of Tomislav Čeh, General Manager of the Hoteli Union d.d company, and Milan Sajovic, the company’s Hotel Manager. Photo: Marko Delbello Ocepek

The first part of the concert saw a performance of Shostakovich’s String Quartet No. 8 orchestrated for string orchestra and given the title “Chamber Symphony” by Rudolf Barshai. Following this, the internationally successful Slovene violinist Lana Trotovšek performed the Bach Violin Concerto as a soloist.

The second part of the concert was then an exciting fusion of Schnittke’s Concerto for Piano and Strings with a careful selection of texts from the chapter “Report on the Blind” from Ernesto Sabato’s novel On Heroes and Tombs. In this part, I Solisti Aquilani and pianist Anastasya Terenkovi were joined by John Malkovich, who recited excerpts from the aforementioned novel that he chose himself and could watch the music and text organically intertwine in a way that the voice did not overwhelm the music.

John Malkovich in Ljubljana
Photo credit: Festival Ljubljana/Mediaspeed

After the outstanding performance, the musicians headed by Mr John Malkovich gathered at the Restaurant and Bar Atelje, where a wonderful culinary journey was prepared for them. Mr Malkovich, visibly impressed by Atelje’s exquisite cuisine, was served Mohant cheese-and-nettle ravioli, chanterelles and truffles as a starter, then for the main course lamb, tarragon, smoked yoghurt, kimchi and garlic. He reserved special praise for the Slovenian wines, especially for the Cabernet Sauvignon that was served during the dinner.

John Malkovich
John Malkovich, who was greatly impressed with the culinary treats served at the Restaurant and Bar Atelje, is in the photo together with Atelje's team, who took care of the famous Hollywood actor during the gala evening. Photo: Marko Delbello Ocepek

Despite the fact Mr Malkovich wasn’t able to echo some of the classic clichés about the beauty of Ljubljana, as he claimed that for him the tour was work rather than an opportunity for sightseeing, it was clear from what he wrote in Union Hotel’s guest book that he will gladly return to Ljubljana on another occasion.

John Malkovich
He also shared his thoughts in Atelje's guest book, praising the superb culinary delights served. Photo: Marko Delbello Ocepek