Igor Švara

The conductor Igor Švara was born in Ljubljana in 1947 as the son of the renowned Slovenian conductor, composer and pedagogue Danilo Švara, Dphil. After he had finished the Secondary School and the Ljubljana Music Secondary School, he continued his studies at the Academy of Music Ljubljana, where he studied conducting with his father and piano with Professor Marijan Lipovšek. He graduated in 1971. From 1975 to 1976 he perfected his knowledge in Leipzig under Kurt Masur, where he finished his master class. He was first engaged at the Slovenian National Theatre Opera and Ballet Ljubljana as a Ballet and Opera Répétiteur in 1972, then as an Assistant Conductor and finally he became a Permanent Conductor in 1983. In the period 1993 – 1995, he was performing the duties of an Acting Director and Artistic Director of the Slovenian National Theatre Opera and Ballet Ljubljana.

Igor Švara made his debut as a Conductor with the Barber of Seville in 1973. His repertoire includes today more than seventy operatic and ballet works. Among his premiere performances were: Eugene Onegin, The Bartered Bride, The Barber of Seville, Don Pasquale, The Curious Women, The Good Soldier Švejk, The Taming of the Shrew, Janko and Metka, Falstaff, A Masked Ball, The Bat,  Alcina, The World on the Moon, The Telephone,  Gianni Schicchi, The Impresario,  The Marriage Contract, The Shepherd, Veronica of Desenice, A Farewell to Youth, Cleopatra,  The Old Song, Ksenija, Swan Lake, Giselle, Esmeralda, Peer Gynt, Irene Holm, A Midsummer Night's Dream, Gershwin, The Mad Painter,  Devil in the Village, The Taming of the Shrew, Serenades and oratorio Lazarus. He has also conducted the following operas: Christmas Eve, Prince Igor, Ivan Susanin, Werther, Carmen, Nabucco, Traviata, Rigoletto, The Troubadour, Othello, Don Carlos, La Bohème, Madame Butterfly, Turandot, Don Giovanni, The Marriage of Figaro, Lucia di Lammermoor, The Cunning Little Vixen, Ariadne on Naxos, The Huguenots, The Equinox, The Rhine Nixies and the following ballets: The Nutcracker, Cinderella, The Wayward Daughter, The Attraction of Opposites and La Sylphide.

He collaborated with such renowned soloists as Eva Lind, Sophia Larsson, Paulette Vaughan, Lynne Wickenden, Penelope Thorn, Paula Scalera, Bruno Sebastian, Walter Donatti, Roy Stevens and many others. He conducted as a Permanent Guest Conductor the opera Carmen in Mozart's Salzburg for two seasons in a row, where he also opened a new season with the premiere performance of the opera Janko and Metka.  He was also appearing as a Guest Conductor with the orchestras in Italy, Germany, Romania, Bulgaria, Russia, and the Republics of former Yugoslavia.  Igor Švara also participated at many international festivals in Porto Torres, Oderz, Ljubljana, and Kitzenstein …, where he conducted various national and international orchestras. He has recorded for the music archives - both as a Pianist and as a Conductor - many works by Slovenian and foreign composers and took part in the video spot Unbreak My Heart, filmed by the vocal group IL DIVO. Igor Švara has been a long-time lecturer at the Academy of Music in Ljubljana. He has been also a regular member of juries at many national and international choir and vocal solo competitions, judging at various choir festivals and leading various seminars for choir leaders and conductors.  Since spring 1981, he has been also an Artistic Director of the Ljubljana Octet, with which he recorded eight CDs and toured in Europe, Asia, United States of America, Canada and Australia. 

His work has earned him the prestigious Student Prešeren Award, Gallus Badge and Plaquette, Special Recognition at the Opera Biennial in Ljubljana, Jubilee Recognition of the Public Fund for Cultural Activities and Special Recognition for his more than 10 years conducting at the Choir Camp in Šentvid near Stična.