Director and Artistic Director of the Ljubljana Festival
During his studies, he received numerous awards, including the Prešeren Prize of the University of Ljubljana, and later received the Betteth and Župančič Prize for artistic creation. He became the youngest ever director of the Slovene National Opera and Ballet in Ljubljana in 1991. A year later he also became the youngest ever artistic director of the Ljubljana Festival, eventually taking over as executive director of the country’s most important cultural festival in 1995. In addition to his long-running stewardship of the Ljubljana Festival, he has also held positions at other Slovene cultural institutions. He was among the founders of the Cultural Chamber of Slovenia and has served as chairman of the Council for Culture of the Government of the Republic of Slovenia. Despite his extensive commitments to the promotion of culture in Slovenia, he also finds time to participate in various international bodies. After becoming a Vice President of the European Festivals Association (EFA) in 1997, he has served as its President from 2005 to 2017. Art and culture are more than just a profession for Darko Brlek, who in 2016 was one of two recipients of the annual award for notable economic achievements in Slovenia. He is still active as a concert clarinettist, performing regularly on stages around the world.