The wind quintet Slowind was established in 1994 and has become the most active new music ensemble in Slovenia. As well as performing practically all of the works of the standard wind quintet repertoire, the members of Slowind have developed a reputation as uncompromising performers of contemporary music, from the classics of the avant-garde to works by the youngest composers, many of whom are not yet established but are very promising composers of our time. By commissioning new works, Slowind constantly encourages young Slovenian composers and is glad to respond to invitations to perform new compositions on many European stages.
At the same time, the quintet has for many years worked closely with established international composers, such as Vinko Globokar, Robert Aitken, Heinz Holliger, Jürg Wyttenbach, Vito Žuraj, Ivan Fedele, Toshio Hosokawa, Uroš Rojko, Martin Smolka, Volker Staub, Ivo Nilsson, Gérard Buquet, Niels Rosing-Schow, Nina Šenk, and others, who dedicate works to Slowind and include the ensemble in their own projects. Slowind is a regular guest of some of the most important venues for contemporary music: Ars Musica Brussels, Biennale Bern, Klangspuren Innsbruck, the New Music Concert Series Toronto, Contempuls Prague, Théâtre Dunois Paris, the Venice Biennale, the Zagreb Music Biennale, the festival Ars Nova of the radio station SWR Stuttgart, and the Takefu International Music Festival (Japan).
On the domestic scene, the ensemble has in recent years increased its activities in the field of Slovenian music by organizing a short music festival in the spring months entitled Slowind Spring, while autumn remains dedicated to the Slowind Festival.
Whereas the cycle was initially enriched mainly by contributions from eminent artists who performed with the ensemble – Heinz Holliger, Robert Aitken, Alexander Lonquich, Arvid Engegård, Aleksandar Madžar, Mate Bekavac, Steven Davislim, Christiane Iven, Matthias Pintscher, Matthias Würsch, Naoko Yoshino, Mayumi Miyata, and others – it has over the years developed into a genuine movement. The promotion of international contemporary chamber music repertoire, as well as the comprehensive presentation of some of the giants of twentieth-century music who are less known in Slovenia (Edgard Varèse, Elliott Carter, Vinko Globokar, Toru Takemitsu, Ivan Fedele) has been joined by a growing number of foreign contemporary music ensembles, as well as by members of Slovenian symphony orchestras and established chamber groups and choirs.
On the domestic stage, the ensemble has in recent years strengthened its activities in the area of Slovenian music with the spring concert cycle entitled Slowind Spring, while the autumn was dedicated to the Slowind Festival. In 2018, Slowind presented its 20th consecutive Slowind Festival. And the last one.
The festival program is regularly recorded and broadcast by Radio Slovenia, and the concert recordings are also played by foreign radio stations, including BBC 3, Dutch Radio, and others.
For its activities to date, Slowind has received the Župančič Prize (1999), the Prešeren Fund Prize (2003), and the Betetto Prize (2013).