United Music Of Brussels Announces Programme
On 7 September, La Monnaie, the Belgian National Orchestra and BOZAR join forces once again for United Music of Brussels, the traditional musical journey that kicks off the season. The fourth edition is all about encounters: between musicians from different ensembles and of different genres, genres and places, city locations and music, and of course with the public. From 2:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m., from the Horta Hall at the Centre for Fine Arts to Ancienne Belgique, the public and passers-by can enjoy novel musical experiences, old melodies, surprising arrangements, unexpected venues, and, above all, marvel at how music brings us together.
The full programme is available on www.unitedmusicofbrussels.be.
This year's journey starts at BOZAR, north of the city centre, and heads south towards Ancienne Belgique. The public can listen to music while discovering the city's heritage as they meander through places both familiar and unexpected. As for the previous editions, the musicians and the teams from the three cultural institutions veered off the beaten path to create a programme that is all about meeting and mixing, among themselves, but also with musicians from different backgrounds.
The opening 2:00 p.m. concert at the Centre for Fine Arts sets the tone: the wind section of the Belgian National Orchestra will feature Zwangere Guy, the Brussels rap scene revelation, for a joint, astounding kick-off performance with soloist Benjamin Glorieux of Concerto for Cello and Wind Orchestra by Friedrich Gulda. Also at BOZAR, promising soprano Lisa Willems will perform with trombonist Koen Severens in one of the Centre's less renowned halls, the Salle des Vitraux, while cardboard harpsichords will accompany Iranian composer Shahriar Sharifpour on the oriental santur, for a more subdued atmosphere in the Salon Royal. Visitors can stop at the Galerie Ravenstein, where a group of musicians from the Belgian National Orchestra will perform Aubade, a choreographic concerto for piano and chamber orchestra by Francis Poulenc; choreographer Charlotte Vanden Eynde, will set up a fashion show runway for the occasion. A favourite spot for baroque music enthusiasts but otherwise unknown to a wider audience, the Protestant Chapel will host the eight fantastic cellists from Ô-Celli! who will render moving melodies by Piazolla and De Falla, but will also delve into the pop repertoire with Bohemian Rhapsody by Queen. A string ensemble from the Belgian National Orchestra will tackle the 'American' string quartet by Dvořák - actually 21 musicians, and no director! - in front of the Church of St. Mary Magdalene. The Trio Puzzle counts on drawing a crowd in the church square, with a few opera comic classics. The Malibran Room, where La Monnaie usually rehearses her operas, will be exceptionally open to the public for not one, but two (!) unprecedented performances: a Mozart symphony by the Orchestre de la Monnaie with 4 soloists, followed by the Concerto Grosso by Bloch, during which music director Alain Altinoglu will be both director and piano soloist. Truly extraordinary! Go to the Gothic Hall of the Brussels Town Hall to listen to the La Monnaie men's choir - also in an unprecedented configuration - sing lieder by Schubert as they explore friendship, love and death. At the Music Village, a stone's throw away, the public can marvel at the Juliet Letters by Elvis Costello, a song cycle for string quartet and voice. At the time, it had the effect of a bombshell, and is every bit as powerful today. Move on to the Cinema Palace for poetry in the Foyer Hamesse, one of the most beautiful reception halls in Brussels, which will welcome the musicians of the MM Academy for a performance of lieder by Brahms, Schumann and Mendelssohn. At the Beursschouwburg, Philippe Thuriot, accompanied by a string trio from the Belgian National Orchestra and mezzo-soprano Ekaterina Levental, will pay homage to five of the most enticing feminine personalities of the 20th century. Finally, at 6:15 p.m., the journey comes to an end at AB, the temple for contemporary music and an unusual place to see the Belgian National Orchestra, for a nuanced performance with the Marockin'Brass.
Apart from the opening and closing concerts, each of the concerts or musical experiences will take place several times during the afternoon, so the audiences can enjoy them at their leisure. A programme will be issued to the public, including a map, the description and schedule of each concert, and the capacity of each hall, to ensure smooth pedestrian flow. It will be available at the information desk at Mont des Arts, with song performances from the Va-et-Vient trio, at each concert venue, and at the mobile information stand along the itinerary, with the musical act Remork by Met-X. If a concert is full, volunteers will give the public directions to the next nearest concert.
United Music of Brussels is a means for the three Belgian federal cultural institutions to be involved and strengthen their ties with city and its dwellers. The major festive urban event brings together over 100 musicians, teams from the three cultural institutions, as well as more than 50 volunteers from the European Commission to guide the public along the way.
The full programme is available at www.unitedmusicofbrussels.be.