Early Music Festival in Utrecht

24th August 2007, Comments 0 comments

Early Music Festival in Utrecht

24 August 2007

AMSTERDAM (dpa) - More than 50,000 people from the Netherlands and other countries are expected to attend the 26th Early Music Festival in Utrecht which starts Friday evening, organisers said.

The festival in the medieval city in the centre of the Netherlands runs until 2 September.

The city of Utrecht boasts a great reputation when it comes to early music, not in the least because the city has great variety of churches.

Many churches have beautiful organs and carillons that have been preserved throughout the centuries.

It is one of the reasons why the early music festival, which is world-renowned, played a central role in the renewed performance of early music on "authentic" instruments, dating back to the era in which the music was composed.

The festival is organised by Utrecht's early music foundation, which also organises many music events and attracts famous musicians from the Netherlands and beyond throughout the year.

This year's edition of the festival will host 80 paid and 70 free concert events.

In addition, visitors to the festival can attend a number of side activities such as early music instrument exhibitions, master classes, and a market where people can buy and sell new and second hand literature or music scores.

This year's theme is "Ars Audiendi, the art of listening." Several workshops and lectures will deal with the relatively modern listening customs of audiences.

Many of the city's organs and carillons will be used during the festival for special concerts, that can be listened to while walking the streets of the ancient inner city.

The main concerts will not take place in the official Vredenburg concert hall this year. In June, the concert hall was closed due to extensive renovation work. The new, enlarged hall will not open until 2012.

Instead, concerts have been moved to two temporary locations of the Vredenburg concert hall, as well as to churches.

A total of 50 small concert performances are due to take place in private homes in the medieval inner city.

The opening concert Friday evening will be performed by the Trinity Baroque ensemble.

Other artists to participate are Dutch harpsichordist Ton Koopman, the Egidius Quartet, Carolyn Sampson & Kristian Bezuidenhout and lute player Yair Avidor.

This year's summer school features harpsichordist Menno van Delft and festival tuner Eduard Bos. On Sunday, they will give a joint lecture on the impact of tuning on the way people experience music.

[Copyright dpa 2007]

Subject: Dutch news

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