66th Ghent Festival to unite people through music with nearly 200 concerts and events

Music will fill all corners of Ghent during the 66th edition of the Ghent Festival of Flanders, organisers announced on Wednesday. This year's theme, The Other Side, represents how music can connect and cross borders.

The event, running from 16 to 30 September, aims to unite people by removing boundaries and letting music be the common bond. “Music connects us all, and yet we can't grasp it," explains festival director Veerle Simons. "That intangible guides us to The Other Side, to the transcendent or the spiritual."

"We will turn the city into a large concert hall"

Ghent will call on all locations in the city to be a stage for music, with not only theatres but churches and monasteries, gardens and other hidden corners taking part. "We will turn the city into one large concert hall," says Simons.

With almost 200 concerts and 50,000 visitors each year, the Ghent Festival of Flanders is the largest of its kind in the region. This year's programme features music, theatre, dance and innovative art experiences.

In a world premiere by Belgian composer Frank Nuyts, the festival provides the perfect setting for a collaboration between several revered Belgian institutions and the Dutch ensemble Asko|Schönberg. The chamber opera Cambio madre per moto will showcase the members of Muziektheater Transparant, soloists of the Queen Elisabeth Music Chapel, musical direction by Benjamin Haemhouts and stage direction by the young Belgian director Aïda Gabriëls.

Nacht van de Verbeelding (Night of Imagination) is a series of events at the Museum for Fine Arts, Ghent University Museum and the City Museum Of Contemporary Art. Here, there are no rules of what art can and cannot be and how it relates to music. Visitors will experience the creative genius of musicians, dancers, writers, painters, philosophers and scientists as they combine their areas of expertise to create remarkable sights and sounds. Examples include a piano that generates images, a ballet dancer who paints while dancing, DJ sets with music by Beethoven and more.

The adventurous visitor can explore an immersive excursion piece led by word artist Wim Helsen with actor and singer Roy Aernouts. They will first wander through the city and eventually set up tents in Tinnenpot theatre for a week in an event that has yet to be revealed to the public.

The festival will culminate with Fauré's Requiem, where Alejo Pérez will conduct the Opera Ballet Vlaanderen Orchestra and Chorus in the Sint-Baafskathedraal.

Music speaks all languages and includes all cultures

Aside from the surprising and whimsical performance locations, the aspects that make this festival exceptional are the combination of strongholds in the Belgian cultural sector combined with international talent.

Performers from Opera Ballet Vlaanderen, Muziektheater Transparant and the prestigious Queen Elisabeth Chapel will merge their mastery with visiting musicians such as Japanese pianist Gen Tomuro, traditional Balkan music bands and tango artists. This combination embodies the idea that the festival hopes to promote: that music speaks all languages and includes all cultures.



#FlandersNewsService | Concert in Ghent Cathedral during Ghent Festival Flanders © BELGA PHOTO LIEVEN VAN ASSCHE






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