Arts Festivals Summit 2019

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Le Guess Who & Utrecht Early Music Festival start long-term collaboration; first joint project at LGW18

5 October 2018

2018 marks the start of a long-term collaboration between the Utrecht Early Music Festival and Le Guess Who?. The first joint project, a marathon concert by musician and anthropologist Björn Schmelzer and his renowned ensemble Graindelavoix, will be presented during the upcoming edition of Le Guess Who?.

The Utrecht Early Music Festival and Le Guess Who? are both city-wide festivals, programmed with an autonomous vision, and deeply rooted in the local environment but with a global focus. With the collaboration, the festivals prove that the borders between contemporary and classical music are not as strict as is often assumed.

Graindelavoix performs Carlo Gesualdo - 'Tenebrae Responsoria' (The Complete Cycle)
Earlier this year, Graindelavoix was curator in residence at the Utrecht Early Music Festival. During Le Guess Who? 2018, the ensemble presents the four-hour piece ‘Tenebrae Responsoria’ by 17th-century Italian composer and prince Carlo Gesualdo.

Gesualdo was a progressive composer, exploring new harmonies and dissonant intervals that were unprecedented in his time. His work later influenced groundbreaking composers such as Igor Stravinsky and Arnold Schönberg. ‘Tenebrae Responsoria’ is an overwhelming and intriguing musical piece which has been composed specifically for a nocturnal concert. Le Guess Who? and Utrecht Early Music Festival will present the piece as a four-hour performance on Saturday night, 10 November, in Utrecht’s Janskerk. The concert will also be performed in the summer of 2019 at the Utrecht Early Music Festival.

Collaboration Utrecht Early Music and Le Guess Who?
By exchanging working methods, contacts, artists and content, Le Guess Who? and the Utrecht Early Music Festival will focus on broadening their programs in the upcoming years. Xavier Vandamme, director of the Utrecht Early Music Festival: “The desire to collaborate with Le Guess Who? isn’t new. We have always admired the work of our colleagues. The mutual relations are excellent, and the more we talked, the more we discovered our common grounds when it comes to look and feel, working methods and artistic values. We have decided to convert this into projects in which early music ensembles can be heard at Le Guess Who?, and the other way around. It is like we give each other musical gifts.”

Watch a trailer of Graindelavoix performing Carlo Gesualdo's 'Tenebrae Responsoria' at at Chapelle Corneille Rouen, France.


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