20,000 Concerts Today!

Today is the day for France’s annual Fête de la Musique, a mind-boggling effort to celebrate music in all its forms with free concerts all over France. You have the impression that everyone who can play an instrument is playing somewhere – in a concert hall, factory, cafe, train station, outdoors in a park – and everyone else is in the audience. Started in 1982 and always on the 21st – the summer solstice – it seems to expand every year. They say there are 20,000 concerts all over France and around the world but, with everyone invited to participate, the count could be greater.

This year’s theme is the French chanson but, as usual, the full range of activities include opera, reggae, orchestras, marching bands, chamber music, jazz, hip hop, choirs, rock, ballet, etc.. Every music school puts on a show. All the major institutions are offering something. Pierre Boulez is conducting Stravinsky with the Orchestre de Paris under the glass pyramid of the Louvre and Yannik Noah, the tennis player turned rocker, is giving a concert with his band in New York. The Paris metro runs free and, exceptionally, all through the night to accommodate the crowds.
http://fetedelamusique.culture.fr/87_English.html

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