Explore the fantastical dimension of the music
From 16 to 30 September, Ghent will once again be filled with classical music from all four corners of the globe. With The Other Side we go back to the essence of the music by digging deeper in the world of the intangible. Indeed of all art forms, music brings us most firmly into contact with the elusive and the unsayable.
So this festival edition absorbs a broad spectrum of musical colours, with the imaginary apocalypse and the fantastical world at the two extremes of a supernatural continuum. Discover everything that plays out in between and experience the quest of numerous artists in their elusive and spiritual yearning for eternal beauty and wonder.
For the opening concert of the 66th edition of the Festival, we are throwing open the cathedral doors for Powerful Mahler 5. With Gustav Mahler’s Symphony No. 5, the prestigious London Philharmonic Orchestra engages in a dialogue about life and death, about immortality and resurrection.
Les Arts Florissants from baroque legend William Christie comes to Ghent with the young singers from their local breeding ground Le Jardin des Voix for a performance of Henry Purcell’s most opulent musical theatre work: The Fairy Queen.
If there is a single composer who seems to have a direct line to ‘the higher spheres’ then it is Bach. Even the most convinced atheists are not immune to his spiritual attraction. The young French cellist Bruno Philippe - laureate of the Queen Elisabeth Competition 2017 - tackles the Mount Everest of cello music by performing all six cello suites.
In the new, full-evening work by the British composer and conductor James Wood - Apokalypsis - the theme of the end of days plays a central role. With texts from the Bible, as well as a range of contemporary poems, blogs, reports and political speeches, this is a topical piece. An absolute first: Wood’s magnum opus, which was commissioned by Collegium Vocale Gent, can finally be presented to the general public for the first time after the pandemic.
St Bavo’s Cathedral once again forms the perfect backdrop to some of the most beautiful pages of nineteenth century religious music: Gabriel Fauré’s Requiem. In combination with Mozart’s Maurerische Trauermusik and Claude Debussy’s La Damoiselle élue we expect a romantic and penetrating Festival finale with Opera Ballet Vlaanderen led by Alejo Pérez.
Music from all corners of the world blows through the city
On Saturday 16 September we once again immerse the city in music from all four corners of the globe. Time for a new edition of OdeGand, the unofficial, festive start of the cultural season. During the day you can choose one of the adventurous routes with three surprising concerts, from Viennese classical to sultry tango to a cracking Romanian brass band. Discover music that you didn’t yet know you enjoyed!
For the evening we’re still keeping you in suspense, but expect a brand-new, dazzling conclusion!
Discover a diverse musical palette in Ghent's picturesque city gardens
Sound stirs and thrums from Ghent’s most hidden gardens. The rustling of the leaves is a subtle harbinger of music that is at times fragilely melancholic, at times pure and undiluted. Belgian singer-songwriters or laments from the Mediterranean world, frivolous French opera or top-drawer sound art, the buzz doesn’t stop. Allow yourself to be enchanted by an intimate micro-universe where the audience relaxedly engages in dialogue with performers from Belgium and abroad. Dance the zamba without embarrassment, get to know Schubert 2.0, or enjoy a tender Dutch ditty.
View the whole programme!