Paris reverberates to the sound of… Russian symphonies
The date has fallen just right this year. World Music Day 2019 is on a Friday. Perfect for a tuneful weekend city break.
In Paris, where it all started in 1982, there is no shortage of events or diversity. Every district, or nearly every district, is holding a free open-air concert or in a hall, extending the invitation to as many residents as possible.
Stroll along, guided by the strains floating on the air or by your own personal tastes. Stop at a street corner and listen to a string quartet playing one of Vivaldi's well-known Four Seasons. Fall under the spell of a soprano who preferred to sing in the streets rather than an opera house in celebration of this day. Take a seat on a cafe terrace and tap your foot to the rhythm of a jazz band. Several minutes further on, the crowd is transfixed as it watches a crazed rock band. Fancy a dance? Maybe you are saving yourself for the tango that another orchestra is just breaking into.
If you love Russian music or just want to know what it is all about, book your tickets for a concert held in the auditorium at the Grand Palais. To mark the exhibition “Red: Art and utopia in the land of the Soviets”, World Music Day 2019 is paying homage to Russia's great composers including Shostakovich, Prokofiev, Kabalevsky, Roslavets and even Mossolov. The event brings together singers from Jean-Marc Pont Marchesi's lyrical repertoire class at the Conservatoires de la Ville de Paris, with a special appearance by mezzo-soprano Yaroslava Kosina. It promises to be a memorable event.
Exhibition – Red: Art and utopia in the land of the Soviets
Until 1 July 2019
3 avenue du Général Eisenhower
+33 (0)1 40 13 48 00
New York – making music in all its forms
In the United States, World Music Day is known as Make Music Day. Dozens and dozens of cities have decided to join in with the event which originated in France. If you are in New York on 21 June, you cannot miss out on this hugely popular festival which has been going strong since 2007.
On this fest, music takes over every corner of the megapolis, the pavements of the five boroughs, parks, schools and colleges. Reflecting the image of the cosmopolitan city, hip hop, which was born in the 1970s in the Bronx, rubs shoulders with opera, Latin jazz, rock and much more. The agenda features eclectic sounds and dance shows, some of them acrobatic, some right in the middle of the street.
You have got over 1,000 concerts and other shows to choose from throughout the festivities! Take a walk through Central Park, which turns into an open-air music lover's temple for the day. Passers-by settle down on the lawns to enjoy jazz, classical music or rock. There is a really happy family atmosphere there and it is a great time to admire the plants in full bloom while listening to a wide variety of musical performances. You are already chomping at the bit! And then in the evening, a spell-binding show awaits you on Broadway.
The upbeat refrains of Rome
Head to the Eternal City for a non-stop musical break. If classical music is your thing, make your way to the city's famous monuments, such as the Coliseum, which pay homage to serious music. But it is for its more impromptu shows that Rome is worth a detour. For World Music Day, the capital gives free rein to aspiring musicians which set up all over the place to perform.
Start your pilgrimage under the trees of Villa Borghese, listening to the rhythms of acoustic guitar players. After enjoying the cool surroundings of the park, head down towards Piazza del Popolo to the sound of jazz beats. As you approach Rome's ancient northern gate, you are greeted by cover versions of pop and rock bands that made their mark in history, such as The Beatles and David Bowie.
At this time of year, the evenings are wonderfully mild, so you decide to continue your sweet-sounding stroll in the heart of the Campo de' Fiori or Trastevere neighbourhoods. There, in alleys and small squares, little orchestras get passers-by and spectators sat at the neighbouring bars swaying to their rhythms. A warm and party-like atmosphere is guaranteed. Having worked up an appetite with all this walking, you end your Roman getaway at Rione 13, a temple of local gastronomy. How can you resist the chef's tagliolini with prawns?
Via Roma Libera, 19
+39 06 581 7418
Echoes of electro and classical music in Lyon
The capital of Gaul celebrates the summer solstice and World Music Day in fitting style. Acoustic stages and stages with sound systems are set up in places popular with the locals, such as the Place des Célestins and the Jardin des Chartreux park. If you are into an electronic vibe, make your way to Avenue Jean-Jaurès. There, at Scène Découverte, you can listen to solo artists and bands who applied and successfully auditioned for the event.
Then, find yourself a table in a traditional bouchon restaurant to sample the city's famous sausages and other specialities to the refrains of a jazz orchestra or guitarist. You might like to dine at Bouchon des Filles, a typical Lyon eatery with a more contemporary feel, serving its own take on classic dishes, such as black pudding stew with apple.
Music is everywhere. Fans of classical music must not miss the free concert by the National Orchestra of Lyon which takes place in Place Charles de Gaulle to mark the occasion. It is a great opportunity to listen to its symphonic repertoire.
Le Bouchon des Filles
20 rue Sergent Blandan
Ancienne Voie du Rhin
33 (0)4 78 30 40 44