Leisure: What’s On Belgium

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La Monnaie – Concertini: “Chamber music is the purest kind of music.” — Arthur Honegger. A superb moment of musical me-time, and a smooth, gentle run-up to the weekend: come enjoy the La Monnaie Chamber music concerts, every Friday at
12.30 pm. In the elegant setting of the Grand Foyer, they offer the intensity and immediacy of live music, challenging programmes and a rich variety of performing ensembles. In January: From OFFENBACH & J. STRAUSS to GERSHWIN & BERNSTEIN, La Monnaie Brass Quintet: 10 January. Works by AUGUST KLUGHARDT & CARL NIELSEN, La Monnaie Woodwind Quintet: 17 January. CÉSAR FRANCK, Quintette à clavier (1879), La Monnaie Chamber Music Ensemble: 24 January. RICHARD STRAUSS Serenade Es-Dur für Bläser, op.7, TrV.106 (1881), Suite B-Dur für 13 Bläser, op.4, TrV.132 (1884), JEAN FRANÇAIX, Mozart new-look, petite fantaisie sur la Sérénade de Don Giovanni (1981), La Monnaie Woodwinds: 31 January. www.lamonnaie.be

Scéal Eile – Irish Film Festival, Belgium :  This year’s festival expands to run
screenings in Brussels (29/01), Leuven (30/01) and closes in Ghent (31/01). A compelling mix of comedy, drama and documentary film are on offer here. The festival opens with the Belgium premiere of Shelly Love’s highly acclaimed comedy A bump along the way starring Bronagh Gallagher (The Commitments) as a 44-year-old boozy single
mother who becomes pregnant after a one-night stand. In Leuven, Garry Keane and Andrew McConnell offer Belgian audiences an opportunity to see Gaza, a beautiful and thought-provoking story of life in this most politically sensitive and controversial area. The film is Ireland’s 2020 Oscar entry and a unique work that is certain to impact. The festivals’ closing movie (Ghent) remains a tightly kept secret with organisers promising an audience highlight to kick off the post-screening party. Expect movie directors and stars to attend for Q&A’s and a strong shorts programme to round out what is certain to be Ireland’s film culture at its best. 29-31 Januarywww.bestofirishfilm.be