Walden Festival – A voyage around the world in Park Leopold

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On 15 and 16 July, the Walden Festival will once again take place in Leopold Park in Brussels. With headliners such as Joep Beving, Meskerem Mees, Trio Joubran and Collegium Vocale Gent.

This latest edition of the festival is aimed at music lovers, jazz lovers and musical adventurers. For the first time, the Walden Festival will also offer a symphonic program performed by the Brussels Philharmonic and Lorenzo Gatto. The relaxed atmosphere of the festival, its short concert format, its family concept and the sustainable character make this weekend an unforgettable 360° experience. An initiative of the Klarafestival creators, the Walden Festival can be followed live on Klara.

Discover the programme

Fans of classical music, jazz and world music will have plenty to enjoy during the Walden Festival. “Brussels, rich in its different cultures, is an important source of inspiration for the programming,” explains director Joost Fonteyne. In addition to the musical programme for all tastes, each concert lasting between 30 to 40 minutes, audiences can visit the park with its hidden treasures of greenery and architecture. Thus, the main stage will be installed in the garden of the Museum of Natural Sciences and the beautiful Solvay library, in art nouveau style, will serve as a piano room. As a bonus, the magnificent Belle Epoque room of the Espace Senghor, the garden of the Wiertz Museum and the Émile-Jacqmain high school will also open their doors.

Headlining this edition, Joep Beving, pianist and composer will close the Saturday evening session on the main stage. After a first album in 2015, Solipsism, he joined the Deutsche Grammophone stable. Since then, he has appeared in a number of minimalist music playlists on Spotify and to a full house both at Bozar and the Ancienne Belgique. His contemplative and minimalist music, which draws its inspiration from Philip Glass, Keith Jarrett, Sigur Rós and Radiohead, to name a few, transcends genre barriers. 

The minimalist mode will also prevail during the opening concert, provided by the Brussels Philharmonic, under the baton of Tom De Cock, and Lorenzo Gatto, who will perform the energetic Violin Concerto No. 1 by Philip Glass and The Chairman Dances by John Adams. 

Sunday will be reserved for meetings between classical, jazz and world music, reflecting the international influence of the capital. The Brussels Young Philharmonic will kick off at noon on the main stage, followed at 2 p.m. by the Brussels Aleph Quintet, who aim to thrill the audience with their performance steeped in Western European classical heritage, jazz and traditional genres of the Mashriq and the Maghreb. The festival will also welcome ambient pop, with Meskerem Mees, the singer-songwriter who conquered the Werchter and Pukkelpop festivals. There will also be an intimate set, with cello and guitar. The Trio Joubran, three Palestinian brothers playing the oud, will close the festival with a mystical and exhilarating concert, during which they will shine the power of this instrument traditionally confined to the accompaniment. Their warm music, mixing Palestinian roots and Andalusian flamenco, has already won over the whole world. 

Also noteworthy in the programme: six voices from Collegium Vocale Gent will resound in the church of La Viale-Europe with the bewitching polyphonies of Tomás Luis de Victoria, a 16th century Spanish composer, while Julien Tassin will play pieces from his first solo acoustic album at the Lycée Émile- Jacqmain, in the heart of Leopold Park. The “Klara Twintigers” will have, as in previous years, a podium in the Jardin des Citoyens. These twenty young talents to whom Klara offers a springboard will give three refreshing concerts, ranging from harp and soprano voice to accordion duo, cello and guitar.

Slow is the watch word

At Walden Festival, the visitor can relax by enjoying the music with a drink in hand and this green oasis in the city.

Even those who cannot attend can enjoy Walden Festival with reports, interviews and exclusive music moments via Klara or VRT MAX on Saturday from 6 pm to 10 pm and on Sunday from 2 pm to 8 pm

Toddlers

Toddlers can have a great time on the noise tables equipped with small objects or musical instruments to produce lots of interesting sounds. The Musica initiation center invites them to try different instruments during open workshops.

www.waldenfestival.be

Photographs of Walden Festival 2022 © Björn Comhaire