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Menton music festival: programme released

Menton celebrates its 68th anniversary This summer, let yourself be carried into the sweet sound of musical classics and other exotic discoveries introduced by Menton’s scenic landscapes and most talented artists in the world. From 29th July to 13th August, Menton will be hosting its famous Festival de Musique de Menton, a tradition which the town holds dear to their heart since centuries and birthed by André Böröcz.

This year’s festival hopes to be a memorable moment of music, dance and cultural exchange. The baroque setting of Menton’s St Michel basilica offers a one-of-a-kind acoustic quality, which echoes the enchanting setting of the towering mountains that overlooking the emerald Mediterranean Sea and the city below.

A press conference presided by Paul-Emmanuel Thomas (Artistic Director of the Festival), Pierre-Paul Lenoelli (Regional Consultant for the PACA region), Jean Claude Guibal (Deputy Mayor), and Anne Marie Dumont (Department Consultant of PACA) in early April presented the programme for the 68th edition of the event.

Representatives for Menton and the wider PACA region spoke passionately about their involvement for making this music festival a momentous event for all. “Happiness, calm, serenity…” is what you can expect at the festival according to Jean-Claude Guibal, deputy mayor of Menton.

The festival will be composed of three series of concerts: “Les Grands Interpretes”; Concerts at 6pm in the Musée Jean Cocteau and free performances on the Esplanade Francis-Palmero.

This year, Artistic Director Paul-Emmanuel Thomas’ passion and dedication for musicwill bring together ardent music lovers and classical interpreters of Schubert, Brahms and Beethoven, but also give a voice to new generations of musicians such as virtuoso Kit Armstrong and vocal quintet Quatuor Pagnini.

 First series: The first night will open with a performance by Turkish pianist Fazil Say, a genius improviser who appropriates some of the best classics of Mozart with style and personal tones. He was first discovered by André Böröcz. This year, Say agreed to perform one of his own compositions: La route de la soie.

The second night will be particularly exciting for all violinist lovers and will feature Renaud Capuçon surrounded by a rising generation of violinists such as Edgar Moreau and David Kadouch, originally from Nice.

In a second vein of performances, notable pianist such as Christian Zacharias will have the honour of playing Schubert and Ravel, which he depicted as ‘noble and sentimental waltz’.

One highlights will be a tango concert - Noche de Tango - performed by Juan Jose Mosalini, who is currently celebrating 50 year of his career and will combine Argentinean rhythmic music and sensual dancing.

Second series: Many surprises are to be found at the Jean Cocteau museum including refreshing interpretations of Kit Armstrong, American pianist virtuoso and intellectual prodigy Trio Busch, and Israeli pianist Iddo Bar-Shai. Harp lovers will enjoy listening to the modern interpretations of Debussy and Scarlatti during a performance by harpist Emmanuel Ceysson.

Third series: Taking place in the Esplanade, free events include master-classes in partnership with the Zahkar Bron School in Zurich, workshops, flash mobs, guided tours of the St Michel basilica and more.

As Guidal and Dumont emphasised during the press conference, music plays a big role in making Menton a cultural town. Renaud Capuçon also surprised media members and sponsors during the conference by offering his own take and emotional reminiscence of his first time performing in Menton.

“Nothing exist without passion,” said Dumont. He described the event are brining spectators a ‘bubble of joy’ and an ‘accord gourmand’ to the senses.

For more information about the program and tickets:www.festival-musique-menton.fr

Prices tickets range from 10 to 52€. You may also download their app: Piste et Tresor.

 

Claire Davis