The regal medieval city of Reims plays host to one of the largest classical festivals in northern France. The event is organized by a not-for-profit association that has at its heart the larger mission of developing music in the city of Reims, the capital of the Champagne-Ardenne region. The festival is a natural evolution of this purpose, and probably the reason why it is one of the most gregarious and open events of its kind. The name of the festival itself is an indication of the spirit, the word Flânerie refers to the act of strolling, with all of its accompanying associations, a sort of leisurely exploration.
More than 100 concerts are organized around the city, which are free for the most part, acting as stars in a larger constellation that results in this convivial classical and jazz music festival with renowned, musicians, young talents, emerging artists dotted around more than thirty venues in Reims itself and also in the surrounding towns. From the famous cathedral to some of the Champagne houses, musical events are organised both in prime cultural heritage sites and in cafés, open spaces, and parks. With so many events to choose from, there is certainly something for every taste. Visitors are invited to set out on a musical voyage, visit the different sites, enjoy the music and discover the rich history and tradition of this region.
In its 25th edition, this year the program starts with the opening concert under the direction of Jacques Mercier features the Orchestre National de Lorraine and the Nicolas de Grigny choir, in an interpretation of the Messa da Requiem by Giuseppe Verdi, a piece originally written for liturgical purposes although at the time it was criticized as being “an opera in ecclesiastical robes,” because of the powerful emotions of loss and sorrow it expresses. It is nowadays rarely performed in a religious setting. Some of the other highlights (there are just too many to mention, it is such a stellar lineup) are soprano Natalie Dessay on June 23, Les Arts Florissants on July 3, and the Orchestre de Chambre de Tolouse and four pianos on July 8. The closing of the festival will be marked with a picnic concert on July 19th, at the Parc de Champagne featuring L’Orchestre Colonne under the baton of Laurent Petitgirard with a formidable selection of music climbing from Beethoven’s Fidelio, to Prokofiev, and Shostakovitch and onto the crowning glory of Tchaikovski’s 1812 Overture.
Les Flâneries Musicales de Reims
June 19 Until July 19
12, bd Général Leclerc 51722 Reims
From free admission to 20 euros depending on event
Tel: +33 (0)3 26 36 78 00