The pedigree of an international music festival is generally measured in decades, but the young Festival de Pâques in Aix-en-Provence, now in its 4th edition, is already establishing itself as a leading classical conclave. Alongside the grand orchestras, prestigious conductors and soloists – luminaries like Yo-Yo Ma and Martha Argerich – the festival introduces the energy and excitement of the most promising emerging talent.
Four years ago, the shared passion of two men, Renaud Capuçon, a talented violinist, and Dominique Bluzet, Director of the Grand Théâtre de Provence, plus the support of Michel Lucas, President of the Crédit Mutuel-CIC bank, led to the conception of a major new event in the musical calendar. In the heart of placid Provence, with its pictorial sunlight, friendly atmosphere, golden stone façades, fast transport links, and upscale tourist facilities, graceful Aix-en-Provence, ‘the city of a thousand fountains’, offers an exceptional background for the gathering.
This year, the violin is the guest of honour, with the participation of 14 world-renowned virtuosos joining Renaud Capuçon – Daniel Hope, Pinchas Zukerman, Maxim Vengerov, Isabelle Faust, and superstar Anne-Sophie Mutter, as well as a surprise concert, Carte Blanche à Renaud Capuçon, dedicated to Ivry Gitlis.
With 21 concerts in five exquisite venues, three days devoted to Bach and Brahms, seven symphonic orchestras and the participation of over 700 artists, for two weeks Aix-en-Provence is transformed into a veritable capital of music. The highlight on Easter Sunday is a magnificent ‘concert-event’ held at the imposing Saint-Sauveur Cathedral, featuring the Mahler Chamber Orchestra and pianist David Fray with a programme dedicated to Johann Sebastian Bach. What better way can there be to spring forward into the sunny season than with a rousing musical celebration?
Tip: For hassle-free travel take the high-speed TGV, or the convenient new Eurostar service that whisks you from London to Marseille.
Festival de Pâques d’Aix-en-Provence: March 22 – April 3, various venues in Aix-en-Provence. Tickets from €10. Tel: +33 8 20 13 20 13
From France Today magazine