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Music from the Benelux

Compact though the Benelux region may be, the breadth of its musical life is stellar. From world class symphony orchestras and opera companies to balladeers and pop stars, Luxembourg, Holland, and Belgium can delight you with loads of home-grown talent as well as a raft of international musical guests at season performances, competitions, on tour, and at festivals.

Music in Luxembourg is alive and well and being played all over. The Luxembourg Philharmonic Orchestra and Luxembourg European Soloists perform regularly throughout the Grand Duchy, with soloists of international standing regularly join the two orchestras as well. In addition to theatres and concert halls, castles and historic churches in Luxembourg add an impressive architectural backdrop to these musical events. The greatest operas, ballets and musicals presented by groups from abroad also form an integral part of the Luxembourg musical offering. You can experience classical masterpieces, discover the exciting sound universes of contemporary composers, listen to classical as well as to European jazz and explore the multi-faceted musical cultures of the world. A wide variety of concert series and festivals invite you to re-listen to your favorites or to explore the unknown.

Belgium brought us Jacques Brel, the saxophone and the Singing Nun; clearly Belgian culture hits a global nerve when it comes to music. Music is present at every celebration in Belgium, not surprising in a country where an opera started the Revolution! If you enjoy classical music, hie thee to the Royal Monniae Theatre in Brussels, one of the most coveted lyric “temples” of Europe, where you can see fabulous opera productions. There are also classical concerts, and the rich program of the Brussels Philharmonic Society. Moreover, festivals give rhythm to the city all year round. The Klara Festival – Flanders Festival Brussels schedules some 300 events in and beyond the capital, and the Festival of Wallonia reveals its innovative character more and more every year. For more contemporary and world sounds, don’t miss the Brussels Jazz Marathon, Couleur Café, Jazzy Nights, and loads more.

You may think of clubbing and extreme techno-nightlife when you think of Holland – as well you should - but there’s also a deep classical vein in this Low Country. De Nederlandse Opera (The Netherlands Opera), based in Amsterdam, hires a new artistic team and soloists for every production. It is known worldwide and has had guest performances around the world. For some fun, pop into the 'From Musical Clock to Street Organ' museum, housed in the beautifully restored medieval Buurkerk church in Utrecht. The music clock, pianola, street- and dance hall organs, belly organs, and organ clocks, are all part of the world of mechanical music instruments. Did you know that Beethoven, Mozart, Handel and Haydn composed music especially for barrel organs and music boxes?

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