Summer Evening Concerts in Utrecht

The summer Domtoren concerts (zomeravondconcerten) start up again tomorrow evening. Every Monday at 20:00, guest carilloneurs and other musicians, as well as Utrecht’s resident carilloneur, Malgosia Fiebig, will perform a variety of musical pieces.

The music can be heard throughout the old city center without much trouble, but for a particularly good listening spot, you can head to the cathedral’s Pandhof. Each week has a different musical theme, with tomorrow’s inaugural concert featuring operatic pieces by Verdi and Mozart.

You may remember that last year they performed Tubular Bells for the closing concert of the series. This year’s finale will be no less spectacular, as the musicians perform an adaptation of Pink Floyd’s The Wall.

Per the official city website, here is the schedule of performers:
1 july 20.00 Malgosia Fiebig (city carilloneur) and the opera klass of Studio 32
8 july 20.00 Margaret Pen (USA)
15 july 20.00 Jeremy Chesman (USA)
22 july 20.00 Paul Maasen: Jazz op de Dom with bass guitar and percussion
29 july 20.00 Twan Bearda (Belgium)
5 aug. 20.00 Eddy Mariën (Belgium)
12 aug. 20.00 Duo Anne Maria Reverté and Koen van Assche (Spain)
19 aug. 20.00 Malgosia Fiebig, Jeroen van Veen, Sandra Mol with an arrangement of ‘The Wall’ by Pink Floyd

In the News

There are a couple of recent stories that have caught my interest, with some of them having tie-ins to things I’ve posted about recently or in general. I thought I’d do a quick run-down here of some of the stories and why they’re of interest to me.

Tick Tock

First up is the news that the Domtoren is no longer signaling the quarter hour as it used to do. It seems that one of the pieces that is used for the automatic playing is damaged through normal wear and tear, so it won’t be used until it can be replaced. The current piece in question has been there since 1980. Fortunately, once the piece is replaced, the Domtoren will go back to chiming every 15 minutes.

Lego My Chair
Next up is the news that Rietveld’s famous Red and Blue Chair (seen here in a Lego version) is inspiring artists yet again. DWA, along with RnB, has used the chair as the basis for their redesign project:

The redesign project is an experiment into using music as inspiration in the design process, we ‘remix’ existing designs according to various musical genres, with the hope of making design as expressive as music.

I particularly like the RnB IKEA (pop) version of the chair, perhaps because of the interactive element, as well as the humor of it.

Finally, in somewhat more serious news, Queen Beatrix has been in Abu Dhabi this past week on a state visit, and while there she visited the Great Mosque. Naturally, she wore a headscarf/hijab (over her hat) as is required of any woman wishing to enter the mosque. Of course, members of the generally anti-Muslim PVV party decided to lambaste the queen for doing so, claiming she was legitimizing the suppression of women. The queen fired back that it was “echt onzin/sheer nonsense”.

As one of the articles about the story points out, “Ironically the party’s remarks came while Beatrix was in Abu Dhabi, one of the Islamic world’s most emancipated states, where two-thirds of university students and 70 per cent new business owners are women.”

As another article says, Wilders, the leader of the PVV, has certainly been known to wear a yarmulke when visiting synagogues, despite the fact that he is not Jewish. Depending on the branch of Judaism, there are sects where you could argue that there is similar suppression of women. For that matter, I remember lessons learned at a Southern Baptist school that also made it clear that women were lesser beings. In other words, Wilders and his supporters are being a bit hypocritical to say the least.

So, there’s my roundup of stories I’ve come across this week and found of interest. Hopefully, you found some of it at least vaguely interesting, as well. If you’re in Utrecht tomorrow, don’t forget it’s the kick-off of the monthly Cultural Sunday events held throughout the city. There’s always something interesting going on somewhere!

Oh, one last thing … Go Saints! (The New Orleans Saints are playing a play-off game tonight. Fingers crossed that they win!)