6-11 JULY 2018
ABOUT THE FESTIVAL
EN BLANC ET NOIR is held each summer in the mediaeval village of Lagrasse, known for its Abbey founded in the 8th century, its mediaeval streets, concentration of artists and artisans, and ability to showcase a variety of cultural events year round.
The festival offers performing opportunities for exceptional young musicians from Europe and beyond, and in doing so aims to be a key element in expanding the ongoing cultural profile of Lagrasse. After only four years, this festival has already made a big impact, attracting better known performers and growing audiences alike.
It takes place in the historic heart of the village, on the Place de la Halle, the covered 14th century open air marketplace, providing a dramatic concert venue with wonderful acoustics and historic ambiance. Listening to Mozart or Debussy, Saint-Saëns or Stravinsky under the stars offers our audiences a magical and completely unique experience.
We are a non-profit enterprise and engage young pianists at that exciting moment in their development between the hard slog of learning their trade and their emergence onto the international stage. We provide a free festival that builds lasting relationships between musicians, the people of Lagrasse, visitors and local talent. However, we are also dependent on donations from private individuals and local businesses in order to keep it free for local residents and visitors alike.
PLAY FOR US
Would you like to be a part of our exciting festival?
You, your friends or your children can join Piano à Volonté, a day in which we openly invite anyone who can perform to an acceptable standard to try their hand(s) at pieces of up to 10 minutes length. If you are out there and have something to say musically, then we want to hear you. However obvious it may seem, we believe that not all great pianists are established professionals, and some of the greatest are not!
“The programme is brilliant - there is so much variety - a fantastic programme.”
Susan Schulman (Journalist)
“I wanted to send you a few words to say how very much I appreciated all the work that had gone into the Piano Festival at Lagrasse last month. I attended three of the evening performances and was totally bowled over by the quality of the performances, the diversity of the music played and the class of musician that you attracted to participate. As a member of the audience, it also seemed to me that the overall organisation was professional. Everything - from an audience point of view at least - seemed to go without a hitch and each evening was therefore simply magical. A terrific achievement. Thank you. “
Dr. Chris Hewitson
“At En Blanc et Noir Festival, Lagrasse where pianists perform in a semi covered, stone market place. I was giving my first ever concert of Liszt’s Anneés de Pelerinage, Switzerland and whilst launching into the octave deluge of ‘Orage’, a genuine summer storm raged overhead complete with crashing thunder and flashes of lightning. Perfect timing, coincidence and choreography!”
Charles Owen, pianist
In July 2013, Robert Turnbull, professional journalist, graduate of the San Francisco Music Conservatory, and keen amateur pianist, fulfilled a long-cherished dream: to create a piano festival in the village of Lagrasse, some 30 kilometres south-east of Carcassonne in France, giving precious opportunities to several young Europeans launching careers as concert pianists.
Described in the London Times as ‘the most beautiful village in France’, Lagrasse attracts an unusual diversity of people during the summer. The original idea behind the festival was to provide a major opportunity and a beautiful venue for young artists to perform in public. This has been made possible thanks to the hard work and dedication of a small organising team, and good support from the Lagrasse council, and several generous donors, attracted to the festival because of its unusual combination of emerging international talent, setting and location.
EBEN aims to promote emerging international pianists, offering them the opportunity to give public performances in a supportive, welcoming and non-competitive environment.
The festival augments concerts of ''débutantes'' with a handful of well-established international artists who are willing to accept a fraction of their standard fee in the spirit of the festival objectives and who also provide masterclasses and lectures on the piano repertory.
we thank our corporate sponsors and supporters - nous tenons à remercier nos parrains et mécènes