Discover Benelux | The Netherlands | Unmissable Festivals and Events
A unique classical music experience TEXT: JULIËN L’ORTYE | PHOTOS: PAUL BERGEN
When it comes to classical music, the opinion tends to be that this specific genre belongs to the older generation. It often has a dull image, maybe even boring. André de Raaff, CEO of a Dutch music publishing company, felt the strong desire to change that. He came up with Empeiria, a one-day classical music festival that is about more than just the music. De Raaff: “Every time we went to a classical concert, we always felt that there was very little attention for the decoration. At Empeiria, it is about the whole experience.” And where better to host this music than a palace? As of its first edition last year, Empeiria takes place right in front of the former royal Soestdijk Palace, which is located just above Utrecht. Imagine this palace being completely video mapped, with huge screens on both sides of the stage and various other visuals. “We believe that it is really important for the festival to have great visual charisma, which is actually something that we only see at pop
concerts,” explains De Raaff. “That is why we are so happy that we are able to host this festival at the palace.”
bottle of wine at one of the catering tents, get something to eat, take your place and enjoy the music, while you pour another drink.” Sounds pretty good, if you ask us.
Of course, hosting a music festival is about more than just the setting. The organisation is very aware of that, as they managed to get the highly celebrated pianist Ludovico Einaudi to play at their first edition. This year, Chinese virtuoso Lang Lang is a standout name on the festival line-up. Only 34 years old, Lang Lang is considered one of the best pianists in the world, but that is not the only reason why he is such a great name for this festival. “He is open minded and has a very grand way of playing that fits our target audience perfectly, I believe. “What we do at Empeiria – inviting six or even seven soloists that have their own time on stage in one evening – is very rare in the world of classical music,” De Raaff continues. “Visiting Empeiria should give you a summer evening feeling. Grab a
Empeiria Location: Paleis Soestdijk – Amsterdamsestraatweg 1 – 3744 AA Baarn Line-up: Lang Lang (piano), Noa Wildschut (violin), Remy van Kesteren (harp), Carel Kraayenhof (bandoneon), Marcel Veenendaal (singer of DI-RECT) Website and ticket information: www.empeirialive.com
Issue 41 | May 2017 | 29
Promoting Belgium, The Netherlands and Luxembourg.