Door closes, door opens

With Schubertreise XVIII in Bever last Sunday February 21st the halfway point of Schubertreise has been reached. Michel Stas and I can look back on the considerable artistic achievement of the last five years, secure in the knowledge that many unknown Schubertian pearls have been presented to our audiences. It has been a particular pleasure to discover and interpret the great ballads — Der Taucher, Der Liedler, Lodas Gespenst, Minona and Die Nonne. Next up is the gargantuan 25-minute-long Adelwold und Emma

Our celebrations however have been considerably dampened by the decision by the organizers of our concerts in Belgium (Bever and Jodoigne) to drastically cut back on the number of performances, to the tune of one concert each per annum, instead of three to four, as originally planned. Even adopting a system whereby we do not repeat the same programme in both venues, this would mean that I would be 73 at the close of the project!

In order to ensure the viability of Schubertreise, originally scheduled to end in Bever in 2020, we are actively seeking other venues in Belgium and elsewhere. The scheme, in an ideal world, would pan out somewhat as follows:

  • February 2017: A castle somewhere in Belgium

  • May 2017: a house concert in say Brussels, open to the public

  • September 2017: Rosario, Bever

  • December 2017: La Chapelle Notre-Dame du Marché, Jodoigne.

The concerts in Bever and Jodoigne are assured, for the moment at least, and the series in Dublin continues unabated, thankfully.

I have sent emails to all ten cultural centres in Walloon Brabant, to no avail. Not a peep. You, dear reader, may have constructive ideas as to how we should proceed, and you can do so via the contact page on this site or by sending a mail to conorbiggs@hotmail.com . Our requirements are a good (grand) piano and our fee.

Needless to say this unique artistic project cannot be allowed to stop. This hiccup, occurring as it does exactly halfway through our journey, may provide a much-needed breathe of fresh air in the form of a new and curious audience. For the moment, let us just say that we are taking a fallow year (and truth to tell, I could use a rest!)

The following recitals in 2016 will take place in Jodoigne on April 10th and in Dublin on April 24th. In 2017 we will be performing for the first time in the Cultural Centre Den Blank in Overijse (Belgium), on Sunday May 14th. (Please see our events page: http://www.thegreatschubertjourney.com/#!events/c2271

©Conor Biggs

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