New international French music festival puts Ravel centre stage

Enjoy world-class music in the Basque Country. Pic: Festival Ravel

Enjoy world-class music in the Basque Country. Pic: Festival Ravel - Credit: Archant

The first edition of the Festival Ravel this summer promises to become one of the highlights of the French music calendar

The Soeurs Labeque performing as part of the Concert Academie Ravel. Pic: Mathieu Mengaillou/Festiva

The Soeurs Labeque performing as part of the Concert Academie Ravel. Pic: Mathieu Mengaillou/Festival Ravel - Credit: Archant

The legacy of Maurice Ravel, one of France’s most influential composers, has inspired a new music festival in the Basque Country, where he was born. From 22 August until 10 September 2021, glorious Nouvelle-Aquitaine will welcome some of the biggest names on the festival circuit. The event won’t just be dedicated to classical music, but will reflect Ravel’s open-minded cultural universe, from contemporary art to electronic music.

Concerts will take place in the atmospheric setting of the region’s stunning churches, centred around Saint-Jean-de-Lux and Ciboure. The performers include Riccardo Chailly & Orchestre de Paris, Giovanni Antonini & Il Giardino Armonico, and Renaud Capuçon. One of the highlights will be the world première of Marriage of Louis XIV, an imagined musical programme from the wedding of Louis XIV, performed in the church in Saint-Jean-de-Luz where the monarch was married in 1660.

The festival's venues include churches across the region. Pic: Mathieu Mengaillou/Festival Ravel

The festival's venues include churches across the region. Pic: Mathieu Mengaillou/Festival Ravel - Credit: Archant

Ravel was born in Ciboure in 1875 and he composed many of his famous works in the area, including Boléro. The Académie Ravel was founded in 1967, 30 years after his death, and has carried on his great musical legacy in Nouvelle-Aquitaine. The institute joined forces with Musique en Côte Basque a few years ago and the festival marks an exciting new chapter in the Basque Country’s music scene.

One of the festival’s joint artistic directors, pianist Bertrand Chamayou, said: “The launch of the dynamic new Festival Ravel heralds a thrilling new epoch that honours Maurice Ravel in his birthplace and celebrates everything he represents, while bringing together the region’s three cultures of France, Spain and the Basque Country. We are proud to extol the significance of Ravel and his legacy: his singular vision, trailblazing creations, and the inspiring artistic milieu in which he operated.”

The festival promises to be one of the top events on France's musical calender. Pic: Mathieu Mengail

The festival promises to be one of the top events on France's musical calender. Pic: Mathieu Mengaillou/Festival Ravel - Credit: Archant

Book tickets to the festival on its website (to be updated June 2021).

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