The art of carillons: from West to East

During the ‘Music Over the Neva’ Festival in St. Petersburg attendees could hear masters of carillon music perform concerts at the Peter and Paul Fortress.

The 13th International ‘Music Over the Neva’ Carillon Festival has come to a conclusion in St. Petersburg. Every evening, attendees could hear masters of carillon music from Russia, Belgium, and Lithuania perform concerts at the Peter and Paul Fortress.

All musical pieces performed at the festival were played on the only carillon in Russia, which is installed in the Petropavlovsky Cathedral. St. Petersburg received this instrument as a present from the Belgian region of Flanders in honor of its 300th anniversary.

Jo Haazen, one of the world’s top carillonneurs, a composer and virtuoso, also performed on one of the evenings. He told us about this instrument’s origins, how to play it, and that it’s possible to play absolutely all kinds of music on it. From 19th century classical music to modern and folk music. On top of that, Jo is a professor in St. Petersburg State University’s Faculty of Arts. The Department of Organ, Harpischord, and Carillon, trains musicians who master these instruments.

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