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Top 5 original classical music festivals

in Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur

No doubt about it, classical music can also have a crazy side, especially in the South of France where original sounds, creations and works go well together in the middle of natural surroundings. Open your ears and get your legs tuned, a selection of festivals scouting for talent and a multiplying effect on the senses awaits you!

Les Rencontres Musicales de Haute-Provence in Forcalquier

Every summer in July, the Rencontres Musicales de Haute-Provence Festival offers a varied, eclectic programme showcasing internationally famous artists and promising young talents. Get in tune with in historic and picturesque venues to discover them: cathedral, cloister, convent, priory. The chamber music concerts range from baroque to contemporary. The musical walks of the festival are an opportunity to connect with nature and make the most of the magic in the open air in an intimate, immersive experience along the hiking trails.

Festival Messiaen in the Pays de la Meije

In July, come and pay homage to one of the most influential composers of the 20th century at the Festival Messiaen which bears his name. In the heart of the French Southern Alps and its spectacular mountain landscapes where the composer Olivier Messiaen drew his inspiration, the festival recreates the connexion between his music and the landscape which influenced it. In the Pays de la Meije, this is a real must for all those who love contemporary music and nature. And to combine natural beauty and live music, what could be better than alternating hikes and moments of music for a unique experience ?

Festival Musiques Interdites in Marseille

At the end of each year in the heart of the Mediterranean city, the programme of the Festival Musiques Interdites (Festival of Forbidden Music) is inspired by the repertoires which were censored by authoritarian regimes. The aim of the event is to reinstate major musical works which were forbidden under the dictatorships of the Nazis and Stalin. You will hear mainly chamber music and famous orchestras and choirs.

The Festival Présence Compositrices in Toulon

In November in the city of Toulon, the Festival Présence Compositrices breaks codes and stereotypes by showcasing the representation of women in the field of musical composition. Over several days, the festival focuses on the talent of women composers, who are so often underrepresented and marginalized in the history of music. In concerts, workshops, conferences and an online platform “demandez à Clara”, women composers of the past and present express their creativity and share it with all.

The Festival de Chaillol in the Hautes-Alpes

Summer rhymes with discoveries of all types in the Vallée du Champsaur. In July and August, there are piano concerts, chamber music, recitals, original forms of music and the Festival de Chaillol. An opportunity to combine the pleasures of music with those of a typical French Southern Alps lifestyle. From classical music to jazz and world music, the event offers a world of possibilities where sounds are concerned. And to air your mind, the musical hikes are the ideal recipe. So, put on your walking shoes and discover unusual places in the Alpine pastures, mountain lakes and forest clearings.

Bonus: Festival Durance Luberon

Between the Durance and the Luberon, this festival celebrates chamber music, small orchestras and pocket operas and lyrical performances, sending shivers down the spines of music lovers. You’ll be bewitched by these high-level performances in a variety of musical genres with men and women opera singers, apérojazz, apéroconcert, apéropéra dinner concert and stories told by the artists themselves. These intimate performances give rise to powerful, passionate emotions. You’ll forget everything around you in a tête-à-tête with the music scene.