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“Berlioz’s children”: 200 children from eight EU countries brought together in Strasbourg on 16th December 2008 to celebrate Europe in music


On Tuesday 16th December a unique European concert will mark the closure of France’s term of Presidency of the Council of the European Union in Strasbourg, under the high patronage of Nicolas Sarkozy, President of the Republic.

Based on an idea by Claire Gibault, a conductor and Member of the European Parliament, the Orange Foundation has mobilised its vocal music know-how to bring together the Slovak Philharmonic Orchestra, the Italian singer soloist Anna Caterina Antonacci, the French viola artist Arnaud Thorette, as well as 200 children from eight EU countries: Belgium, Estonia, France, Germany, Italy, Poland, Spain and the United Kingdom. The executive producer of this concert is Philippe Maillard.

"We wanted to create a true European festival evening rather than a traditional concert, so young Europeans could rub shoulders with the musical forces emanating from the whole of Europe”, explains Claire Gibault.

These children, from the best European vocal ensembles, all have different vocal styles as well as musical styles marked by their national traditions. This unique concert will experience everyone on stage demonstrating that a united Europe is a reality today.

This evening’s program will entirely be dedicated to Hector Berlioz with extracts from Symphonie fantastique, Romeo et Juliette, Les Nuits d’été, Harold en Italie and the Damnation de Faust. The most European of French musicians, Berlioz travelled throughout our continent, sowing the seeds of music for the future. In 1863, during his trip to Strasbourg, Berlioz gave a speech that ended with the following statement: “Where music ends, barbarism begins”.
All the international talents brought together for this concert remind us that the “Europe of the musicians” paved the way for the current political Europe because music is the only sheer universal language.

This exceptional concert will be broadcast live at 8:30 pm (CET) on Mezzo TV classical music channel in 39 countries as well on the portal.

As a major partner in the European Cultural Season and in support of its Foundation’s policy of corporate philanthropy, Orange is proud to offer this European festival evening with all its richness and diversity.


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