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More 40th Anniversary Tributes


1. Symposium at the Ministry of Culture, Paris

This year, France’s Ministry of Culture joins the Make Music Alliance in honoring the Fête de la Musique’s 40th anniversary, with a live symposium on June 16th at the Opéra Comique in Paris featuring important figures from the event’s past 40 years, including musician Jean-Michel Jarre, conductor Louis Langrée, and former Minister of Culture Jack Lang, under whose leadership the Fête de la Musique began.

An archive of the symposium is now available here.

United States

2. Washington, DC

For the 40th anniversary of the Fête de la Musique, join the first edition of DC European Music Day and discover the diversity of European culture through jazz, classical music, pop songs, dance and opera from all over the Europe Union!

• German-Argentinian vocalist and composer Sabeth Pérez, presented by the Germany Embassy
• NYC-based vocalist Bogna Kicinska and pianist Kuba Cichocki, presented by the Polish Embassy
• The DC performance company and teaching studio Arte Flamenco
• Violin and piano duo Judith Ingolfsson / Vladimir Stoupel
• An evening concert from the Washington Opera Society
• High energy dance music from Orchester Praževica, presented by the Czech Republic Embassy
• The French Embassy’s rock band in residence, The Reservoir Frogs

Click here to register for free tickets.

3. Los Angeles, CA

The Italian Cultural Institute in Los Angeles again participates in Make Music Day, with a live concert by Italian vocalist Chiara Galiazzo, who will kick off her new tour “Un’estate fa” in Los Angeles with a special showcase at the Institute.

Performing a mix of Italian and international classics, alongside her most popular tunes, Chiara will take us on a musical journey inspired by the sweet nostalgia of the summers of our youth and the anticipation of those yet to come.

“Un’estate fa” is the Italian version of the 1972 hit French song “Une belle histoire” by Michel Fugain and Pierre Delanoë. Written in the same year by Franco Califano it was first released as a single by the band Homo Sapiens and then covered by the great Mina. Listed to Chiara’s version here!

Click here for more details.

4. Miami, FL

Make Music Miami celebrates the 40th anniversary with Paris-based blues power trio Delgres performing at the historic North Beach Bandshell.

Born in the Parisian suburb to Guadeloupean parents, Delgres frontman Pascal Danaë picked up his first guitar at age 15 beginning the journey of a globe-trotting musician who would one day share the stage with Harry Belafonte, Neneh Cherry, Peter Gabriel, Gilberto Gil, Youssou N’ Dour, Ayo. Why the name Delgres? Louis Delgres gave his life fighting Napoleon’s army in 1802 when the French re-installed slavery in Guadeloupe. His rebellion is part of a historic story that joins the Haitian revolution of 1803/1804, and the ensuing dispersement of French Caribbean people into New Orleans. This special band finds musical power in this historic connection.

More concert details here.

5. Kansas City, MO

Made in France is a group of native French speakers and great musician friends performing French classics in the French language throughout the Kansas City area. For Make Music Kansas City they’ll be performing at The French Market, appropriately enough.

More concert details here.

6. Beverly Hills, CA

For Make Music Beverly Hills, popular French-purveyor of world famous macarons, Ladurée in Beverly Hills, will get in the spirit by playing classic French music all day. The reputation of this salon de thé created an environment for gastronomic creativity in Paris, and there can be no better way to celebrate this day. Bienvenue!

More details here.

7. Madison, WI

Robin Pluer and MRS. FUN will join forces to perform a passionate mélange of vintage French chansons at Bob and Nancy Queen’s Balcony from 8-9 p.m.

Robin Pluer, nicknamed “The Canary” by her family for her constant singing, later learned a French repertoire and incorporated her love of French culture into her singing, becoming a staple for 26 years at Bastille Day in Milwaukee. MRS. FUN plays nu-jazz. Complex, sophisticated and adventurous, their music is a unique blend of off-center jazz, ultra-funk, spoken word rap, and their own brand of neo-cabaret.

More concert details here.


8. Northern Ireland

Beyond Skin & Donne Foundation celebrate 40 years of the Fête de la Musique (Make Music Day) with a music video project featuring soprano Gabriella Di Laccio accompanied by pianist Helen Tzeng performing L’été, a composition by French composer Cécile Chaminade.

The video will be released on June 21st via Beyond Skin’s YouTube and Facebook channels.

A Make Music Day UK production supported by Community Relations Council, Arts Council Northern Ireland and Belfast Music. Audio recorded at Start Together Studios Belfast. Filmed on location and edited by Gemma Bovenizer.

More on Beyond Skin and Make Music Day.

9. South Korea

The Fête de la Musique is a unifying, festive event that promotes musical diversity every year on June 21 and celebrates the arrival of summer. Created in France in 1982 by Jack Lang, former Minister of Culture, it is now celebrated all over the world and of course in Korea!

On the initiative of the Town Hall of Gangnam District in Seoul, South Korea, and to celebrate the 40th anniversary of the Music Festival, the K-pop group LABOUM performs “Daydreams.” This anthem was made exclusively by famous Korean composer KIM Hyeong-seok!

10. Long Beach, CA

Local Long Beach band Second Wind plays tribute to the Fête’s 40th anniversary with a selection of French songs for the annual Make Music Long Beach.

More details here.

13 emblematic events in France for the Fête’s 40th anniversary

Île de France – Paris

1. Ministère de la Culture – Palais Royal

Fête de la Musique 1985 au Palais-Royal. Photo : JP Masset

To celebrate the Fête de la Musique’s 40th anniversary, the Ministry of Culture presents an eclectic program at the Palais-Royal beginning at 1pm.

To begin, employees of the Ministry of Culture will take the stage, followed by amateur and school musicians.

The rapper Sopico (an emerging name in urban music), Zaho de Sagazan and her electro songs with incisive lyrics, and vocal works by Maurice Ravel and Camille Saint-Saëns performed by the choir Les Métaboles, Marie Perbost and Nicolas Chesneau will follow.

Drummer/composer Anne Paceo, and Julien Clerc, an icon of French song, will perform, before leaving the stage to world music with DakhaBrakha, a group of Ukrainian musicians who mix traditional songs and current rhythms, and finally Temenik Electric and their transcendent Arabian Rock.

1:00pm – 2:15pm: Open stage for the agents of the Ministry of Culture: The agents have talent

2:35pm – 5:55pm: Amateurs and students
• 40 years of the French Youth Orchestra with Adèle Charvet, mezzo-soprano, and conductor Julien Chauvin
• Association Orchestre à l’Ecole: orchestra from the school of Rueil-Malmaison
• High school rock & jazz groups: Soulquake (Paris) and students from the Delacroix high school (Maisons-Alfort)
• Two brass bands from the Ecole Nationale Supérieure des Beaux-Arts in the garden and on the Bury plateau

5:55pm – 12:15am

Young musicians of today
• Sopico, rap / urban music
• Zaho de Sagazan, French chanson

Classical Music
• Les Métaboles chamber choir, conducted by Léo Warynski
• Marie Perbost, soprano and Nicolas Chesneau, piano

Jazz et French chanson
• Anne Paceo, drummer/composer
• Julien Clerc, French chanson

World Music
• DakhaBrakha, group of Ukranian musicians
• Temenik Electric, Arabian-rock music group

2. Institut du Monde arabe

Photo: Concert de baisers, Fête de la Musique 1983

Kiss Concert, Nicolas Frize
Saturday June 18, 2022 | 8pm, 09pm, 10pm, 11pm

Recruited for the occasion, 150 kissing instrumentalists from the capital and all over Ile-de-France, carefully selected and rehearsed, will perform this exceptional work by Nicolas Frize, French composer, to celebrate the 40th anniversary of the Fête de la musique.

The work was premiered forty years ago at the courtyard of the Palais-Royal in Paris, twice, and has not been performed since then.

This anniversary is an opportunity to allow Nicolas Frize to go back on stage with his Kiss Concert, finding its place in the repertoire of works in constant search of new musical instruments making, and pay tribute to Fête de la musique.

Kisses, yes,
(stolen or gifted)
there are bass or treble,
long or short,
bright or sweet,
hard or soft,

puffs or glides,
staccatos or tremolos,
straight or wavy,
detached or linked,
dark or bright,
thrown or composed,
moderato or vivace,
strong or flown,
deep or affected,
wistful or distraught,
heavy or light,
deaf or whistled,
crazy and passionate…

3. La Cité de la musique-Philharmonie de Paris

Photo: DR

Block Party 360

Artistic direction by François Gautret (curator of the Hip-Hop 360 exhibition), with participation of DJ Idem, a presentation of Dandyguel.

6pm to 8pm
introduction to hip-hop dance (kids and adults) with Loïc from Légendes Urbaines and Gloria from Blue Monkey;

8pm to 10:30pm
set and DJ battle Old School/New School; DJ Idem VS DJ Glo: a participatory experience where the public is invited to be at the heart of a battle between two DJs who will impose their style in turn; dance performances by local groups (Espoirs 19, Thony Maskot School, Parquet Villette, Formless Corp dancers, spontaneous practices of 104, Maison du Hip-Hop) will punctuate the evening.

The musical street will be open on the SACEM square where speakers will be installed to broadcast the sound of the event outside as well as deckchairs and a bar.

4. Radio France – Le Char des 40 ans

A moving stage in the Radio France colors drives around Paris
3pm – at the base of the Statue of Liberty on Swan Island, in a nod to Make Music Day in NYC
Fanfare des Beaux-arts (brass band of the Paris School of Fine Art) & DJ Young Pulse
3:30pm – 4pm – Parvis de Radio France
Young Pulse and JackassBrass Band, New Orleans octet
5pm – 5:30pm – Olympia
a Ukrainian artist (to be confirmed) + Young Pulse
7pm – Institut du Monde arabe
Hey Bony – Naza / DJ Young Pulse
9pm – Place Monge – Arènes de Lutèce
Young Pulse / Abel Cheret / Bellette Brass Band / DJ Young Pulse

France Inter at the Olympia Hall
8:05pm : Franz Ferdinand
9:00pm: Benjamin Biolay
9:50pm: Pomme
10:35pm: Parcels
11:40pm: Angèle

FIP at the Arènes de Lutèce
6:30pm – 7pm: Emma Jean Thackray
7:20pm – 08pm: Laurent Bardainne and Tigre d’eau douce
8:20pm – 9:00pm: Bertrand Belin
9:20pm – 10:05pm: Ibeyi
10:40pm – 11:30pm: Metronomy

France Musique at Studio 104 of the Maison de la Radio et de la Musique starting at 8pm
Jackass Brass Brand
Hot Sugar Band
Paris Jazz Sessions
Les Yeux d’la tête
Pink Turtle

5. Chapelle Saint-Louis de la Pitié-Salpêtrière AP-HP

As part of the Fièvres musicales (piano and chamber music festival of the Pitié-Salpêtrière Hospital from June 20 to 25)

June 21 at 8:30pm – free but reservations required
The Ondes Plurielles orchestra, with François Pinel (conductor) and Pierre Fouchenneret (violin)
Brahms and Schumann

6. Sous la Pyramide du Louvre

Photo: Marco Borggreve

Orchestre de Paris; Klaus Mäkelä, conductor
10:00pm – free but reservations required

Anton Bruckner
Symphonie No. 9 in D Minor WAB 109

Back at the Louvre after several years absence, the Orchestre de Paris and its musical director Klaus Mäkelä will give a free concert under the Louvre Pyramid on the occasion of the 40th anniversary of the Fête de la musique.

On the program for this evening will be a universal masterpiece: Anton Bruckner’s last symphony, a work left unfinished by its author and dedicated to God, which requires great means and great spaces to unfold in all its monumentality. A cathedral symphony for a glass cathedral!

In coproduction with the Philharmonie de Paris / Orchestre de Paris

7. Eglise Saint-Eustache

Festival 36 Hours Saint Eustache

Born 17 years ago, based on an idea from the parish priest, the Festival is a project supported by the parish community of Saint Eustache.

Folk, rock, electro, sacred music: for 36 hours, riffs and samples rub shoulders with choirs and organ in the church of Mozart, Lully, Rameau, Pierre Henry, Camille, Patti Smith, Keith Haring…

12am – Clara Ysé
1am – Blondino
2am – Form
8am – noon – Open stage
12:30pm – Mass
1pm – Stéphanie Acquette
2pm – 4pm – Conservatoire Mozart
4:15pm – Jeanne Gabrielle
5:15pm – Gisèle Pape + Grand Orgue
6pm – Messe
6:30pm – Kyrie Kristmanson
7:30pm – Chien Noir
8:30pm – Barbara Carlotti

8. Le Carreau du Temple – croisement rue Perrée / rue E. Spüller

La Fanfare Au Carreau
8:15pm – 9:30pm

This amateur brass band, in residence at the Carreau du Temple since 2015, now gathers about fifty musicians to play original compositions by Fidel Fourneyron, who also directs the ensemble. Meet this joyful band in the open air and always in great form for the Fête de la musique 2022!


9. Villeurbanne > Lyon

Faites de la musique

An extraordinary musical event. A large open and pedestrian stage, which will connect the two City Halls, on nearly 6.5 km of streets, which will vibrate to the rhythm of 800 events, concerts and shows planned.

On the occasion of Villeurbanne, French Capital of Culture 2022, the cities of Lyon and Villeurbanne are joining forces to offer you “the biggest music street” in France!
3 stages, 10 musical spaces, 2 spaces of wandering music on the Lyon side only…

Villeurbanne invites the inhabitants to take to the streets with their own instruments for a giant concert that will stretch over 6.5 km in a joyful procession between the town halls of the two municipalities. The idea is to find the founding spirit of this event initiated on June 21, 1982 by Jack Lang, then Minister of Culture. He will also be present at this 2022 edition!

In the afternoon, the great children’s Charivari will bring together 800 costumed children with their instruments for “le cri de la Jeunesse” (The Cry of Youth). This contemporary work is defined as an “organized noise”.

Between Cusset and Charpennes metro stations, all along the Cours Emile Zola, from 6pm, everyone will be able to go down the street, transformed into a giant, spontaneous and participatory stage. Hundreds of children from orchestras, choirs from the ENM (Ecole de musique de Villeurbanne) and dance classes will form groups and give concerts and shows between 6 and 8 pm. Current music groups will perform at the Quartz.

All evening long, one will be able to sit on the benches of the tables and to share the preparations and picnics that everyone will bring.

A children’s village will propose readings of musical tales and a traveling “blind test” will meet people.

A great moment of celebration and meeting in which all, whatever their age, are invited to take part until the end of the night, in a joyful cacophony!

10. Lyon – Parvis de l’auditorium, Place Charles de Gaulles

L’Orchestre National de Lyon
at 9pm

A complete change of scene is guaranteed with the National Orchestra of Lyon, which will take us from Spain to Cuba, from the Moroccan desert to the Norwegian mountains, from American cotton plantations to the palaces of Kiev. A Fête de la musique full of rhythms and colors for this open-air concert!

To celebrate music, the National Orchestra of Lyon and Anton Holmer, its assistant conductor, will ride a magic carpet and take us across the planet. Peer Gynt takes us to the land of the terrible trolls and makes us experience a sumptuous sunrise in the Moroccan desert. The imperishable hits of Carmen plunge us into a Spain of fever and passion, mirrored by the charming and light-hearted Alborada by Ravel. And for the most frantic rhythms, we head for a fairy-tale Ukraine with Glinka, for Cuba with Gershwin and for the African slaves of South Carolina with Florence Rice’s brilliant Juba Dance.

Mikhail Glinka: Overture to Ruslan and Ludmila
Edvard Grieg: “Morning” and “In the Mountain King’s Den”, excerpts from Suite No. 1 of Peer Gynt
Maurice Ravel: Alborada del Gracioso
George Bizet: Suite No. 1 from Carmen
Florence Price: “Juba Dance”, from Symphony No. 1
George Gershwin: Cuban Overture

National Orchestra of Lyon, conducted by Anton Holmer

Pays de la Loire

11. La Ferté-Bernard

Photo : Francis Le Floch

Musical rides in electric boats and two songs for a sing-along at 7:30pm, place de la République


12. Saint Quentin de Baron

from 6:30pm

The association ART & EXPRESSION and the municipality of Saint-Quentin-de-Baron present 25 to 30 groups on 6 different stages in the village of the commune, just as they have since 1982.

On the occasion of its 40th anniversary, the Fête de la musique will once again rock the town of this small commune of Gironde, located 25 km from Bordeaux. Every June 21st, the town of 2,500 inhabitants takes on the appearance of a big festival for one day, welcoming thousands of people who come to celebrate music in all its forms. Saint-Quentin-de-Baron was one of the pioneers in the organization of the event. On June 21, 1986, Jack Lang, then Minister of Culture, made a stopover at the airport of Mérignac to take part in the Fête de la musique of Saint-Quentin-de-Baron. Since then, the success of the following editions has only grown, attracting more and more people each year.


13. Rennes – FRAC Bretagne & l’Orchestre National de Bretagne

Photo ©Frac Bretagne

from 12:30pm

To celebrate the 40th anniversary of the Fête de la musique, the FRAC Bretagne (Regional contemporary art museum of Bretagne) joins the National Orchestra of Bretagne in presenting the trio for violin, cello and viola by Jean Cras, performed by Nicolaï Tsygankov (violin), Clémentine Cômes (viola) and Timothée Marcel (cello). Jean Cras, a Breton composer from the early 20th century, was a jack-of-all-trades whose work, deeply rooted in contemporary research, was nourished by his many travels as a naval officer.

The FRAC Bretagne is particularly proud to participate in this anniversary. Indeed, exactly like the Fête de la Musique, the regional museums of contemporary art in France were born from the impulse of freedom and cultural openness initiated by the Ministry of Culture in the early 1980s. Like the Fête de la musique, they are places of popular celebration and decompartmentalization of creation, all creations.

Fête de la Musique Celebration at the Statue of Liberty

Forty years ago, France launched the Fête de la Musique, a national holiday to celebrate music, open to everyone who wants to perform, with thousands of free concerts on streets and parks nationwide. Inspired by France’s example, people around the world now celebrate their own “Make Music Day” on June 21, in dozens of countries and 105 U.S. cities.

To celebrate the 40th anniversary of the Fête de la Musique, Make Music New York and the Make Music Alliance present a full day of concerts in New York City featuring music of French composers and musicians at seven outdoor locations at Liberty Island, Ellis Island, and The Battery, all within view of the Statue of Liberty, the powerful symbol of friendship and connections between nations.

The festivities on June 21 will kick off with a special morning ceremony with French and U.S. elected officials and dignitaries at The Battery, including a performance of Carnival of the Animals by French composer Camille Saint-Saëns, written in 1886, the same year the Statue of Liberty was inaugurated. Following will be dozens of concerts featuring centuries of music by French composers – Bizet, Bozza, Boulez, Clements, Debussy, Faure, Gombert, Jacquet de la Guerre, Josquin, Piaf, Poulenc, Rameau, Ravel, Reinhardt, Satie, Tailleferre, and Varèse included – as well as contemporary music by French musicians living in New York.

The day concludes at SummerStage in New York’s Central Park with performances by French hip-hop star MC Solaar, electronic group Bon Entendeur, and electro-pop artists Hyphen Hyphen.

Please note: although all events are free and open to the public, ferry tickets are needed in order to visit Liberty and Ellis Islands. For information on ferry tickets, click here.


Battery Fountain, The Battery (map)

    10:00 – Press conference with New York City Mayor Eric Adams, Ambassador of France to the United States Philippe Étienne, and special guests

    10:30Carnival of the Animals by Camille Saint-Saëns, featuring French musicians Yves Dhar on cello, Nicolas Duchamp on flute, and Johannes Pfannkuch on tuba, accompanied by pianists Jenny Undercofler and Mina Kim. Each movement will be introduced by a poem about an animal, read in English or in French. Poetry readers will include Philippe Petit (high wire artist), Richard Kessler (Mannes School of Music), Kristina Newman-Scott (New York Public Radio), David Dik (Young Audiences), Jesse Brackenbury (Statue of Liberty – Ellis Island Foundation), Warrie Price (The Battery), Aaron Friedman (Make Music Alliance), James Burke (Make Music New York), and others to be announced.

    11:00Nicolas Duchamp performs Sonate pour flûte et piano by Francis Jean Marcel Poulenc, followed by other French selections performed by students at the SUNY Purchase Flute Studio

    12:00 – French Baroque keyboard works by Jean-Philippe Rameau and Elisabeth Jacquet de La Guerre, performed by three students of Blair McMillan and J.Y. Song at Mannes The New School: Kexin Liu, Hanfei Tu, and Alicia Liu.

    1:00 – French song recital by vocal students from William Paterson University

    2:00 to 5:00Young Scholars from the Lang Lang International Piano Foundation perform highlights from the French solo and duo piano repertoire, including work by Debussy, Ravel, Poulenc, and Bizet. Pianists will include Aliya Alsafa, Maxim Lando, Ryan Lu, and Harmony Zhu. At 2:00pm: Music of Debussy (Claire de Lune, Images Book 1, and Arabesque No. 1). At 3:00pm: Music of Ravel (A la maniere Borodine / Chabrier, Menuet sur le nom d’Haydn, Sonatine, Gaspard de la nuit, La Valse for 4 hands). At 4:00pm: Music of Others (Impromptu by Germaine Tailleferre, Gnossiennes by Erik Satie, Nocturnes and Impromptus by Fauré, Bizet’s Carmen, Poulenc’s Concerto for Two Pianos, and Saint-Saëns 2nd Piano Concerto)


Barbès/FranceRock Stage at Castle Clinton Plaza, The Battery (map)

    12:00 – Seeking to increase the possibilities of the harp and find a richer harmonic language, Laura Perrudin found an opening in 2008, when luthier Philippe Volant built her a chromatic pedal-less harp with a single row of strings. With it, she ventures into sound worlds evoking Amon Tobin, Björk and Flying Lotus, as well as the winding, impressionistic harmonies of Debussy, Ravel or Wayne Shorter.

    1:00Prophet’s Guild is the experimental folk outlet of singer-songwriters/instrumentalists Emma Steen and Greg Hunter. They will be performing a set inspired by French Mediaeval music and folk songs, blending Steen’s love of folk revivalist material, protest songs, and madrigals with Hunter’s mastery of extended techniques and improvisation.

    2:00Stephane Wremble is quite simply one of the finest guitar players in the world. This prolific musician from France has been releasing a steady stream of music since 2002 and has truly made his mark as one of the most original guitar voices in contemporary music. He performs with his trio.

    3:00Eleonore Biezunski is an award-winning Parisian singer/violinist/songwriter and scholar now living in NYC. An avid collector of Yiddish music, she has led several projects and has collaborated with a large number of well-known Jewish performers in the US and abroad.

    4:00 – After being introduced to the Casio VL-Tone by a neighbor in Paris, Glockabelle began blending her classical piano techniques with 8-bit synthpop sounds resulting in a hyperactive mixture of rhythm and tone. She also invented a unique technique for playing the glockenspiel: not with mallets but with eight sewing thimbles.

    5:00Helen Gillet is a singer-songwriter and surrealist-archeologist exploring synthesized sounds, texture, and rhythm using an acoustic cello. Her mixed musical vocabulary is commensurate with her disparate travels — French chanson of the 1940s, Belgian folk tunes sung in Walloon, a mix of rock and punk from the likes of PJ Harvey and X-Ray Spex, and her own affecting originals.


Esplanade, The Battery (map)

    2:30 to 6:00 – Accordionists Melissa Elledge and Mary Spencer Knapp sing and play French songs and other repertoire on the accordion throughout the afternoon.

    6:00Melissa Elledge leads a “Mass Appeal Accordion” event, with a group performance of In C by Terry Riley. All accordion players are invited to bring their instruments and join in!


Playscape, The Battery (map)

    11:15 – Led by composer, trombonist, and concert producer Chris McIntyre, contemporary brass ensemble TILT Brass performs excerpts from Eugène Bozza’s Sonatine for brass quintet in a pop-up performance at the playground.


Flagpole Plaza, Liberty Island (map)

    11:30The American Symphony Orchestra presents three of France’s great string quartets – by Claude Debussy, Maurice Ravel, and Germaine Tailleferre – performed by concertmaster Cyrus Beroukhim (violin), Robert Zubrycki (violin), Will Frampton (viola), and Jordan Enzinger (cello).

    12:30 – Led by composer, trombonist, and concert producer Chris McIntyre, contemporary brass ensemble TILT Brass performs excerpts from Eugène Bozza’s Sonatine for brass quintet and Pierre Boulez’s Initiale for 7 brass instruments.

    1:00 – Flutist Kim Lewis plays the classic solo work Density 21.5 by Edgard Varèse. Following this short piece, an octet led by conductor Kyle Ritenauer, will perform Varèse’s Octandre, featuring Kim Lewis (flute), Timothy Hommowun (oboe), Yan Liu (clarinet), Joel Rodeback (horn), Tylor Thomas (bassoon), Ariel Shores (trumpet), Johannes Pfannkuch (trombone), and Dylan Holly (double bass).

    1:30Randy Stein, a founding member of the Big Apple Circus now living in Washington DC, performs classic French songs by Edith Piaf and others on the English concertina

    2:30The American Symphony Orchestra presents three of France’s great string quartets – by Claude Debussy, Maurice Ravel, and Germaine Tailleferre – performed by concertmaster Cyrus Beroukhim (violin), Robert Zubrycki (violin), Will Frampton (viola), and Jordan Enzinger (cello).


American Family Immigration History Center at Ellis Island (map)

Through a special arrangement between the Statue of Liberty – Ellis Island Foundation and the Italian-based SlideWorld, the History Center at Ellis Island currently hosts a “SlideDoor,” a life-sized portal with live video and audio capabilities that enables spontaneous, real-time personal connections. Coming upon the Ellis Island SlideDoor you’ll meet people engaging with the display’s “twin” more than 4,000 miles away in the Cathedral of San Mateo in Salerno, Italy.

For Make Music Day in Italy (where it is called the “Festa della Musica“), three Italian bands will perform live in Salerno in front of the SlideDoor, so that visitors in Ellis Island can hear their music. In return, the Voxtet group in New York will perform a concert of French repertoire, live for an Italian audience.

    10:00 – Stradeaperte group, featuring Marco Balestrieri (mandolin), Luca Capuccio (electric cello) and Riccardo Antonielli (pipedrum and percussion).

    10:30 – “Fellini in Jazz,” with Stefano Giuliano (saxophone), Marco De Gennaro (piano), Vincenzo Nigro (bass) and Stefano de Rosa (drums)

    11:00Voxtet is the William Paterson University Music Department’s newest vocal ensemble. This a cappella group performs repertoire ranging from the Renaissance to the present, and all without a conductor. Voice program directors Dr. Lauren Fowler-Calisto and Dr. Christopher Herbert perform with their students in order to give hands-on experience in ensemble leadership. In 2021, Voxtet performed on the William Paterson Chamber Choir tour to Italy. Their French program at Ellis Island will include works by Gombert, Clemens, and Josquin.

    11:30Antonio Nicola Bruno (guitar)

    3:30 – Flutist Kim Lewis plays the classic solo work Density 21.5 by Edgard Varèse, in the building through which Varèse himself came when he emigrated from France to the United States in 1915.


Flagpole Plaza, Ellis Island (map)

    10:00 to 5:00 – Ten years ago, trailblazing percussionist Amy Garapic led a “Worldwide Day of Vexations” for Make Music Day 2012, organizing percussionists in New York and around the world to perform Erik Satie’s notoriously repetitive 18-hour-long piece for solo piano. For Faire la Fête, she and her colleagues will return to Vexations, playing it on vibraphone outside on Ellis Island, for as long as possible.

    1:30 – Led by composer, trombonist, and concert producer Chris McIntyre, contemporary brass ensemble TILT Brass performs excerpts from Eugène Bozza’s Sonatine for brass quintet and Pierre Boulez’s Initiale for 7 brass instruments.

    3:00Kyle Ritenauer will conduct Edgard Varèse’s Octandre, featuring Kim Lewis (flute), Timothy Hommowun (oboe), Yan Liu (clarinet), Joel Rodeback (horn), Tylor Thomas (bassoon), Ariel Shores (trumpet), Johannes Pfannkuch (trombone), and Dylan Holly (double bass).

The Spirit of the Fête de la Musique, by Sylvie Canal

Sylvie Canal is Director of À Facettes, and coordinator of the Fête de la Musique from 1994 until 2019.

The Fête de la Musique was created in 1982 by the Ministry of Culture.

When Maurice Fleuret became Director of Music and Dance in October 1981, at the request of the Minister of Culture Jack Lang, he applied his thoughts on musical practice and its evolution, and the aspiration to have “music everywhere and concerts nowhere.” Discovering in 1982, on the occasion of a study on the cultural practices of the French, that five million people, including one in two young people, play a musical instrument, he began to dream of bringing people down into the street.

And so it was, within a few weeks, that Jack Lang, Minister of Culture, decided to launch the first Fête de la Musique, on June 21, 1982, the day of the summer solstice, a pagan night linked to the ancient tradition of St. John’s Day celebrations.

“Faites de la Musique, Fête de la Musique” (Make Music, Music Day), the phrase that became the day’s call to arms, was much more than a slogan. This mobilization of professional and amateur musicians, with new attention paid to all musical genres, became, through the immediate success of a popular and largely spontaneous demonstration, the translation of a policy which intended to grant a place to amateur practices as well as rock, jazz, popular songs and traditional music, alongside so-called serious music.

The free concerts, the support of SACEM (France’s performing rights organization), the recognition of the media, the support of local authorities and the growing support of the population, were to make it, in a few years, one of the great French cultural events.

It began to “export itself” in 1985, on the occasion of the European Year of Music. In less than fifteen years, the Fête de la Musique was taken up in more than a hundred countries, on five continents.

An international success, a social phenomenon (a French postage stamp was dedicated to it in 1998, and a 1-euro coin in 2011), the Fête de la Musique is also a harbinger of new musical trends: the revival of traditional music, the explosion of world music, the development of choirs, the appearance of rap, techno, and musical carnivals… Its visible success in city centers can obscure many other dimensions: it enters prisons, shares the lives of patients and hospital staff, brings together schools and music schools, establishes links and exchanges between the city and its suburbs, strengthens rural communities, promotes the work of several months or a whole year of an individual, a group, an association or an entire community. The Fête de la Musique naturally promotes the democratization of access to artistic and cultural practices.

The success of the Fête de la Musique is first and foremost that of the multiple networks that are active in anticipation of June 21. They can be institutional (such as lyric theatres, national and regional orchestras, chamber music ensembles, and music schools) or professional (such as concert halls and musical cafés) but can also be museums, churches, private companies, railway and metro stations, and many more.

On this occasion, the major amateur federations mobilize their networks throughout France, whether it is the Confédération Musicale de France for brass bands, wind ensembles and amateur practice in general, or A Coeur Joie for choirs. Social and cultural facilities and local associations help reveal new musical expressions. The vitality of the Fête de la Musique also comes from the energies of all the volunteers who mobilize individually to bring to this exceptional day its fundamental share of spontaneity, its allure of joyful transgression.

In the space of two generations, the Fête de la Musique has demonstrated a permanent capacity to reinvent itself, ingenious and lively, coming from an institutional origin, but having chosen – like the song – to live its life in the street.

40 years after the creation of Fête de la Musique, every June 21st in France, millions of people take to the streets, squares and gardens to listen to the thousands of concerts resounding throughout the country. And in the world, more than 120 countries unite in a huge global concert to speak the same language: that of music.

Photo credits: Le Concert de Baisers by Nicolas Frize 1983 (DR); Paris 1982 (Chanteloup), Strasbourg 1985 (DR), and Clermont-Ferrand 1984 (M. Tourlonias); Paris date unknown (DR), Paris 1988 (H. Nicolas), and Paris Gare du Nord 1989 (S. Weber); Paris date unknown (DR), Fiji 2003 (DR), and Philippines date unknown (DR); Paris 1990 (Ph. Cibille)

Fête de la Musique Posters, 1982-2022

The Fête de la Musique has inspired some of France’s most important illustrators and designers, from Sempé to Tomi Ungerer to Michel Quarez, to contribute a design for the official annual poster.

Here is the complete collection of France’s Fête de la Musique posters over the last 40 years. (Click on each one to enlarge.)