United Music of Brussels: A musical stroll through the heart of the capital


Brussels art institutions collaborate to offer free music across the city

Baroque songs in a tattoo shop

Explore unusual venues while enjoying performances by musicians from the national orchestra and De Munt opera house

Next Saturday marks the second edition of the spectacular United Music of Brussels. The free event invites visitors to explore 16 unique and often unknown venues to see musicians and singers from the Belgian National Orchestra (BNO) and opera house De Munt, as well as several guest artists.

The performances range from opera and classical to hip-hop, jazz and tango. The locations are equally diverse. Visitors can enjoy baroque songs in a tattoo shop and the ballads of Jacques Brel in a Christian commune.

Among other venues are a bicycle shop, an asylum centre, a brewery and a private art collection. The deliciously varied itinerary has its own map to guide you from the city centre along the canal on to Molenbeek and back.

United Music of Brussels is a collaboration of the orchestra, the opera house and Bozar. “As art institutions, we often operate on an international level, “says BNO director Hans Waege, “and by opening up these venues and offering free world-class music, we want the people of Brussels to discover what we do and at the same time show how beautiful our city is.”

The event will kick off on Saturday afternoon in Molenbeek with the sounds of ritual music by a group from Burundi, followed by Moroccan blues and pop by Mohamed Mesbahi. Opera highlights and tango will feature nearby in La Fonderie, and home to the Museum of Industry and Labour. “Molenbeek has a rich history and interesting industrial heritage in need of re-discovery,” says Bozar artistic director Paul Dujardin.

The final event of the day is a one-hour concert in the 17th-century Begijnhof church in the city centre by BNO, which will play Mozart, Haydn, Bartok and Beethoven.

9 September, across Brussels

photo: Mainstage.be