What’s on: Classical music is making its post-lockdown debut this week


Antwerp Symphony Orchestra and the Zomer van Sint-Pieters get people back into Flanders’ concert halls this week


As baby steps towards post-lockdown normalcy continue, Antwerp (and Leuven, see below) are staging the first classical concert that Belgium has seen since March. In Antwerp, the hall will only be 10% full, and musicians will be further apart than usual, but it should still make for a triumphant return to the stage.

For Weer*klank – a play on words, with weer klank literally meaning “again sound” and the word weerklank meaning resonance – Antwerp Symphony Orchestra will start with contemporary Estonian composer Arvo Pärt’s Fratres, which he wrote without fixed instrumentation. This first half of the concert is dedicated to victims of Covid-19 and to all “essential workers” who provided necessary services during the entire coronavirus crisis, so perhaps the piece was chosen to illustrate that life isn’t always sure, and we must adapt. In any case, the symphony has chosen Fratres for strings and percussion. They will follow it up with Dvorak’s Symphony nr 7. If you’re keen to go, buy right away because available places are going fast. 2-4 July, Koningin Elisabethzaal, Koningin Astridplein 20, Antwerp


Collage art is seen as democratic – organising found objects and clippings to create an original work of art. But it also poses the challenge of finding the right objects to create the right image, to say what you want to say. Collage artists cannot start where they are, they are dependent on chance to bring them what they need.

Several Flemish artists who work with collage immersed themselves in the collections of the Museum Dr Guislain in Ghent, devoted to the history and theories of psychiatry. While some were inspired by the treatment side of the historical institution – Rorschach tests and staff notes, say – others took more of an interest in the collection of art brut. A second part of the Collage exhibition displays the work of psychiatric patients and youth home residents, who worked with these same artists via digital communications during the corona crisis. Until 30 August, Jozef Guislainstraat 43, Ghent

Zomer van Sint-Pieter

With a slightly smaller audience than in Antwerp but happening a day earlier is the launch of Zomer van Sint-Pieter, a series of lunchtime classical concerts at the 30CC. Usually international, the current situation means all the musicians will be from Belgium, but it’s certainly no worse off for it. The programme includes, for instance, pianist Liebrecht Vanbeckevoort, a Queen Elisabeth Competition laureate, and mezzo soprano Albane Carrère (pictured), who kicks off the series on Wednesday. Zomer van Sint-Pieter’s sister festival, Midis-Minimes in Brussels, kicks off this week as well. Tickets for both festivals must be purchased online in advance. Wednesday & Thursday 1 July to 27 August, 30CC/Schouwburg, Bondgenotenlaan 21, Leuven

Guinguette summer bars

The popular Guinguette open-air summer bars are slowly opening back up in Brussels parks. Henri can be found over in Georges Henri Park in Sint-Lambrechts-Woluwe, while Fabiola welcomed back customers just last week in King Boudewijn Park in Jette. And this just in: Maurice in Jubelpark will open this Thursday. All are open from noon, with food served from 17.00. (The fourth location, in Ter Kamerenbos, should follow soon.)

Photos, from top: ©Jesse Willems/Antwerp Symphony Orchestra; ©Bram Antheunis/Museum Guislain (image cropped); ©Jungamee/Stad Leuven; Courtesy Guinguette/Facebook