November 15, 2015

L'Arpeggiata 15th-anniversary festival in Paris cancelled for security reasons

Despite the ensemble's desire to pay tribute to victims through music, the concerts could not go ahead.

For the Paris-based Baroque Ensemble l'Arpeggiata, this weekend was to be a joyous celebration of 15 years of music-making across styles, eras and cultures. They had organised a l'Arpeggiata Festival at the Salle Gaveau for the occasion, with several concerts, surprise guests, and a late-night jam session on the programme.

Following the attacks in Paris and the violence that struck in particular the concert venue Le Bataclan on Friday 13 November, l'Arpeggiata founder and director Christina Pluhar announced that the group wished to go ahead with these concerts on Saturday and Sunday, to pay tribute to the victims, sharing music, art, culture, beauty and community; to soothe and fortify those in attendance.

"We are living through a dark period in our history. What has happened in Paris is shocking. All our thoughts go out to the victims and their families," l'Arpeggiata wrote in a statement.

"We, the musicians of l'Arpeggiata, have taken the weighty decision to continue with the concerts at the Salle Gaveau. Faced with the barbaric atrocities perpetrated, we mobilise for peace.

"Music is our weapon to combat the terror which overwhelms us."

Hours before the scheduled concerts, however, the Préfecture de Police ordered the closure of the Salle Gaveau and all other concert venues, and the events could not take place despite the best wishes of the musicians. Other events will be announced at a later date.

We leave you with some of the music that would have been heard at the concert: Piante ombrose, in the hope that it does indeed offer some comfort. "Does the god of thunder so mercilessly scorch the earth?"