One of Monaco’s most exciting cultural events – Le festival Printemps des Arts de Monte-Carlo – celebrates its 30th anniversary this year. This month-long festival, which has just opened, presents a superb array of cultural events from the world of art, music, theatre and dance – featuring an impressive line-up of international artists, from the Principality as well as from countries around the globe.
Printemps des Arts is the successor of the Festival International des Arts de Monte-Carlo which was created in 1970, under the Presidency of Princess Grace. It was the wish of Princess Grace, and that of Prince Rainier III, that this international festival should embrace as much diversity as possible.
In December 1982, following the death of Princess Grace, Princess Caroline (now HRH the Princess of Hanover) was named president of the organising committee of the newly-formed Le festival Printemps des Arts de Monte-Carlo, which Her Royal Highness insisted should reflect a continuation of the spirit of diversity established by its predecessor. Thus, in addition to the range of art forms represented, cultural films were also introduced into the programmes, and invitations extended to the winners of major international youth competitions, providing not only a platform for some of the greatest artists of today, but presenting a showcase for the stars of tomorrow as well.
Highlights of this year’s festival include performances by Orchestre Philharmonique de Monte-Carlo, Orchestre Philharmonique Royal de Liège, Orchestra Sinfonica Nazionale – RAI, Ensemble Intercontemperain, the Zengö Ensemble from Hungary, French pianist Philippe Bianconi (Director of the American Conservatory of Fontainebleau) and Ensemble Kapsberger.
There’s a programme dedicated to Japanese culture, another to the music of Morocco, and an exhibition of photographs of the Royal Ballet of Cambodia. In addition, there are lectures by musicologists, and masterclasses in which established artists share their knowledge and passion for instruments such as the saxophone (Carmen Lefrançois), the cello (Anne Gastinel), the harpsichord (Nicolau de Figueiredo) and the piano (François-Frédéric Guy).
As with each year, la Nuit suprenante du Printemps des Arts extends an invitation to discover new worlds of sound in a night of surprises – “one evening, three different worlds and three surprises”. This presentation includes a performance by dancers of the Academie de Danse Princesse Grace, and by 100 saxophonists drawn from the music conservatories of the region – Monaco, Nice, Antibes, Cannes, Grasse, Menton, Roquebrune Cap-Martin and Vence.
Le festival Printemps des Arts de Monte-Carlo runs from March 14th to April 13th. For full details of the events please visit the festival website http://www.printempsdesarts.mc/
This article first appeared in the online French lifestyle magazine Riviera Buzz.