Last updated 6 months ago by Michael Darmanin
Can’t go to concerts due to the social distancing rules? There is a free concert every week that you can attend safely, right in the heart of Utrecht!
To say that the Corona crisis has affected our lives has become a truism. From the most mundane to the most important, all our activities have been changed by the measures taken to stop the spread of the virus. As we all know, events which involved social gatherings have been put on hold. For many concert goers this meant that they could no longer enjoy their favorite music with their friends or families. However, what if I told you that there is a way you can enjoy an unconventional type of concert right in the heart of Utrecht? Best of all, it takes place multiple times a week, it is free, and it can be attended with full regard to the social distancing rules!
Fifty bells vibrate in splendid sequence
The Dom Tower dominates Utrecht’s skyline and is, perhaps, the city’s most recognizable landmark. However, not everyone may be aware that it also houses a carillon. The carillon is a musical instrument comprised of bells which can be conveniently played by a keyboard-like arrangement of levers. The Dom Tower carillon has 50 bells, played by Malgosia Fiebig. She is the 17th acting carillonneur at the Dom Tower since 1623.
Normally you could listen to the carillon being played automatically during the day. However, due to the renovation project of the Dom Tower, the automatic mechanism was stopped during the week, to prevent the bells from disturbing the restoration workers.
Free concert every Friday and Saturday
However, the Dom Tower concerts continue. Yes, you read that right: concerts! Every Saturday from 11:00 a.m., Malgosia Fiebig plays the carillon for one hour. Friday from 12:30 p.m., also for one hour, the bells can be heard again, albeit only from April till December.
From classical to pop, the agenda is here
Furthermore, since the 6th of July, every Monday at 20:00 and continuing until the 24th of August, multiple carillonneurs will ‘play the Dom Tower.’ You can find a list of pieces per concert here. Every year the summer-closing concert (this year on the 24th of August) featured a spectacular repertoire with songs from artists such as Abba, Queen, The Beatles, Radiohead, Sting and The Police.
No such thing as lock-down, be there
This year, the closing concert seems intended to sooth our travel ache, as many people are unable to travel due to the Corona-related restrictions. Thankfully, songs from 11 countries (France, Great Britain, the United States, Curaçao, Paraguay, Japan, Russia, Poland, Germany, Austria, Italy) will be played by the Dom Tower’s bells on the 24th of August, at 20:00. All you need to do to attend is to be close to the city center: the tower’s music will most likely reach you with ease.
So, if you are in Utrecht and would like to get a unique musical experience while also having a bit of your travel thirst appeased, you now know where to go!