2-14 November 2014: encounters, impressions, figures


“Yesterday I went to get a pizza and the man who brought the pizza over to me looked at me and said: ‘Hey, I know you from somewhere.. from TV!!! You play the recorder!” Felix Casaer, recorder player

“1000 Voices for Peace”: an unmissable happening!!!
1,500 people working behind the scenes, 2,660 hotel stays, more than 200 bus journeys, thousands of packed lunches and snacks, 25,000 website visitors, 66,000 viewers on Canvas and 4,000 concert visitors during 18 concerts

… blood, sweat and tears… of joy!!!!

A captivating peace statement!

Encounters stick in our memorie!

impressions collected by our Young Reporters

“I didn’t know much about Belgium until I came and wondered why I hadn’t visited Belgium before! A most amazing place on earth!” Jeff Kong, Australian choir conductor

“Friendships have also developed between the Irish choir and the GUK and we are thinking of going back to Limerick some time.” Astrid Hoffman, chair of Gent University Choir

“We are already in contact with our host choir in Sint Niklaas to invite them as our guests in Denmark maybe next year or in 2016.” Knud Erik Nordby, Danish choir conductor

“We have made some good friends and contacts. There are five choirs that we got on really well with and we intend to stay in touch with. This will be a great legacy for the past week.” David Evans, British choir conductor

“Huge success this afternoon. Congratulations to the staff too. Everyone was in 7th heaven. Evening the King let his hair down, albeit modestly.” Mark Eyskens

… and so everyone enjoyed “1000 Voices for Peace” in their own way, behind and in front of the scenes. Browse through all the responses at our Facebook page!

A universal peace statement!

Thirty-nine national and international choirs accepted the invitation sent out by Flanders Festival Brussels to participate in a homage to peace. More than  1000 professional and non-professional singers from countries that were involved in the First World War a hundred years ago stood side by side. Seventeen foreign and 22 Belgian choirs met between 3 and 9 November 2014. They have forged friendships, discovered our country and explored each other’s singing traditions during 17 joint concerts in many a Flemish municipality.

A week of meeting and singing together has be awarded with an unforgettable final concert on 9 November during which all singers presented a inspired plea for peace together in the Basilica of the Sacred Heart (Koekelberg Basilica). The world premiere of composer Krzysztof Penderecki’s Dies Illa symbolises the urgency of the message of 1000 Voices for Peace: HOPE! The hope that we must always keep alive to strive for a peaceful global community. Penderecki dedicates his work to all victims of the First World War. Under the patronage of Herman Van Rompuy, president of the European Council, Flanders Festival Brussels made its contribution to commemorating the  Great War.

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