French harpmaker Camac Harps has launched the online concert series Les Jeudis Classiques (Classical Thursdays) in collaboration with musician and filmmaker Julien Hanck. The concerts will be livestreamed on Thursdays at 7:30 p.m. CET from the stage at Camac’s showroom in Paris. Artists include Alexandra Bidi, Sylvain Blassel, Hélène Breschand, Agne Keblyte, Mélanie Laurent, David Lootvoet, Constance Luzzati, and Marcel Cara, who opens the series on Thursday, Nov. 26. The free concerts will be streamed through Jan. 28 on Camac’s YouTube channel.
Camac’s artist relations manager Helen Leitner says the concert series was created in response to the current ban on live musical performances throughout France and other parts of Europe. “We are distressed by the impact of this on artists and musical institutions—and we miss the music. When the lockdowns were announced at the start of November, the first thing we did was sit down together and discuss what we could do. We called the pianist and filmmaker Julien Hanck to help us broadcast recitals with a high sound and picture quality, as the artists deserve.”
Leitner says Camac is hoping to draw both harpists and non–harpists to the broadcasts. YouTube’s chat feature will be enabled during the broadcasts to give listeners the opportunity to actively participate and share their input. Since travel is currently restricted, all of the performers are based in France. “For harpists, it’s an opportunity to hear some of the finest French harpists performing a lot of French music, both original and transcribed, and other virtuoso repertoire of course,” Leitner says. “Streaming and video chat makes it possible to reach people who would otherwise be much farther away. It’s a chance to discover the classical harp in detail, over eight recitals and entirely free of charge. Without being played and heard, music is silent. Our harps would be silent without harpists…So we have conceived this project for one simple reason. We are celebrating music and musicians.”
Read more about the project on Camac’s blog.