Canal Festival provides music to the Amsterdam Light Festival

Canal Festival provides music to the Amsterdam Light Festival

If you thought the lights were enthralling, wait until you hear the music.

The Canal Festival is the (classical) music variant on the Amsterdam Light Festival. The two events coincide during the months of December and January and have equal amounts of appeal, I daresay.

When you stay in Amsterdam during a short holiday in an Amsterdam Apartment rental, you are bound to come across the various manifestations of either festival. Exiting the Central Station, there’ll be the massive Buckminster Fuller light statue right in front of your nose. I have featured the Amsterdam Light Festival in depth here, so let me tell you in this post about the Canal Festival, which translates in Dutch to ‘Amsterdam Grachtenfestival’ (just so you know).

This event comprises of a series of intimate concerts at a number of iconic Amsterdam churches. The calibre of the musical performances, which are held annually, is considered high, so you can’t really go amiss with any of the concerts.

Each performance will feature a special light show in collaboration with the Amsterdam Light Festival, the theme of which is ‘Building with Light’. There are 30 light sculptures in the centre of Amsterdam, as well as a number of light installation projections by international artists. Imagine this splendour to be accompanied by some cleverly planned concert music – what could be more appealing to do during a short holiday in Amsterdam?

As you will see from the detailed agenda of the Canal Festival, this year’s shows are diverse and all have a particular focus on an instrument or musical genre. There is a concert in the Zuiderkerk by saxophonist Eva van Grinsven, whilst the Ensemble Lumaka  performs in the Maarten Lutherkerk (very appealing too) and the upbeat Ragazze Quartet will play in De Duif, a rather popular venue for music lovers. De Duif (which translates as ‘the pigeon) is  a grand  historical church famous for hosting trendy concerts during week days.  

“Expect a host of talented guests to curate their perfect musical winter night, showcasing a range of inspirational classical music,” writes one reviewer. I could not agree more.  

For the full programme and ticket information, check out the Canal Festival website