Espace César Franck at the Grand Curtius

Grand Curtius - parcours permanent
Espace César Franck in the Grand Curtius

On the occasion of the bicentenary of the birth of the Liège composer, who truly revolutionised French music in the 19th century, the City of Liège is dedicating a one-year exhibition to César Franck, in collaboration with the Orchestre Philharmonique Royal de Liège.

From 12 January 2022 and for one year, this space will host the emblematic console (keyboards, pedalboard and accessories) of the Cavaillé-Coll organ of which César Franck was the titular organist at the Basilica of Sainte-Clotilde in Paris, on loan from the Vleeshuis Museum of the City of Antwerp. The original manuscript of the Variations symphoniques for piano and orchestra (1886, kept at the Conservatoire Royal de Liège) and numerous articles, documents and testimonies of the period from the Fonds Patrimoniaux de la Ville de Liège (musical homework of the young César who was a student at the Conservatoire de Liège, articles from the Liège press recounting his first concerts, etc.) can also be discovered there. Next to the organ console, there is also a masterpiece from the permanent decorative arts collections of the Grand Curtius: the magnificent Serrurier-Bovy piano.

This exhibition has been extended until 1 January 2024 and has been enriched with new items, in particular a pianoforte dating from the end of the 18th century, which is said to have belonged to the Franck family (Donation from the Lahaye-Nols family in Aubel).

This Espace César Franck thus completes the presence of the great Liege composers in the heart of the City: the Grétry Museum in Outremeuse, and the Ysaÿe Studio in the Curtius, which deliberately adjoins the Espace César Franck, thus providing a counterpoint to the two linked and exceptional destinies of these two immense 19th-century musicians.

The City of Liège is joining forces with the OPRL and, in addition to this exhibition space, is offering concerts and guided walks in the city.

In your diaries!

> 17.02.22 | 19h : César Franck and his piano music
Conference-Concert by Patrick Dheur, pianist and lecturer with the participation of Pierre Bleuse, conductor
> Salle Philharmonique - 10 eur - Infos and reservations : www.oprl.be | 04/220.00.00

> 15.03.22 | 19h : Around the melodies of César Franck
Queen Elisabeth Music Chapel. Class of José van Dam
> Julie Nemer, mezzo-soprano, Naomi Couquet, mezzo-soprano, François Pardailhé, tenor, Marie Datcharry, piano.
> Melodies and duets by FRANCK, DUPARC, D'INDY, GOUNOD and FAURE
> Grand Curtius (Auditorium) - 15 eur - Infos and reservations : www.oprl.be | 04/220.00.00

> 05.05.22 | 20h : Around the first concert of César Franck
Jean-Claude Vanden Eynden, piano Patrick Dheur, piano
> La Boverie (Auditorium) - 15 eur - Info and booking: www.oprl.be | 04/220.00.00

> from 01.02 to 31.12.22 : The musical strolls of Mr Franck
Strolls in the city of Liège guided by the composer... played by Michel Jaspar, actor and musician.
> 20 euros - Information and reservations: Michel Jaspar

The programme can be found in PDF at the end of this article.

Bicentenary of César Franck (1822 - 2022)
Born on 10 December 1822 in Liège, the composer César Franck profoundly transformed the French music of his time. His works are still performed around the world today. From September 2021 to December 2022, the Orchestre Philharmonique Royal de Liège, one of César Franck's key performers for the past 60 years, will celebrate the bicentenary of the man who was nicknamed "the Messiah of art" with a series of concerts, several boxed discs, new releases and digital projects."

Source and further information: https://www.oprl.be/fr/cesarfranck

Practical information

- The Espace César Franck is located in the permanent exhibition area of the Grand Curtius and is accessible with the purchase of an admission ticket to the museum's permanent collections.


The City of Liège / OPRL / Vleeshuis Museum of the City of Antwerp / Royal Conservatory of Music of Liège / Royal Flemish Conservatory of Antwerp / Bibliothèque Ulysse Capitaine.

Visuals - in order of appearance
1) Espace César Franck at the Grand Curtius - Copyright Ville de Liège
2) Bicentenary of the birth of César Franck (1822 - 2022) - Copyright OPRL
3) Espace César Franck at the Grand Curtius - Cavaillé-Coll organ console of César Franck - Copyright Ville de Liège
4) Espace César Franck - Grand Curtius 2022 - Cavaillé-Coll organ console by César Franck (detail 1) - Copyright Ville de Liège
5) Espace César Franck - Grand Curtius 2022 - Cavaillé-Coll organ console by César Franck (detail 2) - Copyright Ville de Liège
6) Espace César Franck - Grand Curtius 2022 - Piano Serrurier-Bovy - Copyright Ville de Liège