• Corporate philanthropy

First Edition of the Variations Festival: Music for Piano and Keyboard

From March 31 to April 2, 2017, "le lieu unique", the national stage of Nantes, and BNP Paribas Foundation are hosting a brand-new festival honouring music for piano and keyboard. For the first edition, lasting three days, the Variations Festival will offer a series of 24 concerts featuring an exceptional, innovative line-up spanning the musical spectrum.

Mixing Genres

The program features three days of concerts showcasing rich creativity in music of all kinds, including classical, jazz, electronic, experimental, improvised, and traditional music, and the excitement that comes from mixing genres.

“ Variations is a festival where artists inventing the music of tomorrow encounter the keepers of the music of yesterday ”

Patrick Gyger

Director of "le Lieu unique", the national stage of Nantes

24 Concerts in 3 days

The festival will be held in different spaces at "le lieu unique" and at four partner venues in Nantes and the surrounding area: the Graslin Theatre, Angers-Nantes Opera, Saint-Pierre and Saint-Paul Cathedral of Nantes, Immaculate Conception Chapel, and Procé Manor. 

Variations explores music of the past and the future: from Michel Legrand, the legendary composer who wrote the music for the film The Umbrellas of Cherbourg, to Tim Dup, the 21-year-old French sensation who has shaken up the world of Pop music .

Jazz selections will include artists like Chad Lawson, a reinterpreter of Chopin, and Baptiste Trotignon, a pianist supported by the BNP Paribas Foundation  for several years now and winner of the 2003 Victoire du Jazz award. The first edition of the festival will close with pianists Katia and Marielle Labèque, whose performance will include pieces by Moondog, and Chassol, the free spirit from the label Tricatel, performing Six Pianos by Steve Reich.

Michel Legrand, Tim Dup et Baptiste Trotignon

Pictures - Header: ©Noah Turley / Content: ©Diane Sagnier and ©Fabrice Neddam

A unique Partnership

For its first edition, the Variations Festival poster will be designed by artist Pierre Soulages, a major figure in the abstract movement who has donated one of his famous paintings on paper. The poster was made possible by the strong relationship between the Solages Museum in Rodez, "le lieu unique", and the BNP Paribas Foundation.

A different artist will be asked to design the festival poster each year, thus forming a collection of art that embodies the connection that "le lieu unique" wishes to form between various art disciplines.

The BNP Paribas Foundation is a major sponsor of French and European culture and a rare patron of jazz. For the last 17 years, the foundation has been an advocate for music education, with projects that support composition and recording and assist in promoting and putting on concerts and organizing tours, to broaden audiences and gain new fans.

Festival Variations


First Edition of the Variations Festival: Music for Piano and Keyboard. From March 31 to April 2, in Nantes


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