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BNP Paribas Foundation supports the 2009 Lille Piano(s) Festival, a European event

Since 2005 the BNP Paribas Foundation, together with the regional management of BNP Paribas in Lille, has been committed to supporting the Lille National Orchestra and its leader Jean-Claude Casadesus as part of the Lille Piano(s) Festival. Contributing €60,000 in annual financial support, the BNP Paribas Foundation has a strong partnership with the festival and is helping to develop the event in Europe. The festival is also an opportunity for BNP Paribas, Europe's leading banking group, to introduce French and Belgian customers to today's performers.

Fifteen international pianists have been invited to the sixth Lille Piano(s) Festival, which takes place between June 12 and 14, 2009; these include Philippe Bianconi, Frank Braley, Philippe Cassard, Brigitte Engerer, Alexander Ghindin, Roberto Giordano, Plamena Mangova, Alexander Paley, Anne Queffélec and Nathalia Romanenko. The soloists, acknowledged to be among the finest pianists in the world today, will perform under the baton of two conductors, Jean-Claude Casadesus and Paul Mann.

The 2009 Lille Piano(s) Festival represents an opportunity to (re)discover Chopin not just through his most famous work, but also through pieces more rarely performed. Also participating in the Festival is actress Marie-Christine Barrault who, along with accordionist Pascal Contet, will perform an original musical show dedicated to Chopin and Georges Sand, called “Lands of Dance” (Terres de danse). Festival attendees will also enjoy performances of work by other major composers such as Mozart, Saint-Saëns, Strauss, Glazunov, Liszt, Debussy, Fauré, Ravel and Bartók.

In choosing to showcase the Franco-Polish composer Chopin at this year's event, the 2009 Lille Piano(s) Festival is fully associating itself with the motif of the second Lille 3000, entitled “Europe XXL”, which features the theme of Eastern Europe in commemoration of the 20th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall.

BNP Paribas and its Foundation run numerous awareness initiatives, as much for employees as for the Bank's customers in the French region of Nord-Pas-de-Calais and in Belgium. Their joint support of the Lille Piano(s) Festival - which in particular enables the festival to offer low ticket prices and free concerts - helps introduce awareness and wider appreciation of the repertoire of the Lille National Orchestra and its performers to a first-time public.

About the BNP Paribas Foundation
Under the auspices of the Fondation de France, the BNP Paribas Foundation seeks to preserve and publicize the rich holdings of museums, and encourage artists and performers in disciplines that are under-supported by corporate sponsorship, such as contemporary dance, circus arts and jazz. The BNP Paribas Foundation also helps music win new audiences by supporting events that disseminate music, such as the Lille Piano(s) and Pianos aux Jacobins Festivals. The BNP Paribas Foundation is additionally involved in social solidarity, health and environmental programmes. Extending beyond mere financial aid, the Foundation supports its partners the way the Bank supports its customers: depending on what each customer is looking for, it provides customized assistance, offers advice and carries out its programmes in close liaison with all its networks, in France and abroad.

About BNP Paribas
BNP Paribas ( is the Eurozone's leading bank in terms of deposits, and one of the 10 most important banks in the world in terms of net banking income, equity capital and market value. Furthermore, it is one of the six strongest banks in the world according to Standard & Poor's. With a presence in 85 countries and more than 205,000 employees, 165,200 of which in Europe, BNP Paribas is a global-scale European leader in financial services. It holds key positions in its three main activities: Retail Banking, Investment Solutions and Corporate & Investment Banking. It has four domestic retail banking markets in Europe: Belgium, France, Italy and Luxembourg. BNP Paribas also has a significant presence in the United States and strong positions in Asia and the emerging markets.

Regular news of the actions of the BNP Paribas group and its employees in the area of social responsibility can be found on the website