Poperinge was the first garrison town behind the frontline near Ypres. From April 2015, the British army took over the military command of the city from the French. Troops camped up locally came here to relax. The town boasted an abundance of shops, cinemas, coffee shops and brothels. On 11 December 1915, ‘Talbot House’, a large mansion along Gasthuisstraat, was opened to offer the troops alternative entertainment. It was named after Lt Gilbert Talbot who was killed in Ypres on 30 July. The house was ‘Everyman’s Club’, without distinction of rank or position, which was highly unusual in the British Army. The club comprised a library, a large garden, a concert hall and several pianos. Today, Talbot House is a museum, but it offers accommodation to this day. In any event, it inspired GoneWest to organise a piano festival to mark its 100th anniversary on 18, 19 and 20 December 2015. Pianos will be spread all over Poperinge, both inside and out. There will be many front room concerts, in addition to performances by internationally renowned artists from France, Germany and Belgium: Thomas Enhco is a French pianist, violinist and jazz composer. Enhco was born into a very musical family and that paid off. At age three, he started playing the violin; at age six, it was the piano’s turn, and he released his debut album ‘Esquisse’ (2006) at the tender age of 18. This jazz artist’s classical roots are clearly evident in his later work, such as ‘Someday My Prince Will Come’ (2010) and ‘Fireflies’ (2012), which has already won him a number of awards. Thomas Enhco mainly performs as a duo or trio, but very recently, he tried to perform solo with the album ‘Feathers’. Hauschka, aka Volker Bertelmann, is a German musician and phenomenon on the ‘prepared piano’. He adds to his instrument all kinds of attributes, such as bottle tops or ping-pong balls on the strings, inserts steel spatulas in between them or mutes them with felt. In that way, he takes ownership of the instrument while opening the door to a bizarre musical world. He creates a percussive and at the same time classical piano sound, constantly navigating between mechanical and warm, rhythmic and melodic. This spring, Hauschka released his tenth album ‘Abandoned City’, in which the songs are inspired by nine ghost cities and for which he collaborated with Samuli Kosminen (Múm), Joey Burns and John Convertino of Calexico, among others. Jef Neve, the renowned Belgian pianist-composer, graduated in 2000 from the Leuven Lemmens Institute as a Master in Music/Jazz and Master in Music/Classical with great distinction. Both as a solo artist and with the ‘Jef Neve Trio’, he successfully tours from Denmark to Australia and from Canada to Japan. In the meantime, he composes for his solo album, for film and television series (including Vlaamse Velden), as well as classical piano music. For the Piano Festival, Neve composed new work that has never been played before, on the themes of WW I and 100 years Talbot House, among others. The Limburg pianist Jan Swerts is a minimal pianist who pays tribute to Wim Mertens, Joni Mitchell, as well as the whole wave of contemporary, classical indie composers, such as Jóhann Jóhannson and Max Richter. Together with his band, Swerts will, for the occasion, play a new composition on the theme of 100 years Talbot House and WWI.


8970 Poperinge


From Friday, December 18, 2015
To Sunday, December 20, 2015


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