Festival 20/21 puts its unique focus on the superb music of the 20th and 21st centuries, in all its richness and diversity.

Novecento 2017 The classics of the future

The 20th century has been behind us for nearly twenty years now. Yet it seems as if we are still hard at work mining its inexhausti-ble richness. Week after week musicians are digging up ‘new’ masterworks, and they still sound new to our ears; they expand our musical horizon, and dare us to listen. In doing so, they also open up new worlds outside the comfort zone of the purely ‘familiar’.

From its founding, Novecento has encouraged the search for lesser-known masterworks. Of course our festival is also devoted to the classics of the 20th century, but most of all we love connecting these works with others which are equally good but which, for whatever reason, are less well known. This year we present many double portraits: Shostakovich and Ustvolskaya, Ravel and Enescu, Debussy and Szymanowski, Stravinsky and Schulhoff, and on and on. This will not only enable the lesser known composers to emerge from the shadows of their more-fa-mous colleagues; they’ll also be able to shed new light on the boundless richness of recent music.

Above all, Novecento is a festival for open minds: for music lovers who like to be taken somewhere, but whether on the well-trodden and less-taken paths, who always have a deeper wish to be awed and amazed. Helping this wish come true is actually our festival’s raison d’être. Novecento is continually searching for works that are unjustly neglected; and the festival consistently works with musicians who besides being excellent performers are also allies in this fascinating quest.

Transit 2017 The sound of tomorrow

Transit aims to showcase the music of today, es-pecially those things we suspect will be relevant tomorrow as well and, who knows, may even set the tone for the future. We believe in presenting a sneak preview of the sound of tomorrow.

It’s a wonderfully exciting leap into the semi-un-known, but it’s a leap full of faith: in the creativity of the composers, in the reckless exploration of new media, forms and formulas for concerts, and in the inspiring encounter of performers, com-posers and audience. This year’s line-up looks relatively young, although there are established names on it like Alexander Schubert (Zwerm), Jennifer Walshe (HYOID) or Bart Vanhecke and Francesco Filidei (HERMESensemble).

This year we’re presenting a lot of new discov-eries, both in performers, with the New Yorkers of Yarn/Wire and the swagger of the Berlin-Icelandic Ensemble Adapter, and compos-

ers: Nicole Lizée, Heleen Van Haegenborgh, Christopher Trapani, Aaron Einbond, Ann Cleare, Sarah Nemtsov and Simon Løffler. It is a young group, full of quality, daring and new ideas.

This year, you can discover why a neon bulb is a musical instrument (Løffler), how an experi-mental film script can become a composition (Van Haegenborgh), how the human voice can be both familiar and totally weird (Walshe), and how four guitars take over the space like a sculpture (Zwerm). If that’s too much, we can always go catch our breaths at the Late Night Concert, Huba de Graaff’s Pornopera.


Het Festival van Vlaanderen Vlaams-Brabant is een afdeling van vzw Samenwerkende vereniging Festival van Vlaanderen. Deze afdeling werd opgericht in 1995 onder impuls van de nieuwe provincie Vlaams-Brabant, de stad Leuven, de KU Leuven en enkele bedrijven.

Profiel 1995 - 2005

De eerste jaren staat in Leuven zowel polyfonie, 20ste-eeuwse als klassiek-romantische muziek op het programma. Deze keuze was gemotiveerd door de intentie om kwaliteitsvolle muziek uit de marge (polyfonie en 20ste eeuw) een prominentere plaats te geven. In 2000 start TRANSIT, een festival voor hedendaagse muziek. In Vlaams-Brabant krijgen de klassieke concerten een gemengd programma geïnspireerd op het programma in Leuven.

Profielwijziging 2006

In 2006 worden drastische artistieke keuzes gemaakt. De concerten in Leuven focussen voortaan op de muziek uit de 20ste eeuw/NOVECENTO én de 21ste eeuw/TRANSIT.

Nieuwe naam 2015

Het Festival van Vlaanderen Vlaams-Brabant krijgt een nieuwe naam ‘Festival 20/21’. De focus blijft gericht op de onuitputtelijke muziekbronnen van de 20e (Novecento) en 21e eeuw (Transit).

Festival 20/21 is lid van / is a member of: Festival van Vlaanderen www.festival.be & European Festivals Association (EFA) www.efa-aef.eu

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