University of Rochester

Midsummer Night Carillon Concerts Echo on the Eastman Quad

June 8, 2007

The melodies of campus bells will ring in July with a series of evening concerts at the University of Rochester that are free and open to the public.

Carillonneurs from around the world will play the University's Hopeman Memorial Carillon, one of the largest carillons in New York State, and located in the landmark tower of Rush Rhees Library on the River Campus. The carillon consists of 50 bells that were cast in bronze in 1973 by the Royal Eijsbouts bell foundry of Asten in the Netherlands.

The Hopeman Memorial Carillon Summer Recital Series will begin on Monday, July 9, and continue over the next four Mondays. Concertgoers are encouraged to bring blankets, lawn chairs, and picnic baskets and enjoy the ambiance of the Eastman Quadrangle, while listening to pieces ranging from classical and popular to compositions written specifically for the carillon.

Performing on the carillon will be Toru Takao, a prize-winning carillonneur born in Himeji, Japan, on July 9; Sara and Ana Elias, sister carillonneurs from Portugal, on July 16; Tin-Shi Tam, a Hong Kong native, professor of music and university carillonneur at Iowa State University, on July 23; and Charles Dairay, a French carillonneur who has won prizes in several international competitions, on July 30. Each program will begin at 7 p.m., rain or shine, and last about an hour. Listeners will be able to meet each performer on the library steps following the concert.

The art of carillon playing has been around for more than five centuries, originating in Belgium, the Netherlands, and northern France. Carillons must consist of at least 23 tuned bells and controlled by a keyboard. The stationary bells are sounded by clappers that are connected to wooden keys and petals. The carillonneur plays the instrument by depressing these baton-like keys with a loosely clenched fist. The pedals, connected to the heavier bass bells, are depressed with the feet. Like a piano, carillon playing is expressed by the varying touch of the musician.

The Hopeman Memorial Carillon Summer Recital Series is sponsored by the Department of Music. For more information, contact (585) 275-2828. For information about the carillon, or to hear the bells online, go to