University of Rochester

EVENT: 500 Years of the Carillon

June 22, 2010

University of Rochester Recital Series Offers Four Free Public Events

The medieval sounds of the carillon have resonated from belfries of Old World cities in Belgium and France since 1510 when bells were played during the announcement of significant events. Music lovers can hear the majestic sounds of the University's own carillon at the annual Hopeman Memorial Carillon Recital Series during the month of July.

This series is free and open to the public and begins on Monday, July 5. Concertgoers are encouraged to bring blankets and a picnic and enjoy a summer evening on the grounds of the Eastman Quadrangle while listening to the unique sounds of bell music in classical, traditional, and modern pieces written specifically for the carillon.

Master carillonneurs visiting the University include Carlo van Ulft, director and carillonneur, Centralia Carillon, Ill., July 5; Margo Halsted, carillonneur emerita, University of Michigan School of Music, July 12; Lee Cobb, organist and carillonneur, Episcopal Church of Ascension, Clearwater, Fla., July 19; and Jonathan Lehrer, laureate, Queen Fabiola International Carillon Competition, July 26.

Programs begin at 7 p.m., rain or shine, and last about an hour. Parking is free and available at the Library lot or along Wilson Boulevard. Following the concert, attendees will be able to meet the performer on the library steps.

The Hopeman Memorial Carillon, located in the landmark tower of Rush Rhees Library, is one of only six carillons in New York state. Carillons consist of at least 23 tuned bells, controlled by a keyboard. The stationary bells are sounded by clappers that are connected to wooden keys and pedals. The carillonneur plays the instrument by depressing on baton-like keys with a loosely clenched fist. The pedals, connected to heavier bass bells, are depressed with the feet. Like the piano, expressive playing is achieved by varying the touch of the carillonneur.

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