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Summer carillon concerts return to Rochester

June 15, 2018
people in lawnchairs on the quad in front of Rush RheesFree carillon concerts are back this summer, with music from top performers from around the world every Monday in July. (University of Rochester photo / J. Adam Fenster)

Welcoming guest performers from across the United States and around the world, the Hopeman Memorial Carillon Recital Series at Rochester returns in July after a brief hiatus last summer while the carillon bells were restored.

One of only seven carillons in New York, the more than three-ton instrument is regularly played by students at the University. The 50-bell carillon was cast in Europe, at the Royal Eijsbouts bell foundry in the Netherlands. They were installed and dedicated in November 1973. In 2017, an Ohio-based foundry worked on 18 of the largest bells onsite, while thirty-two of the carillon’s smallest bells were removed and transported off site to the foundry’s workshop for restoration and then returned in the fall.

The concerts are scheduled to begin on Monday, July 9 and continue each Monday through the month. The outdoor concerts on the Eastman Quadrangle are free and open to the public. The evening destination has become tradition for families, who sit and relax on the quad and listen to the bell music waft down from the landmark tower of Rush Rhees Library. Concerts begin at 7 p.m., rain or shine, and last about an hour. Concert-goers are encouraged to bring folding chairs, blankets, and picnics.

Facebook iconFacebook Live streams

Two summer concerts will be streamed live via Facebook Live:

  • June 21 Summer Solstice concert, featuring Alex Johnson ’19
  • July 9 Recital Series concert, featuring Tatiana Lukyanova

Visit the University’s Facebook page to listen in and watch these master carillonneurs’ craftsmanship in action.

Carillonneurs featured this season include Tatiana Lukyanova, who earned her master’s in organ and carillon at the St. Petersburg State University in Russia; James Fackenthal, a Chicago-area freelance musician and scientific consultant, and former associate carillonnneur at the University of Chicago; Gordon Slater, a native of Canada, who is best known as holding the position of the Dominion Carillonneur for Canada, from 1977 to 2008; Carlo Van Ulft, a native of the Netherlands, and former faculty member of the Royal Carillon School in Belgium, before moving the United States. Programs include popular musical selections of American classics and ballads, songs from musicals and television shows, as well as familiar compositions written specifically for the carillon. Following the concerts, attendees are invited to meet each performer on the library steps.

On Monday, July 2, the University Carillon Society will honor the First World War centenary with a special concert featuring a program of patriotic compositions and American classics. The audience is invited to dress in red, white, and blue, or in uniform for those who have served in the military.

Concert schedule


Category: The Arts