La Folle Journée au Japon

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La Folle Journée au Japon

Populist in the best sense of the word, the La Folle Journée festival in Nantes, France has been bringing concise, cheap classical music to the masses since 1995. The format – in which affordably priced concerts, many of them just 45 minutes long, are held simultaneously at multiple venues throughout the day – was good enough to spawn a sister festival in Tokyo in 2005. La Folle Journée au Japon is now an essential stop on any Golden Week itinerary, featuring a slew of free and paid concerts that take place at Tokyo International Forum and other locations in the Marunouchi area. This year's focuses on work by Russian composers, from Prokofiev and Tchaikovsky to Stravinsky and Shostakovich, performed by a host of domestic and international soloists and ensembles – and jazz-butoh-rock troupe Shibusashirazu Orchestra, bizarrely enough. Although there'll be free concerts held around Marunouchi from April 27, the majority of the action happens from May 3-5; check the English-language official website for a complete program.