Music | Copenhagen Jazz Festival
4 – 13 July
Entrancing streams of notes of saxophones, pianos, guitars and cellos have been resounding in the historical centre of Copenhagen every July since 1979 for the Copenhagen Jazz Festival, an event that has established the Danish city as one of Europe’s top jazz capitals. The Copenhagen Jazz Festival attracts over 250,000 visitors every year, with a calendar of around 1,000 concerts held in more than 100 different venues across the city – record numbers for a festival of this kind. Clubs, cafes, bars, parks, squares and the harbour front – every spot in Copenhagen will be filled with live jazz music played by wonderful local and international artists who will once again tighten the laces that bind jazz and Copenhagen together.
The Copenhagen Jazz Festival will be held in various locations across Copenhagen.
Music | Copenhagen Summer Festival
27 July – 7 August
There’s room for great classical music in Copenhagen this July, too. The Copenhagen Summer Festival presents a programme of top quality classical chamber music concerts, with the real goal to ignite the career of young talents from Denmark and beyond invited to participate in the event. The up-and-coming artists will exhibit their skills in front of a discerning audience, with the support of several established artists who will join them in their performances. The Copenhagen Summer Festival has existed since as far back as 1969, and it’s become one of the highlights of the city’s summer cultural calendar. Daily concerts will be held in the Charlottenborgs Festsal, a strikingly beautiful venue in Copenhagen’s Schools of Visual Art.
Art | Philip Guston
All throughout July
The Louisiana Museum of Modern Art is in Humlebaek, some 40 kilometers away from Copenhagen; but all modern art lovers worth their salt will not let the distance keep them from the pleasure of viewing American painter Philip Guston‘s works. Philip Guston established his artistic career in the late 1940s as a respected Abstract Expressionist painter, but later in his career he shifted towards a more figurative style of painting. The exhibition now open in Louisiana presents 86 works from this second phase of his oeuvre, including the paintings full of black humor resembling comic strips that have gained Guston flocks of revering fans and imitators all over the world.
Philip Guston, Louisiana, Gl Strandvej 13, Humlebæk, +45 49 19 07 19
Design | Kay Bojesen
All throughout July
Kay Bojesen (1886 – 1958) is another noted Danish designer, who trained as a silversmith and crafted exquisite pieces of jewellery and cutlery, including the award-winning 1938 Grand Prix, a cutlery silver set which instantly impressed for the simple yet beautiful lines of its components. And yet, one of the most remarkable highlights in Bojesen’s production are the wooden toy animals with moveable limbs, which represent a successful departure from his expertise as a silversmith. Bojesen’s wooden monkey, in particular, was exhibited in London’s Victoria and Albert museum in the 1950s, and is still presently regarded as a toy design classic. A selection of works by Bojesen is now on display at Sophienholm, a historic art gallery in the charming countryside right outside Copenhagen.
Art | Hundertwasser
All throughout July
The museum of contemporary art Arken presents an exhibition of works by Austrian artist Friedensreich Hundertwasser, one of the leading figures of Austrian contemporary art. Hundertwasser was deeply concerned with promoting harmony between man and nature through his art, in times when environmentalism wasn’t a priority topic yet. ‘I want to show how basically simple it is to have paradise on earth’, Hundertwasser once said. His colourful paintings often feature spirals, a shape he cherished because of its organic form that recalls nature much more than geometric, straight lines do; and his architectural models are wildly imaginative prototypes of buildings enveloped by plants and trees.
Hundertwasser, Arken, Skovvej 100, 2635 Ishøj, Copenhagen, Denmark, +45 43 54 02 22
Theatre | Copenhagen Opera Festival
27 July – 3 August
It doesn’t happen everyday to see Gioacchino Rossini’s The Barber of Seville performed on the back of a truck, but this is exactly what is so special about the Copenhagen Opera Festival: it brings opera to the streets, offering unannounced, surprise shows – adapted to fit the particular stage – in undisclosed locations across the city. Another unique is the Operetta Boat, the staging of an opera on a boat gliding away on Copenhagen’s waters – the restricted audience will be able to enjoy the opera while soaking up the view of the city’s charming canals. On the side of these untraditional events, the festival’s programme also includes regular, indoor shows: among this year’s, Shakespeare’s classic tragedy Romeo and Juliet.
The Copenhagen Opera Festival will be held in various locations across Copenhagen.
Music | Neil Young
Canadian artist Neil Young is one of the most influential figures of international music. Finding fame in the 1960s, half a century later Young is still riding the rock’n’roll wave with his unique personality and unforgettable songs. A restless experimenter, throughout his long career Young has fiddled with rock, folk, country, garage-rock and grunge, but he has left a memorable mark in the history of music for his innovative song-writing and a distinctive style of playing the electric guitar. This July, Neil Young will rock the grounds of Copenhagen’s event venue The Forum, with an unmissable show in the company of the Crazy Horse, the band that has supported him during so many of his concerts.
Design | Wegner – Just One Good Chair
All throughout July
Denmark has a long tradition of being the homeland of some of the best designers of the 20th century. Hans J. Wegner (1914 – 2007) belonged to this illustrious elite, and gave a major contribution in establishing the association of Denmark with good industrial design. In particular, Wegner dedicated much of his work to creating the perfect chair, and he may have just made it, since his 1949 Round Chair was nicknamed as, simply, The Chair. But the Round Chair is only one of over 500 chairs that Wegner designed over his career, mostly made of wood, his choice material. Wegner – Just One Good Chair, the exhibition now open in Copenhagen’s Design Museum, celebrates the 100th anniversary of Wegner’s death with a showcase of his best models and a handful of documents that provide insight into his creative process.
Culture | World Santa Claus Congress
21 – 23 July
Who said that Santa Claus doesn’t exist? In fact, there’s hundreds of them, and every July they meet in Copenhagen to catch up on the latest Christmas news and spread some Christmas joy right in the middle of the summer. Santa Clauses, pixies and elves – all in full costumes – gather in Bakken, the world’s oldest amusement park just north of Copenhagen, to entertain themselves and the public in a range of activities, from full-blown parades to themed competitions, from gala shows to awarding the coveted ‘Honorary Santa of the Year’ award. The World Santa Claus Congress is the perfect event for those who find it insufficient to celebrate the Christmas spirit only once a year – everyone else, don’t underestimate the fun that such a blatantly untimely event can be.
Art | French Temptations
All throughout July
French Impressionism lovers in Copenhagen don’t need to rack their brain: the Ordrupgaard museum is their haven in the city. The museum holds many fine paintings from the masters of both Danish and French pictorial arts of the late 19th and early 20th century. The currently open exhibition French Temptations is a special display of the most prized possessions in the museum’s collection of French art, including masterpieces by Claude Monet, Edouard Manet, Paul Gauguin and Edgar Degas. Alongside these, Ordrupgaard is presenting a selection of beautiful pastels rarely exhibited to prevent damage from the exposure to light – among them are Edgar Degas’ famous, charming ballerinas, while scenes of urban life in Paris appear in those pastels by Pierre-Auguste Renoir.
By Graziano Scaldaferri