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Fête de la Musique on Saturday

Saturday is the Fête de la Musique, the annual music festival that has spread from France all around the world. Jack Lang, the French Minister of Culture, inaugurated the tradition in Paris in 1982, supposedly taking up an idea first proposed by American musician Joel Cohen when he worked for France Musique. Several American cities now host an official celebration, including at the French Embassy in Washington, although nothing yet along the lines of what I have experienced in Paris, where the streets and churches were full of music all day and through the night.

If there is nothing happening in your neck of the woods, will open its Web site, most of which requires a subscription, to users worldwide on June 21. The free streaming begins at midnight, and you have 24 hours to get through as many of the 1,400 available videos as you can: archival footage of Maria Callas, Herbert von Karajan, Artur Rubinstein, and Vladimir Horowitz; opera productions from Paris, Covent Garden, and La Scala; and ballet from the Bolshoi, the Royal Ballet, and Paris Opera. If you find something good, tweet it to me @ionarts.

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