The Best Free Lunchtime Concerts in Paris

It seems that at least once a month I’m surprised by some reoccurring Parisian event that I’d previously not been aware of. About 6 months ago, one of my discoveries was a series of free classical music concerts at 12:30pm during the week, known accurately as ‘les concerts de midi et demi’ (not the most creative title, but at least you know what you’re in for).

Piano concerts Paris

Did I mention: Free?

The stage is the Salle Cortot, attached to the Ecole Normale de Musique de Paris (where some of the performers come from). Its interior has a bare-minimum kind of warm charm to it – there is very little to draw your eye away from the performance at hand.

Salle Cortot Paris

Humble but cozy, perfect for a lunchtime concert

Concerts range from piano to flute to voice, by semi-professionals, professors, and students from the Ecole Normale de Musique de Paris (National School of Music of Paris – one of the leading conservatoires in the city). You’ll know they are all legitimate and talented musicians when I tell you that the last time I went, the entire concert was being recorded for a studio album!

Salle Cortot Paris

Hopefully my sneeze wasn’t picked up by those microphones…

Since generally I ‘graze’ on food – my mom’s choice of word – over the course of the day instead of actually sitting down to a regular meal, filling my prescribed lunch hour with music suits me just fine. For those of you with more structured (and healthy) eating habits, this might be a good opportunity to grab a sandwich from a boulangerie and eat on the go!

Salle Cortot Entrance

Entrance to the theater

Concerts usually take place at least twice a week and you can see the full schedule here (look for ‘concerts de midi et demi’ to see when the free ones are):

Salle Cortot Piano Paris

Beautiful set up

The address of the Salle Cortot is 78 rue Cardinet, 75017 Paris

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