The city of Naarden, a 20-minute drive from central Amsterdam, was built as what military historians call a “star fort” (as seen from the air, it is said to resemble a snowflake). The architectural interest alone is reason enough to visit, but here’s another: the Naarden Piano Festival, a showcase for musicians on the cusp of mastery and well beyond. The opening concert at the city’s 15th-century Grote Kerk, home to the Netherlands’ most celebrated performances of Bach’s St. Matthew Passion, opens with solo turns and concludes with a duo finale by Nino Gvetadze, of Georgia, who serves as the event’s artistic director, and the rising Dutch star Thomas Beijer. —M.G.
Naarden International Piano Festival Turfpoortstraat, 1411 ED Naarden, Netherlands Get Directions »