Laus Polyphoniae

1618 | BEFORE (16 August – 26 August 2018)

AMUZ will be celebrating two milestones in 2018: the 25th edition of Laus Polyphoniae and the 400th anniversary of the opening of the former St. Augustine’s Church.

1618 | BEFORE offers you the most sublime music from the Middle Ages and Renaissance this summer, featuring ensembles from Belgium and abroad. The pure simplicity of mediaeval monophonic Gregorian chants is brought to you by Psallentes. This Flemish ensemble will base its performance on sources dating from the year 800. The Czech Tiburtina Ensemble will sound out the ethereal heights of Hildegard von Bingen’s hymns. Discover the very earliest mediaeval polyphony through the ensembles Dialogos and Trio Mediaeval, which have delved into English sources from Winchester and Worcester respectively.  VivaBiancaLuna Biffi, Pierre Hamon & Marc Mauillon will interpret the noble ballads and chansons of Guillaume de Machaut, with Pedro Memelsdorff and Mala Punica taking on the refined music of ars subtilior.

Of course highlights of Renaissance polyphony will be on offer as well. Tasto Solo will bring the melancholic world of Pierre de la Rue to life, the rich counterpoint of Jacob Obrecht will resound in a concert by Cappella Pratensis, Stile Antico will explore the polyphony of Peter Philips, Richard Dering and Jan Pieterszoon Sweelinck in a special production for Laus Polyphoniae, and Officium Ensemble will sing famous and lesser-known polyphonic gems. There will be no shortage of instrumental music either. Marc Lewon & Paul Kieffer will pluck the finest 15th century lute repertoire, Paul O’Dette will seduce us with the music of Kapsberger and Andrew Lawrence-King will guide us through harp repertoire. Skip Sempé will lead his ensemble Capriccio Stravagante in a programme dedicated to William Byrd’s consort music for virginals and viols.

The concerts bridging the gap between the swan song of the Renaissance and the emergence of the Baroque promise to be especially fascinating. 1618 | BEFORE will open in grandiose style with La Pellegrina – an interlude that will see Nicolas Achten and Scherzi Musicali giving their utmost. The summer festival will end with Claudio Monteverdi’s L’Orfeo, the first great opera in western music history, in a semi-theatrical interpretation by I Fagiolini, directed by the renowned British director Thomas Guthrie.

Be sure to note several special events as well. An entire day will be devoted to the recently discovered Leuven Chansonnier, Paul Van Nevel will explain his personal vision of polyphony, there will be educational activities for amateurs and advanced musicians, and of course the much-loved IYAP walks are back on the programme. 1618 | BEFORE, the 25th anniversary edition of Laus Polyphoniae, is going to be a spectacular celebration! We look forward to seeing you in Antwerp at AMUZ and other gorgeous historical locations.

16 August - 16 December 2018


In 2014 the Klara award was presented to AMUZ for the Laus Polyphoniae | Elisabeth I festival, in 2015 Laus Polyphoniae has been awarded the EFFE label for 2015-2016 by the international EFFE (Europe for Festivals, Festivals for Europe) jury and in April 2017 withe the EFFE-label 2017-2018.