Laus Polyphoniae

Laus Polyphoniae 2019: 16 - 25 augustus


Mary of Burgundy was one of the most powerful women in Western Europe in the Late Middle Ages. When the duchess came to power in the Netherlands in 1477, at the age of 20, she did not face an easy task. Her warmongering father Charles the Bold had left her with an empty state treasury, hostile neighbouring countries and domestic revolts. Thanks to her diplomatic approach, the young woman succeeded in calming the situation, in Flanders at least. Her marriage to Maximilian of Austria linked the House of Burgundy to that of the powerful Habsburgs. Sadly, Mary’s fate was not a happy one. She died in 1482 after an unfortunate fall from her horse whilst out hunting with her falcon. She was only 25 years old.

The 26th edition of Laus Polyphoniae explores the flourishing cultural scene in the time of Mary of Burgundy. Her favourite city, Bruges, was an artistic centre as well as an economic hub. We will also take a look beyond the borders of the Burgundian Empire to hear the music of the era in Italy, England, Austria and even Lithuania.

The summer festival will feature both secular and religious music performed by ensembles from Belgium and abroad. As usual, we will also welcome upcoming talent to the stage in the form of the greatly praised IYAP walks. Educational activities for people of all ages offer more insight into Mary of Burgundy’s world, such as the Musica music holiday, the summer school for advanced musicians and the lectures in partnership with the Davidsfonds.

Once again, Antwerp is the meeting place this summer for everyone who loves polyphony, performed in the city’s most beautiful venues: AMUZ, the historic churches in the city centre and the Rubens House. We look forward to seeing you!

 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, in April 2017 with the EFFE-label 2017-2018 and in February 2019 with the the EFFE-label 2019-2020.