Hello! Ciao! High five! Early Music is alive and kicking. Let’s shake hands on that fact, my friend. The Guidonian Hand is known to anybody who’s involved with early music. In medieval times, this hand was used as a mnemonic device that helped singers to sight-sing. Concentus Moraviae 2020 uses this hand as a symbol to help a 21st century audience to get to know the world of early music. Not only the rich history which this music obviously has, but also the role it can, should and will play in the future. For that reason there are no less than five dramaturges, five fingers, forming the festival, shaping the hand that waves to all willing to hear beauty and wisdom. A hand that reaches out to the future.
The five fingers are five specialists that have been spreading the joy of early music all over Europe. Together they cover almost the whole of Europe.
Index finger Carine Moretton brings the French joie de vivre into the festival. She’s not only a gifted flutist but she also founded the ensemble Escarboucle and the festival Les Journées de Musiques Anciennes de Vanves.
Middle finger Markku Luolajan-Mikkola has been playing over a thousand concerts in thirty countries as one of the main viola da gamba players of our time. He also founded the BRQ Vantaa Festival. He’s letting the nordic light shine on the festival.
Ring finger Andrea Marcon does not need any introduction. As conductor, harpsichordist and organplayer he has been influencing the early music scene for many years. He’s known worldwide as one of the main specialists in the music of Antonio Vivaldi. He’s of course adding some southern sun to the festival.
Little finger Pierre Pitzl is a master on several instruments, from baroque guitar and lute to viola da gamba. As artistic leader of the ensemble Private Musicke he injects the strong spirit of Middle-Europe into the festival.
Thumb and chief-dramaturg is Jelle Dierickx. As a musicologist he has been organising music festivals for almost twenty years in four different countries. He inspired Concentus Moraviae in 2015 (Let’s celebrate!) and 2018 (Humoresque) and adds some surrealism of the Low Countries into this edition.
The program will be a true firework of early music reaching out to the 21st century. One of the eye (and ear) catchers will be Alessandro Severo, the opera-pastiche by Georg Friedrich Händel with the Collegium Marianum Orchestra conducted by Jana Semerádová. There will be many exceptional soloists as Jean Rondeau, Ines Uncilla Moreno and Sirka-Liisa Kaakinen and just as many topensembles as La Cetra Vocal Ensemble, Ensemble Berlin-Prag, the Ratas del viejo Mundo or Les Musiciens de Saint-Julien. But Concentus Moraviae of course looks beyond any classical boundaries and looks for new rituals with for example the mesmerizing Norwegian project Tidekverv that can only be performed around the summer or the autumn solstice or the Call for Prayer with starsinger Ghalia Benali. There will also be a visit to Lute Island with a five star line-up of lutists as Lee Santana and Joachim Held.
As if that is not enough the boundaries between pop and early music are also fading with projects as HUSH with singer Nora Fischer and guitarist Marnix Dorrestein, the Alehouse Sessions or with some early pop songs as performed by the legendary Raquel Anduezza and Private Musicke.
Multitalent Anna Fusek is the perfect artist in residence for this anniversary edition of Concentus Moraviae. In her five (!) projects she shows the multitude of the early music scene at the beginning of the 21th century. During the opening concert she shines as flutist, violinist and pianist with music by Antonio Vivaldi, with her ensemble Kavka she focusses on music at the court of Napels and Innsbruck, with Gianluca Geremia she wanders through the music connected to Venice, with Mayah Kadish Mozart meets Morley and with her ensemble La Cosmologie de la Poire (The Cosmology of the Pear) she and her fellow musicians are playing their own music starting from early music. Anna Fusek adds many colors to a festival that already sparkles with joy.
As Concentus Moraviae will celebrate it’s 25th year of existence in 2020, it reaches out to what is to come. Let’s wave to the past, let’s wave to the future.