It is like a warming-up to the Utrecht Early Music Festival: Antwerp’s Laus Polyphoniae Festival. It takes place during the second half of August each year. So if you’re interested in early music and in Antwerp, why not visit Kammenstraat nr 81. It is AMUZ’s ticket and information office, where they will be able to advise you which concert-tickets can still be obtained.
This year, the focus is on Petrus Alamire and beautiful late-medieval music manuscripts. The manuscripts are not only wonderful to see, but contain worldly as well as religious music composed by masters like Johannes Ockeghem, Johannes Regis, Josquin des Prez, Pierre de la Rue, Jean Richafort and Adriaan Willaert – to name a few composers.
As with the Utrecht Early Music Festival, the concerts take place in historic buildings as well as more modern ones. There are workshops, evening and late-night concerts as well as a must-visit exhibition in Antwerp’s Cathedral. This exhibition can be visited till well after the Laus Festival has ended.
While this festival continues till Sunday 30th of August, the Utrecht Early Music Festival starts Friday the 28th of August and runs till Sunday the 6th of September. This year, the Utrecht Festival focuses on John Dowland. The ten days the festival lasts are as usual filled to the brim with many activities, various concerts and as in Antwerp. Some of the concerts start around midnight, while many are taking place in historic buildings and period homes. The opening concert takes place at 20:00 with Jordi Savall playing viola da gamba music.
As with Antwerp’s Laus Festival, some events and concerts in Utrecht are sold out before the festival even opens. The classes in Renaissance and Baroque dances are always sold out months in advance. There are workshops, lectures, courses and other classes. For the complete diary of all events and concerts, scroll down and visit the Utrecht Early Music Festival’s official website.
Utrecht can be easily reached by train from other major Dutch towns like Amsterdam, Rotterdam, The Hague. A train trip from Brussels or Antwerp takes longer, so for a die-hard early music fan it’s best to book a B&B or hotel. If you are lucky, you will mix with a few of the many young talents or famous professionals who will perform during this 10-day-long festival.
Visiting Antwerp this weekend? On Sunday 30th of August its annual cultural market takes place with many free cultural activities. Amsterdam’s crowded cultural market also takes place the weekend of 29-30 August 2015. Utrecht’s cultural market is on Sunday the 6th of September 2015. So no need or excuse to be bored while in Antwerp, Utrecht, or Amsterdam these days!