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JOSQUIN 500: an anniversary beer

29 September 2021

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2021 is an anniversary year. We celebrate Josquin des Prez, one of the most important Renaissance composers, who died 500 years ago. In addition, the Alamire Foundation is celebrating its 30th anniversary: it was set up in 1991 as a collaboration between KU Leuven and Musica, with the aim of studying and valorising the early music of the Low Countries. This anniversary will be celebrated extensively during the academic year 2021-2022.

On the occasion of these anniversaries, a new jubilee beer was brewed: 'JOSQUIN 500'. This brown tripel was brewed and matured to the music of Josquin des Prez, and was launched during the summer festival Laus Polyphoniae 2021. The beer is now available via the website of Braxatorium Parcensis, the brewery of Park Abbey, where the Foundation has its home base.

Concert recording of Norbertine chant with Ensemble Tiburtina

June 7, 2021

The Norbertine order is celebrating its 900th birthday! With the support of the Flemish Government  and the Park Abbey Heritage Site, the Alamire Foundation produced a special concert dedicated to Norbertine chant, recorded in a symbolic place: the Prague Strahov monastery where the founder of the order Norbert is buried. The Czech Ensemble Tiburtina (Barbora Kabátková, Hana Blažíková, Daniela Čermáková and Kamila Mazalová) selected chants from manuscripts from Strahov and Gempe (near Leuven). 

The recording was premiered during the opening night of the exhibition ‘Divine Lightning. 900 Years of Norbertines’ at the museum PARCUM in Park Abbey, where the manuscripts can be seen. The recording of the concert by Ensemble Tiburtina is now available through this link.

Music and Art in Renaissance Flanders: The Mechelen Choirbook in Context

May 11, 2021

Thursday, 20 May 2021 at 18:00-19:30 CET (12:00-13:30 EST)

Webinar organised by the Alamire Foundation and Columbia University in collaboration with the General Delegation of the government of Flanders

On May 20, 2021, the facsimile of and study on the Mechelen Choirbook (B-MEa ss) will be presented during an international webinar organised by the Department of European Studies at Columbia University (New York) in collaboration with the Alamire Foundation. The Mechelen Choirbook, the only Alamire manuscript still preserved in the city for which it was produced, is the third volume of the Leuven Library of Music in Facsimile. This series presents high-quality reproductions of primary music sources of outstanding aesthetic, historical and cultural value. Each facsimile is in full colour and at original size, and is accompanied by an extensive study by leading experts, offering the most recent and up-to-date assessment of the source.

After introductions by Yves Wantens, the Permanent Representative of the Flemish Government in the United States, and a representative of Columbia University, general editors David Burn and Bart Demuyt will introduce the new facsimile publication. They will be followed by three authors from the accompanying study: Anne Margreet As-Vijvers (Illuminare scribendo), Stratton Bull (Alamire Foundation and Cappella Pratensis), and Honey Meconi (University of Rochester). They will highlight different aspects of the choirbook, from the extraordinary illuminations of this Alamire manuscript to the discussion of the music itself. Thomas Schmidt (University of Manchester) will join as a respondent after which the webinar will conclude with an interactive Q&A session moderated by David Burn. 

Please join us for this special event! You can register here for free. After registration, you will receive the link to the webinar.

Alamire Foundation lauded again

April 23, 2021

The Alamire Foundation has been appointed creative ambassador of the City of Leuven. This recognition is a major boost during the year in which the Alamire Foundation celebrates its thirtieth anniversary. Especially after we recently won a shared Society Award for Human Sciences.

The creative ambassadors were chosen for the first time in 2021 from among the many innovative actors in the city of Leuven. They are key players from the cultural and creative sector who will represent the city at home and abroad in the next two years.

General Director Bart Demuyt explains, "We examine the riches of the past, open them to a modern audience and preserve them for the future." In the new book Leuven?! Unveiling a Creative City in 8 Stories, the eight brand new ambassadors are introduced in a series of interviews.

As a centre of excellence connected to KU Leuven, the Alamire Foundation brings musical heritage from centuries ago back to life from the historical site of the Park Abbey. In the House of Polyphony, it unravels polyphony in its smallest details. The innovative Alamire Digital Lab, the Alamire Sound Lab, and the Integrated Database for Early Music are surrounded by scholarly reference books, early prints, and centuries-old manuscripts in the Library of Voices' research data centre.

With the title of creative ambassador, we continue to promote the versatility of Gregorian chant and polyphony from the Low Countries worldwide, driven by innovative research.

Read and watch the full interview with Bart Demuyt and a short video portrait.

Alamire Foundation wins award

The Alamire Foundation is delighted to have been awarded the Society Award 2021 of the Humanities and Social Sciences Group, together with the KU Leuven Musicology Research Group and Matrix.

The honour is bestowed on the Musicology Research Group, Matrix (Centre for New Music) and the Alamire Foundation (International Centre for the Study of Music in the Low Countries) for their persistent efforts to valorise their research in as many ways as possible and at the highest possible level.

Since 2015, the Society Prize has been awarded by the KU Leuven Humanities Group to scientists whose research is of great relevance to the public debate. Circumstances permitting, the official award ceremony will take place in autumn during an academic session at which the 2020 and 2021 laureates will jointly present their award-winning research.

This recognition is an extra incentive to continue on the same path and a great boost in an atypical year when the Alamire Foundation is celebrating its 30th anniversary.