Ladies and gentlemen!
I am delighted to invite you to the 6th Actus Humanus Festival to enjoy masterpieces of early music, including some compositions associated with the Christmas season, interpreted by leading adherents of historically informed performance from around the world. Thanks to the carefully selected repertoire and the presence of indisputable authorities in the field, Gdańsk with its festival has become one of the central venues on the European map of cultural events connected with the music of past centuries.
Actus Humanus is continually expanding its programme and consolidating its position as one of the most important festivals of historically informed performance. During the five-year history of this enterprise, the city of Hevelius has entertained such illustrious personages as Jordi Savall, Fabio Biondi, Christophe Rousset, Rinaldo Alessandrini, Alan Curtis, Ottavio Dantone, Christina Pluhar, Antonio Florio, Pedro Memelsdorff, Marcel Pérès, Paul van Nevel, Björn Schmelzer, Max Emanuel Cencic, Franco Fagioli, Patrizia Bovi, Sonia Prina, Paul Agnew, Pierre Hantaï and Giuliano Carmignola, and the world’s most famous ensembles and orchestras, namely, Le Concert des Nations, Europa Galante, Les Talens Lyriques, Les Arts Florrisants, L’Arpeggiata, the Hilliard Ensemble, Akademie für Alte Musik Berlin, Il Complesso Barocco, Sonatori de la Gioiosa Marca, Le Poème Harmonique, I Turchini, Il Pomo d’Oro, Modo Antiquo, Ensemble Clément Janequin, La Venexiana, Ensemble Micrologus, Mala Punica, Graindelavoix, Ensemble Organum, Huelgas Ensemble, and Fretwork.
This year, some well-known artists will return to Gdańsk, while other excellent performers will appear in the city for the first time. The festival will be inaugurated by the Al Ayre Español ensemble under the leadership of Eduardo López Banzo. The orchestra will present a selection of Christmas compositions written by forgotten masters of the Spanish Baroque. Michael Chance and Paul O’Dette are coming to Gdańsk with the songs of John Dowland, and Les Arts Florrisants with Paul Agnew bringing another dose of Claudio Monteverdi’s madrigals. Still other welcome guests in Gdańsk will be Dominique Vellard’s Ensemble Gilles Binchois; the La Rêveuse group with the exceptional Hasna Bennani; the highly acclaimed Akademie für Alte Musik Berlin, and the long-awaited Armonia Atenea conducted by George Petrou, with the perfect Max Emanuel Cencic.
We are very proud to note that, owing to the Actus Humanus Festival, the City of Hevelius has found itself the centre of attention of all early music enthusiasts and its name has been permanently inscribed among the European capitals of early music. The current 6th annual Festival is once again promoted by EFFE, the organization uniting the most important festivals worldwide. We are glad that you, as the audience, are writing the history of this event with us. Welcome to Gdańsk!
Artistic Director, Actus Humanus