Ladies and gentlemen
Please accept my heartfelt invitation to the 5th Actus Humanus Festival. Its masterpieces of early music, including compositions associated with Christmas time, will be interpreted by leading period performers from around the world. It is the Festival’s carefully selected repertoire and the unquestionable musical authorities invited to perform that have turned the city of Gdańsk into one of the hottest spots on the European early music scene.
During previous festivals, Actus Humanus has been consistently broadening its repertoire and consolidating its position as one of the most important festivals of period performance. Within its short history of just four years, the Festival has brought to the city of Hevelius such great musical personalities, as Jordi Savall, Ottavio Dantone, Fabio Biondi, Pierre Hantaï, Pedro Memelsdorff, Antonio Florio, Rinaldo Alessandrini, Claudio Cavina, Alan Curtis, Christina Pluhar, Max Emanuel Cencic, Patrizia Bovi, Pino de Vittorio, Marcel Pérès, Paul van Nevel, Sonia Prina, Roberta Invernizzi and Nuria Rial, as well as the world’s most famous ensembles: Le Concert des Nations, Europa Galante, Il Pomo d’Oro, L’Arpeggiata, Hilliard Ensemble, Sonatori de la Gioiosa Marca, Le Poème Harmonique, I Turchini, Modo Antiquo, Ensemble Clément Janequin, La Venexiana, Ensemble Micrologus, Akadêmia, Mala Punica, Concerto Soave, Ensemble Organum, Fretwork, Huelgas Ensemble and Il Complesso Barocco.
This year, this eminent group will be joined by: Giuliano Carmignola and Ottavio Dantone’s Accademia Bizantina in their virtuoso programme of Johann Sebastian Bach and Antonio Vivaldi, the sophisticated Les Talens Lyriques with Christophe Rousset in a Christmas-themed repertoire of Marc-Antoine Charpentier, Le Banquet Céleste with Damien Guillon, focused and precise in their programme of Bach’s cantatas, Les Arts Florrisants with Paul Agnew, faultless interpreters of Claudio Monteverdi’s madrigals, the controversial Graindelavoix with Björn Schmelzer and the famous Akademie für Alte Musik Berlin in a varied Christmas baroque programme. Finally, on their return to Gdańsk, the raucous Il Pomo d’Oro with concertmaster Riccardo Minasi and countertenor Franco Fagioli will bring a bravado programme of arias written by eminent composers for the castrato singer Caffarelli.
The Actus Humanus Festival is proud to have focused the attention of early music enthusiasts on Gdańsk, which has joined the prestigious circle of European early music capitals. This year, the Festival has also been honoured to be accepted into membership of EFFE, an organisation bringing together the world’s most important festivals. I sincerely hope to see you in Gdańsk enjoying this wonderful event.