Renaissance Music History Tour

Amsterdam,Antwerp, Cambrai, Burgundy, Mons, Rome


Welcome! If you love music and are interested in music history, then this Renaissance Music History Tour is perfect for you! You will enjoy it, no matter if you are an expert or you just want to learn something about famous renaissance composers. This is a unique one-week tour in which you will get to learn about the most important renaissance composers including Ockeghem, Sweelinck, di Lasso, Binchois and Dufay, visit places connected to their life and listen to the most beautiful pieces of music composed by them.


Our first stop will be at the beautiful capital of the Netherlands, Amsterdam. Although the famous Dutch composer Jan Pieterszoon Sweelinck was born in Deventer, he spent his entire life in Amsterdam. When he was just 18, he succeeded his father as organist of the Oude Kerk (Old Church), and remained in this post until his death. This church was really important to the Sweelinck's family - they were organists there continuously for almost one hundred years. Sweelinck has never left Low Countries and during his life he traveled only to Antwerp and Rotterdam. Today we will visit places where Sweelinck lived, walked and worked. Planned is also a guided tour round the centre of Amsterdam. After a delicious dinner in the Vinkeles restaurant, which was rewarded the Certificate of Excellence in 2014, we will visit the Sweelinck Orchestra in Amsterdam, where we will listen to the most famous music by Sweelinck including Fantasia Cromatica, one of his over 70 survived keyboard works.


Did you know that Ockegham's earliest recorded appointment was as a singer at Antwerp cathedral (1443-1444)? Soon after he left Antwerp he served similarly in the chapel of Charles (Duke de Bourbon) during 1446-1448, and later in the royal chapel. But today we will visit Antwerp, Belgium, not just to visit a place connected to Jean de Ockeghem. In 15-16th centuries Antwerp was an important place for music. It had many singers, clergymen, schoolmasters or men in private service. A Flemish composer Orlando di Lasso lived in Antwerp in 1555-1556. There must have been an intense concert-life, very little of which is known however.


Life of the leading composer of his time Guillaume Dufay is closely connected with Cambrai. He was born there in 1400. He was a chorister at Cambrai Cathedral. Then he left France heading to Italy, where he was involved with a number of ruling families, but returned to Cambrai, where he retained a position as canon of the cathedral until his death in 1474.


Burgundy, France, is not only famous for it's wine, but also for the Burgundian Court, which in 15th century welcomed many musicians. In 1430 In 1430 Binchois joined the chapel of Philip III (the Good) of Burgundy and reminded there until his death. Eventually he became second chaplain and cantor. He was joined there by the leading composer of his time, Guillaume Dufay. Today we will enjoy the bus tour through Burgundy. The guide will tell you about Binchois' and Dufay's life including the main events and introduce to you the most famous pieces of music composed by them. We will mostly focus on the period of time they spent in the Burgundian court.


Mons, Belgium is a city that it connected to biography of two famous renaissance composers: Binchois and Dufay. Gilles Binchois, known for his chansons, which have been shown to be the basics of works by other composers, was born in Mons in 1400 and died in 1460, Soignies, near Mons. Guillaume Dufay in 1446 became a canon of Mons.


Welcome to Italy! This stop in Rome, the capital, is dedicated to a Flemish composer Orlando di Lasso. Born in Mons, Di Lasso got to Italy in 1544, when he was just 12, after he was taken into the service of Ferdinand of Gonzaga (general to Charles V) . He reminded there for 10 years and during the 2 last years he was a chapel master of the papal church of St. John Lateran at Rome.

the End

Taking a plane from Rome to Amsterdam, we end our tour. Hope you enjoyed it and had a wonderful experience discovering renaissance composers!