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lucidarium   

Lucidarium Early Music Ensemble Availability TBD

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What the critics say:

“Here [with “Macchine”] we were expertly transported right to the fountainhead of this exciting repertory.”

— York Press (UK)

“…unaffected, poetic and fresh.” 

— Thüringer Allgemeine

“…vibrant and robust.” 

— Early Music America

"… in Ensemble Lucidarium's interpretation, the music did not seem at all 'historical’: relaxed and lustfully played, it seemed as fresh as on the first day." 

— BLZ Basel

“The whole group works like a perfectly-oiled machine, where everyone knows exactly what to do, changing improvisational style from piece to piece with an expertise that left the public astounded and delighted.” 

— Messaggero Veneto

"…music that leapt effortlessly across the centuries into an enthusiastic audience’s receptive ears." 

— The Whole Note, Toronto

“Lucidarium is an irresistibly fun group, a light-hearted collection of friends out to relish each other’s company by making music together. That unbuttoned ethos is a welcome intrusion in the concert hall, one that will hopefully infect other performers.“ 

— Raze/Raise 

“Next to their stylistic confidence and saddle-sure historical interpretation, Ensemble LUCIDARIUM shows us just how contagiously vivacious the reconstruction of medieval sounds can be.“ 

— Basler Zeitung 

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Lucidarium, founded in 1991 in Basel by Avery Gosfield, is based in Geneva and Milan. It specializes in bringing little-known repertoires from the Renaissance and Middle Ages back to life in an entertaining, engaging way designed for a 21st century public.

Working between historical sources and the oral tradition, Lucidarium is dedicated to a multicultural approach to early music, bringing the voices of the “others”—those who lived in the shadows of the great institutions—back to life in an entertaining and engaging way designed for today’s audiences. The research for the various projects is the responsibility of its director, yet the final product is developed collectively and the result of rehearsals where each musician is fully involved in the creative process. This combination of cutting-edge research, creativity and an energetic, spontaneous performance style has brought popular and critical acclaim to the ensemble. 

Appearances include: the Early Music festivals of Boston, Velez Blanco, Holland, Flanders, Regensburg, Basel and York, AMUZ, Vienna Konzerthaus, Jewish Summer Budapest, Ashkenaz Toronto, Seattle Early Music Guild, Toronto Consort Series, the Santander Festival, the Italian Embassy Washington, Getty Museum, Jewish Music Festival East Bay, Chicago Art Institute, the Museum of Jewish Heritage New York, , Yiddish Summer Weimar, I Concerti di Palazzo Venezia, Les Amis de la Musique Juive Geneva, and universities around the globe.


Lucidarium’s work in the last years has been divided between two different projects: ARS ITALICA, which explores different aspects of Italy’s culture through its music and poetry, and ARS HEBRAICA, dedicated to a reconstruction of the soundscape of the Jews in Renaissance Europe. The dances of the Emilian Apennines, the traces of Renaissance melodies found in Jewish liturgical and folk music, or the declamatory singing style that still flourishes in Central Italy are just a few examples of sources containing precious information as to how historical music and poetry can be interpreted today. 

Innovative programs exploring the links between oral and written transmission, the mechanisms that brought tunes, texts, and dances across Europe and beyond, are one of the group’s hallmark. In 2012, Lucidarium launched a new project: a cross-cultural collaboration with young artists from around the world, with programs BABEL and DĪWĀN, attempting to cut across traditional musical stereotypes—Eastern and Western, old and new, popular and classical, plugged and unplugged—in the search for a new, shared musical experience.

 Lucidarium is currently offering two new exciting programs: “Sounds from Shylock's Venice” and “Macchine: Science and Music from the Time of Leonardo da Vinci.

“Sounds from Shylock’s Venice” conjures the sights and sounds of a day in the life of Shylock, in and out of the Jewish quarter, in the vibrant, colorful world that was Renaissance Venice. 

“Macchine”: in commemoration of the 500-year anniversary of Leonardo da Vinci’s death, Lucidarium has created a program exploring the music of his time, including a reconstruction of the “Festa del Paradiso” that feature sets by the Tuscan genius. The ensemble has also been working in close collaboration with some of Europe’s foremost instrument builders in order to recreate some of Leonardo’s extravagant sound-producing machines, bringing them back to life for the first time in 500 years or, perhaps, for the first time ever.

In addition to a series of award-winning CDs, Lucidarium has made numerous radio recordings, live broadcasts and TV appearances, and has been the subject of several European documentaries.

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More what the critics say:

“The six members of Lucidarium let their listeners dive into a completely enchanting world... The musical poetry of the Middle Ages was brought back to life in the most beautiful way possible.“ 

— Tagblatt.ch 

“The Ensemble Lucidarium, an Italian group, in a program of vocal works (and a couple of high-energy saltarellos) on Wednesday afternoon, performed in a style free of vibrato and other forms of modern polish but plentifully adorned with florid vocal embellishments.“ 

— New York Times 

“Anyone who arrived thinking of Medieval repertoire as “minor” or as music that 'all sounds alike' left with changed ideas.” 

— American Recorder Society Magazine 

“…electric and extraordinary.” 

— The Guardian

“There was a naturalness and relaxedness to their performance that was immensely pleasing.… it was enough to be swept away, by the refinement and conviction of the performers, to a place where magic reigns.“ 

— Dernières Nouvelles d'Alsace 

“… and one of the most charming aspects of this ensemble is that, instead of trying to conquer its public, it wins its heart spontaneously.“ 

— Chaconne