International Centre for the Study of Music in the Low Countries

Huis van de Polyfonie

Huis van de Polyfonie


The newly restored St Mary’s Gate building on the historic Park Abbey site just outside Leuven forms the splendid setting for the Huis van de Polyfonie (House of Polyphony), an initiative of the Alamire Foundation, International Centre for the Study of Music in the Low Countries. The Huis was officially opened in October 2011 in the presence of Her Majesty Queen Fabiola. 

The Huis van de Polyfonie is a meeting place where the worlds of musicological research and musical practice can come together around projects in a spirit of cooperation and experimentation. The Huis aims to be a laboratory for open-ended research: it is not necessary for every project to produce clear results, as the most important discovery is often the process itself, the confrontation of ideas. The Huis van de Polyfonie also offers a concert-space for small-scale performances and includes a collection of historical instruments.

Polyphony and Gregorian Chant are truly at home on the Park Abbey site, with the silent beauty of its religious art and architecture. The Huis van de Polyfonie thus perfectly complements the main offices of the Alamire Foundation in the Central Library of the University of Leuven, where research projects are coordinated and where the digitization of the musical heritage of the Low Countries is taking place in the new Alamire Digital Lab. The embedding of the Alamire Foundation and the Huis van de Polyfonie in Leuven offers a world of possibilities, creating a the link with a major university—the perfect point of departure for international contact and collaboration with international colleagues who share the Foundation’s aim of an historically informed approach to cultural heritage. In addition, Leuven boasts a broad community with an open view of culture and performance at the highest level. The Huis van de Polyfonie has quickly become a unique centre for the music of the Low Countries: nowhere else in the world is there a comparable structural opportunity for contacts between musicology, musical practice and the wider audience.


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