Internationaal centrum voor de studie van de muziek in de Lage Landen

International Conference Petrus Alamire - New Perspectives on Polyphony

KU Leuven, Campus Carolus, Korte Nieuwstraat 33, Antwerp, 18-23 August 2015

Organised by the KU Leuven (Department of Musicology), Alamire Foundation (Leuven), AMUZ (Flanders Festival, Antwerp), in collaboration with Conference and Events Office KU Leuven.


In August 2015 the Alamire Foundation, International Centre for the Study of Music in the Low Countries, and the KU Leuven Musicology Dept., will organize an ambitious conference centred on the music scribe Petrus Alamire and his manuscripts. The event will coincide with an extended edition of the early music festival “Laus Polyphoniae” (19 – 30 August) and the opening of a digital exhibition of Alamire’s production in Antwerp Cathedral.

The conference aims to consolidate the most recent research on the manuscripts of the Habsburg-Burgundian Court Complex. Furthermore, with the Alamire manuscripts as focus, the conference aims in particular to link musicological research and performers. 

Provisional Programme 



Tuesday, 18 August 2015, 7.30 pm @ Antwerp cathedral

Yu-Hui Huang and Xuanli Chen (researchers at KU Leuven, ESaT) present the Development of the Tool 'Transcription and Analysis of Music through Image Recognition (TAMIR) on Alamire's manuscripts, a project of  KU Leuven ESAT in collaboration with the Alamire Foundation, with the support of IWT (Agency for Innovation by Science and Technology, Flanders). 

Opening of the Petrus Alamire conference, the exhibition and the Laus Polyphoniae Festival  


Wednesday, 19 August 2015  

8:30 AM – 9:30 AM: Registration @ KU Leuven, Campus Carolus, Korte Nieuwstraat 33, Antwerp 

9:30 AM - 9:40 AM: Word of Welcome by Mr. Bart Demuyt, Director of Alamire Foundation and AMUZ (Festival van Vlaanderen Antwerpen).

9:40 AM – 10:40 AM Session 1 - Keynote address by Herbert Kellman (US, University of Illinois), Artifacts and Sounds: Towards an Understanding of the Alamire Manuscripts. 

This address will review recent advances in the elucidation of some central issues in the manuscripts, and against this background suggest prospective advances, including renewed research on the biography, and role in the workshop, of Alamire himself.


10:40 AM Break 

11 AM  Session 2 - Petrus Alamire: Repertoire & Recipients - Part 1  

Chair: Eric Jas (NL, Utrecht University)  

*Véronique Roelvink (NL) 

Performing from the Alamire Choirbooks in ’s-Hertogenbosch Sint-Jan.  

*Klaas van der Heide (NL)  

Ghislein's Role in the Bergen op Zoom Connection.  

* Michael Alan Anderson (US, University of Rochester, Eastman School of Music)

The Palatini Partbooks Revisited.

12:15 PM Lunch  

1 PM  Open Lecture – Performance I:   

M. Jennifer Bloxam (US, Williams College) & Cappella Pratensis (NL), dir. Stratton Bull (CA)  

A Birthday Mass for Our Lady: La Rue’s Missa Cum Jocunditate in s-Hertogenbosch.   


2:15 - 3:45 PM  Session 3 - Petrus Alamire: Repertoire & Recipients - Part 2  

Chair: M. Jennifer Bloxam (US, Williams College)  

*Honey Meconi  (US, Eastman School of Music)  

Range and Recipient in the Alamire Manuscripts. 

*Stefan Gasch (AT, University of Vienna) 

Fugger’s Alamire.  

*Zoe Saunders (US, KU Leuven) 

Early 16th-Century Josquin reception: the evidence of the Alamire repertoire. 

*Jurgen De Bruyn (B, dir. Ensemble Zefiro Torna), Plus Nulz Regretz, the Microcosm of Margaret of Austria Reflected in the Gesamtkunst of the Ensemble Zefiro Torna. 


3:45 PM Break 


4:15 PM – 6:15 PM The Impact of the Alamire Manuscripts 

Chair:  Honey Meconi (US, Eastman School of Music) 

*David Fallows (UK, University of Manchester) 

The Rem Circle Viewed Alongside the Alamire Circle and Vice Versa. 

*Jacobijn Kiel (NL, Utrecht University) 

Alamire's next Top Model: Impact of the Alamire Manuscripts (with a Focus on the Four Alamire Munich Manuscripts (D-Mbs Mus. MS 6, 7, 34 and F). 

*Eric Jas (NL, Utrecht University) 

The Toledo Choirbook ToleF23 and the Alamire Manuscripts. 

*Martin Ham (UK, University of Surrey/ Université Libre de Bruxelles) 

Thielman Susato and Manuscript Production after Petrus Alamire. 

Evening concerts (Laus Polyphoniae) 

8 PM • Opening Concert, Huelgas Ensemble, dir. Paul Van Nevel,  
Dona Nobis Pacem (Champion, Sticheler, Forestier), Sint-Paulus Church 

10:15 PM• Zefiro Torna & Artist Anne-Mie Van Kerckhoven, Plus Nulz Regretz – Chansonnier of Margaret of Austria (world premiere), AMUZ  


Thursday, 20 August 2015 

10 AM – 12 noon 

Visit the exhibition ‘Petrus Alamire – Polyphony in the Picture’ @ Antwerp Cathedral 


1 PM • Lecture-Performance II:  

Jesse Rodin (US, Stanford University) & his vocal ensemble Cut Circle (US) 

The Special Qualities of Josquin’s Missa Philipus rex Castilie (=Hercules dux Ferrarie), in Terms of its Cantus-Firmus Treatment and Formal Plan.  


2:15 PM-3:45 PM: Session 1 

Chigi Codex (I-VAT, MS Chigi C VIII 234) 

Chair: Herbert Kellman (US, University of Illinois) 

*Adam Knight Gilbert (US, UCS Thornton School of Music) 

Affinity and Symbolism in Ockeghem's Missa Quinti toni, Missa Prolationum, and Josquin's Earliest Masses. 

*Edward F. Houghton (US, University of California) 

Music Making in the Making of a Critical Edition (Chigi Codex). 

*Suzanne-Marie Kassian (F, Université Paris-Sorbonne) 

The Kyrie of Ockeghem’s Requiem: An Example of the Compositional Process of the Cyclic Form in the 15th Century. 

3:45 PM Break 

4:15 PM – 5:15 PM: Session 2 

Moderator: Thomas Schmidt (UK, University of Manchester) 


Petrus Alamire and the British sources (British Library, Ms Royal G vii  & Oxford Bodleian Library)  

*David Skinner (UK, Sidney Sussex College, Cambridge, director of the ensemble Alamire) 

Recording 'The Spy's Choirbook' (LonBLR 8.g.vii) 

*Afterwards: Discussion and Talk with Peter Phillips, dir. The Tallis Scholars and David Skinner 


5:15 PM - 6:15 PM Session 3 

Occo Codex (B-Br_MS IV. 922) 

Chair:  David Burn (B, KU Leuven) 

*Rebecca Stewart (NL) 

The Story of a Mangled Mass in the 'Occo Codex'. 

*Bernadette Nelson (Universidade Nova, Lisbon, and Wolfson College, Oxford) 

Music in Honour of the Blessed Sacrament in the Alamire Manuscripts and Origins of the First Part of the Occo Codex Revisited.  


Evening concerts (Laus Polyphoniae) 

8 PM • Paul O’Dette, Lute Consort & Mezzaluna (dir. Peter Van Heyghen), Basevi Codex, AMUZ 

10:15 PM • The Tallis Scholars, dir. Peter Phillips, England versus France (Fayrfax, Mouton), Sint-Carolus Borromeus Church 



Friday, 21 August 2015 

9 AM – 10:30 AM  

Discussion forum: Petrus Alamire and issues on Performance Practice of the repertoire – Part 1 

Chair: Adam Knight Gilbert (US, University of Southern California) 

*Alexander Blachly (US, University of Notre Dame & dir. Ensemble Pomerium) 

Statement on ‘Tempo Implications of Mensuration Signs’ 

*Peter Van Heyghen (B, Teacher (historical performance practice) at the Conservatoria of Brussels and The Hague) 

Statement on ‘Solmisation’  

*Peter Urquhart (US, University of New Hampshire, dir. Capella Alamire)  

Statement on ‘Musica Ficta’ 

10:30 AM Break 

11 AM – 12:15 PM:

Discussion Forum: Petrus Alamire and issues on Performance Practice of the repertoire – Part 2 

Chair: Adam Knight Gilbert  

*Jesse Rodin (US, Stanford University, dir. Cut Circle) 

Statement on ‘Singing from Choirbook/ Original Notation Versus Modern Score’ 

*Valerie Horst (US, Professor Emerita, The Mannes College of Music)  

Statement on ‘Primary Sources Versus Modern Editions’ 




1 PM: Open Lecture-Performance III & Keynote 2:  

Paul Van Nevel & Huelgas Ensemble (B) (Keynote Lecture),  

The meeting of scientific research and performance practice: Where Did the singers Breathe? 

(French spoken)


2:15 PM – 3:45 PM Session 3 

Compositional Techniques in Alamire Repertoire 

Chair:  Zoe Saunders (B, KU Leuven, Alamire Foundation) 

*Trudie Ranson (US) 

Early Parody Masses, their Composers, and the French Connection in Munich, Bayerische Staatsbibliothek, Musica MS F. 

*Guillaume Bunel (F, Université de Saint-Étienne) 

The notation of canons in A, Vienna, NB_Ms. 18746. 

*Yu-Hui Hunag and Xuanli Chen (researchers at KU Leuven - ESAT, Department of Electrical Engineering) present the Development of the Tool 'Transcription and Analysis of Music through Image Recognition (TAMIR) on Alamire's manuscripts, a project of KU Leuven ESAT in collaboration with the Alamire Foundation, with the support of IWT (Agency for Innovation by Science and Technology, Flanders).


Evening concerts (Laus Polyphoniae) 

8 PM • Cut Circle, dir. Jesse Rodin, Alamire at the Cutting Edge, Josquin’s Missa Philippus Rex Castilie, AMUZ 

10:15 PM • Psallentes, dir. Hendrik Vanden Abeele, Mater dolorosa, B-Br_MS 215-16, Sint-Andries Church 


Saturday, 22 August 2015 

9 AM – 12:15 PM   

Petrus Alamire & Mise-en-Page of the Manuscripts Part 1 & 2 with break at 10:30 AM 

Chair: Veronique Roelvink


*Thomas Schmict (University of Manchester)

Size Matters - on the Readability of Very Large (and Very Small) Books of Polyphony. 


*Serafina Beck (B, KU Leuven) 

Layout and planning of the Alamire partbooks. VienNB 18832 as case study.

*Louisa Hunter-Bradley (UK, Royal Holloway) 

Alamire Manuscripts and Plantin's Printed Music Editions - Production Time and Cost. 


10:30 AM Break

*Sanna Raninen (UK, University of Manchester) 

The Visual Influence of Alamire Manuscripts on Music Printing: The Case of ‘Lofzangen’ (1515). 

*Peter Urquhart (US, University of New Hampshire, dir. Capella Alamire)  

Manuscript Evidence in Favour of Choral Performance. 


12:15 PM Lunch 


1 PM  Open Lecture-Performance IV: 

Fabrice Fitch (UK) & Ensemble LEONES (DE) 

Unlocking the Instrumental Works of Alexander Agricola and his Contemporaries. 

2:15 PM - 3:15 PM: Session 3 

Petrus Alamire & the instruments, context of the performance practice 

Chair: Fabrice Fitch 

*Keith Polk (US, University of New Hampshire) 

Alamire and the Performer’s Network in Flanders in the Early Sixteenth Century 

Respondents: Peter Van Heyghen, Marc Lewon (Leones), Jürgen De Bruyn (Zefiro Torna)


3:15 PM Break 


4:30 PM – 6 PM: Session 4 

PRoMs’ (Production and Reading of Music Scores) Workshop with the Vocal Ensemble Aequalis & Prof. Thomas Schmidt (UK, University of Manchester), Singing from the Mechelen Choirbook


Evening Concerts (Laus Polyphoniae) 

8 PM • Cappella Pratensis, dir. Stratton Bull, La Rue’s Requiem for Philip the Fair,  
Sint-Andries Church 

10:15 PM • Per-Sonat, dir. Sabine Lutzenberger, Tota pulchra es amica mea (Reconstruction of the Superius of the Vienna Partbooks), AMUZ 



Sunday, 23 August 2015 

10 AM – 11:30 AM: 

Workshop with the Binchois Consort and dir. Prof. Andrew Kirkman (UK, University of Birmingham) and Philip Weller (UK, University of Nottingham), Echoes of Time Past - Reconstructions of Alamire Unica from Vien_NB MS 15941 and MS 18746. 

11:30 AM: Conclusions with David Burn 

12:15 PM – 2:30 PM Closing Conference Lunch


Registration, covering conference materials, light refreshments, admission to the opening of the Petrus Alamire Exhibition (Tue, 18 August 2015), the opening concert of Laus Polyphoniae (Wed, 19 August 2015), the Lecture-Performances (on each conference day) and the closing conference lunch (on Sun, 23 August), will be € 200. (Registration date will be announced later on).

Students € 80;  Day Fee € 50.




Organizing committee:

David Burn, KU Leuven, professor of musicology

Marie-Alexis Colin, Université Libre de Bruxelles, professor of musicology 

Bart Demuyt, Alamire Foundation, director

Stratton Bull, Alamire Foundation, staff member

Zoe Saunders, Alamire Foundation, postdoctoral researcher

Serafina Beck, Alamire Foundation, doctoral researcher

Klaartje Proesmans, Alamire Foundation, staff member


See also the  website at:

A print version of the programme can be found here