The House of Polyphony: International Centre of Excellence for the Valorization of Low Countries Musical Heritage


House of Polyphony © Alamire Foundation

January 2016 - August 2022

The importance and value of the musical heritage of the Low Countries is recognized worldwide. The musical heritage from the Renaissance period in particular, when the Low Countries held sway over Europe as a musical leader for more than two hundred years, is comparable to the achievements of painters such as Van Eyck and Rubens. However, the musical contemporaries of these painters remain far too little known by the general public. Musical heritage thus offers outstanding opportunities for socio-economic valorization.

The House of Polyphony aims to become a centre of excellence and world-leading international platform for the valorization of this musical heritage. It is a physical space, allowing to bring people together in situ. The centre offers scholars and performers a laboratory for study, experimentation, and collaboration. It also provides a concert-space for small-scale performances and houses an expanding collection of historical music instruments. At the same time, the House is conceived not only in physical terms, but also as a 'brand', and thus a basis for virtual dissemination: as a centre of excellence as an overarching structure in which the beating heart is musical heritage. This concept is unique: no comparable structure exists elsewhere for bringing musicology, musical practice, and a wider audience together.