Medieval Music Closer than Ever Thanks to Ensemble Dialogos

By 24 February 2022
Medieval Music Closer than Ever Thanks to Ensemble Dialogos
Photo: David Morganti

February 24, 2022. This project of interpreting the sacred repertoires of Medieval music in Europe, whose artistic director is Katarina Livljanic, celebrates 25 years since its first performance in Paris on February 22, 1997. Introducing Ensemble Dialogos.

The Ensemble Dialogos was founded in 1997 and brings together singers and instrumentalists from different backgrounds and countries to revive the European musical traditions of the Medieval and Renaissance repertoire.

Katarina Livljanić has directed the vocal Ensemble Dialogos from the beginning. She is a singer and musicologist and is one of the most important international specialists in medieval chant performance. Born in Zadar, she decided to become a medieval music performer very early, training at the Zagreb Music Conservatory before moving to France to study voice and musicology. She is currently a professor at the Schola Cantorum in Basel and Maître de conferences in medieval music at the Sorbonne University in Paris, where she codirects a medieval music performance Master programme.

Her passion for this musical genre has turned her commitment into an authentic international success. For her work in this field, she was decorated for cultural achievement in 2002 by the president of Croatia and was awarded in 2016 the title Chevalier des Arts et des Lettres by the French government.

Through the research of Katarina Livljanić, Dialogos programs allow worldwide audiences to (re) discover unknown repertoires, with a particular interest in the South Slavic world. The past is brought to life through a musical language based on medieval sources, prayers, traditional melodies, and polyphonies. The Ensemble has performed in several European countries and in the most important early music festivals in Europe, the United States, Canada, North Africa, and Latin America. The Ensemble has also won several international awards thanks to their projects and performances, which combine new musicological explorations with innovative interpretations, a theatrical dimension, and expressive musicality.

Katarina Livljanić’s most recent solo project is a musical theatre production entitled Judith, based on the masterpiece by the 16th-century Croatian poet Marko Marulić and inspired by Gregorian and Glagolitic sources of Dalmatia, as well as the oral tradition. 

Judith is a seventy minutes-long story told through music, in which Katarina Livljanić deserves equal respect and admiration both as an author and as a performer.  At the centre of the stage is the narrator-singer, who, with clear diction, a wide range of vocal nuances, and pure intonation, shows exceptional acting skills.


Photo: Benedicte Karyotis

Faithful companions in Judith are Norbert Rodenkirchen on transverse flute and doubles and Albrecht Maurer on viela and lyric, whose accompaniment is based on improvisation.

The year of the 25th anniversary of the Ensemble’s foundation, there will be several occasions to witness their original performances in Europe and beyond. Surely next summer, we will see Katarina Livljanić busy with the artistic direction (together with Jurica Šoša) of the Musical Evenings at St Donatus, which is one of the oldest Croatian music festivals and one of the most important music stages in Europe in the chamber and early music.

Let us not miss the opportunity to be overwhelmed by their energy and innovative talent and discover these often underestimated musical explorations.

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