The festival was established in 2003, and its founder and director for many years was Roman Stelmashchuk. Lviv Early Music Festival belongs to the iconic artistic events of our city – Lviv. Today it is the only festival in Ukraine that presents the music of various European countries, from the Middle Ages to the Classical era: vocal-instrumental, sacred and secular, opera and oratorio, in a wide range of repertoires and at the highest professional level.
At present, Ludmyla Kapustina serves as Director of the festival. She is also the leader of the A Cappella Leopolis choir.
In recent years, the festival has invited guest artists from Sweden, Switzerland, Germany, Austria, UK, the Netherlands, Chile, USA, Hungary, Czech Republic, Slovakia, Poland, and Ukraine.
Over the 19 years of its history, around 200 concerts have taken place.
Each year the best specialists in the field of early music interpretation, world stars and connoisseurs of early music are invited to participate in the festival. Among them, Hopkinson Smith (Renaissance lute, Switzerland), Paul Esswood (countertenor, UK), Jose Vasquez (viola da gamba, Austria). The following ensembles have performed, among others: Wroclaw Baroque Ensemble, (conductor Andrzej Kosendiak), Ars Leonis Basel (conductor Bogdan Shwed), Laude Novella, Banchetto Musicale, and Stary Olsa.
The festival is primarily about music. However, it is also accompanied by exhibitions of visual arts and photography. During one of the festivals, we presented a fashion show of models of women's clothing from the 14th-16th centuries.
Unlike in Western Europe, where, since the first half of the 20th century, there have been special courses dedicated to early music performance at conservatoires, where education has focused on the historically-informed performance of music from the Middle Ages, Renaissance and Baroque (in accordance to the treaties of those eras), in Ukraine, especially in Lviv, there are no regular classes or early music interpretation courses. This is a big gap. The mission of the team behind the Lviv Early Music Festival is to fill this gap. That is why every year the festival organizes master classes run by the best specialists in historical performance, as well as joint rehearsals and performances of international and Ukrainian performers.