MAfestival in Bruges: old music with a new twist

2 August 2019

The 56th edition of the MAfestival (the Flanders Festival in Bruges) will take place in Bruges from 2 to 11 August. This leading and internationally renowned festival for early music once again presents a daring program and an innovative outlook on tradition.

MAfestival 2019 presents and creates a wide range of activities in the historical setting of Bruges and its surroundings. These activities include a thematic concert series - on the theme of , grounded in a coherent and through-provoking dramaturgy; the prestigious International Competitions Musica Antiqua for young baroque soloists; a series of Fringe concerts for young and promising ensembles; a specialist exhibition of historical instruments; and the musical bikeride VéloBaroque. VéloBaroque combines early music with a bicycle tour through the Bruges Woodland and Wetland. This year the VeloBaroque is heading in the direction of the coast, with start and arrival in Lissewege.

Under the heading Ex machina MAfestival explores the intriguing bond between god, man and machine. By becoming smarter, healthier and older, with help of technology, we resemble the inaccessible gods we have always envied. According to Yuval Noah Harari, author of the recent bestseller Homo Deus, this optimism about progress is leading to the eradication of our own existence. Does the fall come after pride? MAfestival looks for the answers, conducting the audience through music about humanlike gods and godlike humans, the emergence of musical machines and artificial intelligence, which is taking over music, the world and ourselves.

The MAfestival also opens its doors to contemporary dance this year, with a new choreography on live music by Femke Ghyselinck - the long-life artistic assistant of Anne Teresa De Keersmaeker ; and to contemporary art, with spatial projections by video artist Jemma Woolmore, who offers the audience of Minimal bounderies a visual experience.

MAfestival 2019
2 - 11 August 2019