About the festival

Musica Divina is not another European festival of early music. It is an event that aims to create space for the emotional and intellectual experience of sacrum in music. Although in the repertoire you can find many masterpieces of early sacred music (stretched between the Middle Ages and the Baroque), it is not an opportunity to quasi archaeological study of musical “excavations”, either. We create rather a meeting space in which artists and listeners of various sensitivities, beliefs and motivations gather around the passion for music that arose from the Christian roots and the liturgical tradition of the Church of the East and West. What these people have in common is not only passion, but also a belief in the timeless value of art and the key role it plays in human life.

As Catholics, we have the sense of being a part of the Church and see the role of the festival also as a concern for the most valuable musical heritage of the Christian world that we want to present and popularize in the best possible way. However, our festival is not only addressed to the community of believers. We want it to be a space devoid of the tension and endless dispute that is so ubiquitous today, free from ideology and politics – a sphere of spiritual rest, reflection and contemplation, which can encourage believers to a deeper understanding and experiencing of the essence of faith and closeness to God, and all Listeners to emotional touch (delight) and aesthetic depth. All these elements foster understanding the human condition, building a bridge between people of different eras and cultures, raising questions: not only where we came from, but also where we should go as individuals and as a society of modern Europe.

We make every effort to ensure the festival events are conducive to experiencing music in a multidimensional way – mainly thanks to the wonderful interiors of Cracow temples in which we have the privilege to host, as well as through appropriate lighting, care for the atmosphere of special focus or a substantive introduction to the presented repertoire. The annual festival publication is an important space for dialogue. This is the voice of the festival organizers and invited artists, as well as the audience sharing their experiences. The intellectual dimension of Musica Divina can be seen in meetings and talks with representatives of the invited ensembles. These meetings are not only the opportunity to learn the details of the concert repertoire, but they also shorten the usual distance between the audience and the artists. Our experience shows that this formula of Musica Divina best appeals to our Audience as every year more and more people come to the concerts.

The repertoire of each edition of the Festival is based on the tradition and its diversity. We want to present contemporary interpretations of the inexhaustible musical treasury of Christianity. We reach to the sources of the Church of the West and the East, to medieval monody and Renaissance polyphony. We look for the unique sounds of local traditions cultivating their heritage for generations until today. We find their echoes in works that have been created over the centuries and are being created today. We try to talk about tradition (the one understood as the substance of the Christian faith and the one made up of the achievements of many generations of artists) as a living organism which requires constant updating and rereading, which is full of internal tension and complexity. By pointing to this huge treasury of the content of faith and culture, we do not aim to be preachers or an oracle of aesthetics – we give a chance for the music to speak with the authentic voice of contemporary performers who do not usually pretend to be the heirs of the old masters, but try to find still current content in their works and speak about them with the language of their own sensitivity and talent.

One of the main goals we set for ourselves is to popularize and share what we perceive as an unknown and often underestimated treasure. Therefore the concerts held as part of Musica Divina are and will always be free. This is also because we believe that sacred space, especially the one which is still mainly dedicated to liturgy and prayer, should never be used for commercial purposes.

From the very beginning, we emphasized that a festival structured on this principle can only last as a collective undertaking – it requires the care and support from its Audience to develop. However, it is only from 2021 that we specifically invite all those who care about Christian art and culture to carry out this difficult popularization mission. We started the way to make Musica Divina the first Social Festival in Poland with bottom-up financing being the main building material and source of support. Thanks to the Partners of Musica Divina, we want to reach more and more ambitious artistic goals. We treat donor support not only as a financial security for the event, but also as an opportunity to build a special kind of relationship between the organizers and the audience. A chance to enter a better dimension of creating culture – based on social commitment, co-deciding on the artistic development direction, responsibility and mutual trust.