15-21 November 2020

Izabela Branicka International Festival Of Early Arts 2020

Jubilee 10th edition

In 2020, in addition to the jubilee and the 10th edition of the Festival, we are celebrating the 290th birthday anniversary of Izabela Branicka, born in 1730. The temporal mortal remains of the festival's patron lie in a crypt in the Old Parish Church in Białystok. There, on 15 November, we will inaugurate the Festival with a Holy Mass with music from the 18th century. In the evening of the next day (16 November) we will invite you to the premiere of the performance prepared especially for our festival by "Cracovia Danza" Court Ballet which is titled "The First Beginnings of the Ballet - in the Hetman’s Lady Opera House" presenting in a humorous manner scene from the life of the Białystok ballet based on the historical canvas - the existence of a ballet company in the Białystok Opernhaus since 1762. The performance in reference to the title of the festival's patron - the castellan of Krakow, will be held at the Ludowy (People's) Theatre in Krakow, it will also be available online. In the following days, we will invite you to two chamber concerts in Aula Magna of the Branicki Palace in Białystok. The first one (17 November) are sonatas for viola da gamba and harpsichord performed by the virtuoso duo Krzysztof and Anna Firlus, while the second one (19 November) is titled "Sun closed in sound – the music of the 17th century Spain" will be performed by CORDEVENTO ENSEMBLE from the Netherlands. The finale of the festival (21 November) will be a concert titled "The king is dancing. The music of the 17th century Versailles” with instrumental music from the court of Louis XIV performed by the Orchestra of the Old Music Ensemble DILETTO under the baton of Anna Moniuszko - the music director of our Festival. All Festival events will be held with limited audience participation and online broadcast.


15/11/2020 (Sunday) 1:30 pm

Inaugural Holy Mass with music from the 18th century

The Old Parish Church in Białystok / online broadcast


  • Gregoriana Sancti Casimiri Vocal Ensemble
  • Mulierum Sanctae Hedvigis Vocal Ensemble
  • Karol Jurgielewicz - organ

The performance, among others, includes:

Missa 2 in F by Jakub Gołąbek (1739–1789), Piotrkowczyk's Chorale from the 17th century.

During the Holy Mass inaugurating the Festival, chants from the Piotrkowczyk Gradual from the 18th century and Missa 2 in F by Jakub Gołąbek (1739-1789), a composer and singer who first worked in the band of St. Mary's Church, and from around 1774 until the end of his life in the cathedral band at Wawel

16/11/2020 (Monday), 8:00 pm

"The first beginnings of the ballet - at the Hetman’ Lady Opera House"

Ludowy (People’s) Theatre in Kraków / online broadcast


  • Cracovia Danza Court Ballet 
  • Intrada Ancient Instrument Group
  • Screenplay and production: Romana Agnel
  • Choreography: Romana Agnel, Dariusz Brojek, Leszek Rembowski
  • Musical direction: Anna Śliwa
  • Costumes: Monika Polak-Luścińska, Elżbieta Wójtowicz-Gularowska
  • Scenography: Krzysztof Antkowiak
  • Choreographer's assistant: Marta Baranowska


W 2020 roku z racji na X jubileuszową edycja Festiwalu, głównym wydarzeniem będzie premiera przygotowanego na potrzeby Festiwalu przez Balet Dworski „Cracovia Danza”  spektaklu baletowo-pantomimicznego „Pierwsze baletu początki – w operalni Hetmanowej”, który w sposób humorystyczny ukaże sceny z życia białostockiego baletu w oparciu o kanwę historyczną – istnienia w białostockim Opernhausie od 1762 roku zespołu baletowego (składającego się początkowo z sześciu dziewcząt i sześciu chłopców) do poprowadzenia którego został zatrudniony Włoch Antonio Puttini brat słynnego kastrata Bartolomeo Puttiniego śpiewającego m.in. w Warszawie i Petersburgu. Spektakl oparty na kanwie historycznej ukaże w sposób humorystyczny z racji na zamiłowanie do oper buffa – sceny z życia białostockiego baletu. Izabela Branicka – kasztelanowa krakowska była nazywana Panią Krakowską. W nawiązaniu do tych związków z Krakowem spektakl odbędzie się w Teatrze ludowym w Krakowie. Transmisja dostępna będzie bezpłatnie na stronie festiwalu.

17/11/2020 (Tuesday), 7:00 pm

Chamber concert "Sonatas for viola da Gamba"

The Branicki Palace in Białystok / online broadcast


  • Krzysztof Firlus - viola da gamba,

  • Anna Firlus – harpsichord

The performance, among others, includes:

sonatas of Christian Podbielski (1683–1753), Carl Friedrich Abel (1723–1787), Christian Wilhelm Podbielski (1741–1792)

Recent years have brought an extremely rich harvest when it comes to discovering forgotten - or considered lost – viola da Gamba literature. On the one hand, the collection of Telemann 12 Fantasias for viola da Gamba, which it has been known for years that once existed; even the date of its creation was known: 1735. At the end of 2015, this collection was unexpectedly found in the library of the Ledenburg Castle in Germany. On the other hand, there are works that no one knew existed before - unusually beautiful viola da gamba sonatas of the Podbielski family organists from Königsberg and an extraordinary collection of over twenty sonatas, classic in expression and form of Carl Friedrich Abel, who is considered to be the last gambist; a collection found in the University Library in Poznań, called "Milicz Music". The concert programme is nothing more than "materialising" these newest discoveries; the opportunity to present them to the public. At the same time, you can be sure that it will be one of the first performances of this repertoire - not only in Poland but also in the world.

19/11/2020 (Thursday), 7:00 pm

Chamber concert "Sun closed in sound – the music of the seventeenth century Spain"

The Branicki Palace in Białystok / online broadcast


Cordovento Ensemble (Netherlands) composed of:

  • Erik Bosgraaf – recorders (flutes)

  • Izhar Elias - baroque guitar

  • Alessandro Pianu – harpsichord

The performance, among others, includes:

The performance includes works by Italian and Spanish guitarists: G. Montesardo, C. Calvi, G. Sanz, S. de Murcia and F. Corbett; harpsichordists - A. de Cabezón, B. Storace, J. P. Sweelinck and P. de Vois, as well as chamber music composers: A. Falconieri, B. de Selma y Salaverde and Jakob van Eyc.

On Izabela Branicka's name day – 19 November - we head towards southern Europe, where the listeners will find extraordinary treasures of Spanish music, the spontaneity and diversity of which is a perfect reflection of our ideas about hot Spanish temperament. The concert program draws directly from the works of Italian and Spanish guitarists Girolamo Montesardo, Carlo Calvi, Gaspar Sanz, Santiago de Murcia and Francesco Corbett, harpsichordists Antonio de Cabezón, Bernardo Storace, Jan Pieterszoon Sweelinck and Pieter de Vois, as well as chamber music composers for many others instruments, Andrea Falconieri, Bartolomé de Selma y Salaverde and Jacob van Eyck. All compositions will be performed by a trio of young and talented musicians from the Netherlands, who bring great rhythmic vitality and fresh imagination to this innovative act of reconstruction.

21/11/2020 (Saturday), 7:00 pm

The concert "The King is dancing. The music of the 17th century Versailles"

The Branicki Palace in Białystok / online broadcast


  • Orchestra of the Diletto Old Music Ensemble
  • Anna Moniuszko (conductor)

The performance, among others, includes:

instrumental music from operas and ballets by Jean-Baptiste Lully.

J.B. Lully was the most important and influential musician at the French court of Louis XIV. It was during his lifetime that the famous Palace and the garden and park complex in Versailles were built. The final concert of the 10th jubilee edition of the Festival refers to the Branicki Palace known as the Versailles of the North.

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