About festival

The Misteria Paschalia Festival is one of the most important events dedicated to early music in the world. It has been organised in Krakow since 2004 as the most important artistic event of the Holy Week in Poland. Thanks to the efforts of the organisers, the festival presents a unique repertoire, as the programme mainly explores rarely presented works or pieces performed for the first time – whether in Krakow, Poland, or even the world. Among the features of the festival are its consequently built image, well thought-out programme, cohesive idea of presenting music connected to the Holy Week and Easter, performed by renowned masters and interpreters of historic music. Since its inception, the festival has been combining three epochs and their rich performing traditions: the Middle Ages, Renaissance and Baroque, sometimes reaching into early Classicism.

Thanks to the Misteria Paschalia Festival, music has become a Krakow landmark. Over the course of more than a decade and a half, a brand has been established that attracts music lovers from all over the country all while promoting Krakow as a city that hosts cultural events of the highest global standard. Between 2004 and 2016 the artistic vision of the festival has been the work of Filip Berkowicz.

Since 2017, each subsequent edition is dedicated to a different cultural context. The concept for the festival includes inviting outstanding artists-residents, who are responsible for the artistic spirit and programme. The renewed formula has allowed us to present a musical cross-section of early France (2017, led by Vincent Dumestre and Le Poème Harmonique) and United Kingdom (2018, with John Butt and his Dunedin Consort in the role of the resident artistic director). In 2019, the festival will visit Italy, with Antonio Florio and the Cappella Neapolitana ensemble serving as artistic custodians. The programme of each edition is created at the intersection of the ideas of outstanding artists and specialists from the Krakow Festival Office, thanks to which Misteria Paschalia is characterised by a distinctive character and meets the expectations of the audience. Another important element is to emphasise the cultural communication between the centre presented in a given edition of the festival and Polish heritage, as well as building relations between foreign and domestic artists: to date, we have seen the joining of forces of Le Poème Harmonique and Capriccio Stravagante with Capella Cracoviensis, Le Poème Harmonique with Arte dei Suonatori, Dunedin Consort with the Polish Radio Choir, Marian Consort with {oh!} Orkiestra Historyczna, and Concerto Italiano with the Cracow Singers.

Misteria Paschalia continues to discover new locations, presenting the works of old masters in both secular and sacred spaces. The list of concert venues characteristic of the festival Chapel St. Kinga’ s Chapel in the “Wieliczka” Salt Mine, unique on a global scale, magnificent interiors of Krakow churches and the spectacular Krzysztof Penderecki Hall of the ICE Kraków Congress Centre.

Almost from the beginning of its existence, the Misteria Paschalia Festival has been present on Polish Radio Channel 2, the only Polish radio station specialising in classical music. In 2017, the organisers established cooperation with Mezzo television, thanks to which the concerts organised in Krakow reach more than 60 million viewers in 60 countries around the world.

The artistic and programme coordinator of the Misteria Paschalia Festival is Paweł Szczepanik and Joanna Broniec is the festival manager.