FCG Section: Music

Björn Schmelzer

Conductor

Björn Schmelzer studied anthropology and musicology. He is the founder and artistic director of graindelavoix, an artist company that aims to show the fundamental anachronism of time in musical practices and ancient repertoires. Over the course of long research stays, Schmelzer studied primarily in the Mediterranean world, in Italy (Sardinia, Sicily), Spain, Portugal and Morocco, specializing in performance practice.  He studied several medieval vocal traditions in depth, their continuation and survival in later times, ornamentation styles, and the logic of operative knowledge.  He combines this work with insights from anthropology, history, human geography and ethnomusicology, resulting in various publications and concert programs.  He is regularly requested as a guest conductor, opening up unheard layers in different vocal repertoires. Björn Schmelzer gives lectures and has published several essays and articles for literary and specialized magazines, academic publications and exhaustive CD booklets. He is currently writing a book about vocal practices, derived from 10 years of expertise with graindelavoix.  With graindelavoix he directed more than 14 cd’s for Glossa and has received many international prizes and awards. In 2011, Schmelzer became the first “Creative Fellow in Musicology”, a collaboration between the Utrecht Early Music Festival and the Centre for Humanities at Utrecht University.