Lohoys & Hobreau – The Business of Musicke
Lohoys & Hobreau – The Business of Musicke

Lohoys & Hobreau – The Business of Musicke

Two enterprising musicians in 16th-century Antwerp

Antwerp 1541, two French musicians, Georges Lohoys and Jean Hobreau – nicknamed Petit Jean – went into partnership to be part of the thriving musical business in the city. The epicenter of international trade in the Renaissance, Antwerp enjoyed great economic wealth, which in turn brought about great intellectual development, artistic and cultural effervescence. The two ‘minestreurs’ set up a joint venture – known at the time as a ‘band’ – taking on musical production for banquets, weddings, church services, ceremonies and educational activities throughout the city.
This fruitful collaboration was devised in a context of great artistic development. Music was everywhere, as were great works of art, luxury goods, comptoir exhibitions, sculptures and paintings from all over the world! Music was the true muse of the city: the sacred polyphonies of the cathedral could be heard along with the sound of street instruments; the dances performed in the salons competed with birdsongs outdoors.
Albrecht Dürer left a record of his stay in Antwerp in 1520: the cathedral then boasted the best musicians of the period, various offices were performed simultaneously, thanks to the many permanent altars to be found at the time in its seven aisles. According to Lodovico Guicciardini, a Florentine writer and historian living in the city, weddings, feasts, banquets, serenades, masquerades, plays, processions, christenings and masses were held at all hours, pastimes and other dances were played at all times, songs, loud cheers and the melody of instruments could be heard in the streets all day long.
The most prominent musicians from France, Italy, Germany and the Low Countries began to flock to the city in order to secure the title of Burgher of Antwerp. Tielman Susato, a famous musician and publisher, collected a large part of their pieces, thus printing the repertoire of the most outstanding musicians of the time: Josquin Desprez, Josquin Baston, Antoine Barbé, Orlande de Lassus, Nicolas Gombert, among many others.
Comet Musicke’s concert presents a varied programme with the diverse repertoire that enriched the artistic life of Antwerp for decades. Let us close our eyes for a moment and try to relive the sound that made this glorious harbour city vibrant, a musical work orchestrated by two ambitious musical entrepreneurs of the Renaissance.


Francisco Mañalich, ténor
Sarah Lefeuvre, soprano et flûtes à bec
Aude-Marie Piloz, viole de gambe
Daniela Maltrain, viole de gambe et chant
Cyrille Métivier, cornets, vièle et chant
Camille Rancière, baryton et vièle
Sarah Richards, soprano
François Joron, baryton
Erwan Picquet, basse
Raphaël Mas, alto et percussions

Condensé du concert donné le 24 aout 2023 à Anvers (Belgique) dans le cadre du Festival Laus Polyphoniae / AMUZ.