The International Festival of  Le Thoronet 

Festival of early and traditional music in the Abbey of the Thoronet


This year, like every summer for almost three decades now, our Rencontres programme will be the meeting place for the many repertoires of ancient and traditional music. So rare that they always surprise, these repertoires open a treasure chest of rich musical treats, freeing melodies, rhythms and poetry to blend their voices in the incomparable acoustics of Le Thoronet Abbey. 


Few festivals offer their audiences so rich dialogue between musical styles and periods. This is the stamp of our festival, as exemplified by this year's opening concert, there medieval and traditional Western monodies will dialogue with the traditional Ottoman and Greek repertoires. The flamboyant medieval style will be represented by Guillaume Dufay's mass "L'homme armé", and the renaissance by Claude Le Jeune's "Le Printemps", the final, emblematic and unequalled example of 16th century French song. The vivid range of musical repertoires in this 2019 edition of the festival will also include Turkish, Greek and Spanish, as well as traditional Russian, Irish and Scottish music. 


Dominique Vellard, Artistic Director


Thursday 18th July at 21:00 : Dialogue between Greece and France

Le Thoronet Abbey

"Modal conversation" - première

Sofia Labropoulou (kanun) and Ourania Lampropoulou (santouri) are two exceptional instrumentalists seeking to promote a fusion between traditional Greek music and the other ancient styles of the Eastern Mediterranean. In this concert, they will engage in a musical dialogue between their own Greek traditional music and the medieval repertoires interpreted by Dominique Vellard. All three will be accompanied by the percussionist Pierre Rigopoulo.

Friday 19th July at 21:00 : UZORIKA

Le Thoronet Abbey

"Ancient and traditional Russian songs" - Female vocal ensemble, dir. Varvara Kotova

Based in Moscow, this ensemble is directed by Varvara Kotova, herself trained since childhood within the Sirin group directed by her father Andrej Kotov. They perform sacred songs, songs for festive occasions, captivating polyphonies, folk songs accompanied by the hurdy gurdy 

or the traditional harp. The ensemble has been performing concerts and offering workshops in Russia and abroad for ten years now. 

Saturday 20th July at 21:00 : CINQUECENTO Ensemble

Le Thoronet Abbey

Mass "L'homme armé" by Guillaume Dufay (1397-1474)

Cinquecento means 16th century in Italian. This group of five singers form five different European countries was formed in Vienna in 2004, and quickly became known for its interpretations of te polyphonic repertoires of the late Middle Ages and the Renaissance. 

Cinquecento will be performing a work they premiered in 2019 : the mass "L'homme armé" by Guillaume Dufay, a highly complex piece that perfectly showcases they talent. Dufay is recognized as the most illustrious representative of the French-Flemish school form the flamboyant late Middle Ages. He reached his peak with his final masses, in particular "L'homme armé", with is based on the melody from a very popular 15th century song of the same name. The son's melody later disappears in the construction of the sections of the mass. The song "L'homme armé" was to turn up in numerous masses throughout the 16th century. 

Monday 22nd July at 21:00 : THE CURIOUS BARDS

City Hall's main square - Le Thoronet

"The celtic voice"

The Curious Bards was formed in 2015 by five instrumentalists form the world of ancient music who had studied at the prestigious Conservatoire of Lyon, Paris and Bâle. 
All five 
adopt the same approach to incorporating traditional Irish and Scottish music into their professional musical practice. An approach that is based on rigorous research combined with innovation and creativity. In this concert, the Curious Bards will be performing the songs that are such an important aspect of Irish and Scottish culture. Taken from 18th century collections, these songs recount the history of the two countries though their stories of love, loss and patriotism. Guest singer Ilektra Platipoulou will put Gaelic soul on display, from laughter to tears and from joy to despair. 

Tuesday 23rd July at 21:00 : Gille BINCHOIS Ensemble

Le Thoronet Abbey

"Le Printemps"

With 40 years of research and concerts behind them, and recordings that stand as landmarks in the field of medieval and renaissance music, the Gilles Binchois ensemble is till tirelessly exploring the musical legacy of the past. This concert offers their latest creation, Le Printemps, a set of songs that distills the new humanist-inspired that emerged in the late 16th century. Vocal music in metric, "musique mesurée", as well as polyphonies, will demonstrate the ease with which the ensemble wields the musical techniques of the 16th century. Claude Le Jeune was a consummate master of both counterpoint and polyphony. With its sublime prosaic features, his work is among the most beautiful musical treatments of the French Language. 

Practical Informations

Tourist Office – Place Louis-Rainaud –

83340 Le Thoronet
Téléphone : 04 94 60 10 94

Mail : 

website :

Acces :
Train station TGV : Les Arcs-Draguignan : 22 Km.
Airport of Nice-Côte d’Azur : 100 Km.
Airport of Marseille-Marignane : 120 Km.
Airport of Toulon-Hyères : 80 Km.

Download the map (Pdf)

Rooms and breakfast :
Le quartier Clos- 83340 Le Thoronet
Phone. 04 94 76 06 21

Contact :


By phone or mail :

+33 (0)4 94 60 10 94

Online :

Click here

Prices :

  • Full fare : 25 euros

  • Concert outdoor 22nd of July : 15 euros single rate

  • Reduced fare : 20 euros (groups of 10 ; students ; unemployed ; beneficiary of the RSA ; intermittent artists ; less than 18 years old ; members of the associations)

  • Free : less than 12 years old

  • "Pass festival" for 5 shows : 90 euros

  • "Pass festival" for 3 shows : 60 euros

Anyone whose not able to justify of its reduced fare will automatically have to pay the difference in order to reach the full fare.