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Erasmus:  A Peace Project

Picture: Hans Holbein the Younger (1498-1543)

"Portrait of Desiderius Erasmus of Rotterdam with

Renaissance Pilaster" (1523), National Gallery, London

- "It was a favourite project... to assemble a congress of kings at Cambray. It was to consist of Maximilian the emperor, Francis the first king of France, Henry the eight of England, and Charles, the sovereign of the Low Countries, of which I am a native...They were to enter, in the most solemn manner, into a mutual and indissoluble engagements to perserve peace with each other, and consequently peace throughout Europe." -


These are the words that Erasmus of Rotterdam (1466 - 1536) wrote to a friend in account of his idealistic dream of achieving harmony between European "nations". 

In his vision, Erasmus predicted a meeting that would happen in Utrecht 10 years after his own death between the most powerful monarchs of the history: Charles the V - the most influential Habsburg in the Holy Roman Empire, François I - the first absolutist King of France and Henry VIII - one of the most controversial power figures of history. The Unity of Europe had to wait more than 400 years, and the figure of the Dutch humanist is still a source of inspiration.


In his "A Complaint of Peace" (Basel, 1517), written few years after his adagium "Dulce bellum inexpertis" (war is sweet to those who do not know it) in 1515, Peace speaks and complaints to the human race, for being the only thing in nature that has not achieved the state of peace. Based on his classical studies, Erasmus though that harmony and peace was the natural state of all beings. Celestial bodies moved constantly in harmony without collapsing, the elements are in uninterrupted concord and animal species live in social amity. According to him, the path to peace and harmony between nations was to be found in a common language of faith.


The common language of music was in Erasmus' time a successful ambassador of peace and unity - as it is today. Emperors, Popes, thinkers and common people sought it, danced to it, and were moved by it. Music achieved Erasmus' ideal of peace: a space where origins, religion and politics are no barriers to the creative harmony.


Erasmus of Rotterdam's Ideological Journey through a Europe of Unity and Peace

A dialogue of peace between the Habsburgs' Empire, the French- and English Kingdoms in the early 16th -c. with Ceremonial music from the Netherlands, Germany, France, England and Spain and texts by Erasmus of Rotterdam.

Line-up: 9-20 musicians/ readers

- 4-6 soloists 

- Renaissance wind band (4-5)

- Renaissance chamber  consort (3-5)


- organ / portative organ

- percussion

- 2 natural trumpets (optional)

- Boys choir (7-15 boys)



T. Tallis, Josquin, P. de la Rue, L. Senfl, C Festa, P. Hofheimer, H. Isaac, C. Canis, C. de Sermisy, C. Janequin, Henry VIII, J. de Urrede



- ceremonial Music

- sacred Music

- humanism

- European Union

- vocal music

- instrumental Music

- Renaissance

- dance

- motet


For the Children's Voices educational project, please scroll down


As musicians, we have the opportunity to travel and to share our art in the most diverse spaces and communities. This also gives us the opportunity to leave something behind, something more than an enjoyable musical evening.




Creating engaged citizens

Servir Antico is committed to serve these communities and make a difference.

The Children's Voices Educational Project aims to involve local children and help them become engaged world citizens



Renaissance Ideal:

Wisdom of the Past inspiring the Vision of Tomorrow

Renaissance humanists placed special value on education. They believed that learning from the knowledge of the great thinkers of the past would help them create a better society.

Servir Antico takes inspiration from their wisdom and engages community for creating a better tomorrow. Here is where the education of today's children is crucial.



The Platform:

Listening - Speaking - Inspiring

Our project serves as a platform for children to listen and to be listened to; to speak out their views of global issues and engage them in discussion; to inspire them through music and texts of the past and to draw inspiration from their own creations and vision.


We are going to achieve this through: 


-Educational concerts

-Call for children's poems and short essays / Competitions.

-Performance of selected children's works in Servir Antico's shows.

-Servir Antico's online platform for showcasing the children's creations.



The Topic:

Peace and Education

Erasmus' world was one of an omnipresent armed conflict, and few people dared to think that a long-term peace among nations could be achieved. Nevertheless, he was able to dream of a better world. He believed that education was the way to reach it.


In a globalized world, today's children are exposed to war/peace issues either through physical experience or through media exposure. We wish to hear what they have to say and give them the space to build their dreamed future.



For more information, please contact us!








Children's Voices Educational Project

Serving Children, Serving Communities

Mother and Child, Genurt Marias, Salzbur
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Servir Antico

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