Ensemble Peregrina, founded in 1997 by the Polish singer and musicologist Agnieszka Budzińska-Bennett in Basle, researches and performs sacred and secular music from twelfth to fourteenth century Europe. The ensemble’s main interest lies in the early polyphonies and monophonic repertories of the Notre Dame school and Aquitanian nova cantica; the aim always being to look for a creative “counterpoint” to the mainstream in the less known peripheral sources. The ensemble’s programmes are characterised by a careful choice of themes and pieces, always paying close attention to their textual and musical interrelationships.

Peregrina’s interpretation and style is informed by the original source materials and treatises, as well as the latest musicological and historical research. The ensemble strives to approach a performance transmitted in the sources as closely as possible without having to renounce a well-balanced and beautiful vocal performance.

The ensemble’s continuing partnership with the Schola Cantorum Basiliensis, where its members met and studied, led to CD recordings Mel et lac (Raumklang 2005) with Marian Aquitanian songs of the 12th century and Filia praeclara (Divox 2008) with medieval music from 13th and 14th century Polish Clarisse convents. Both CD have received critical acclaim in the European and American press including a.o.: twice Goldberg 5 (ES), Selection Musicora (CH), CD of the month (Muzyka 21 PL), Supersonic Pizzicato (LUX). Filia praeclara has also won the prestigious ECHO-KLASSIK Award 2009 for the best a capella recording of the year. In 2011-2014 the four new CDs of the group have been released: Crux with Parisian Easter music from 13th & 14th centuries (Glossa 2011), Sacer Nidus with oldest extant music from medieval Poland (Raumklang 2011), Veiled Desires – Lives and Loves of Nuns in the Middle Ages (Raumklang 2012, International Classical Music Awards 2013 nomination), Cantrix, presenting the musical past of the Maltese Order form the Royal Convents of Sigena (Hospitallers) and Las Huelgas (Cistercians) (Raumklang 2013) and Miracula with medieval music for St. Nicholas (Tacet 2014). In 2017 Codex 457 (Musik Museum 2017) with the music from medieval Innsbruck and Mare Balticum vol. I with the oldest extant music from medieval Denmark (Tacet 2017) were released. The first volume of the Mare Balticum received 5 Diapason and won the International Classical Music Awards 2019 in the "early music" category. This year will witness three other releases: Nova Gaudia with the recent discoveries in Aquitanian manuscripts (Glossa/Schola Cantorum Basiliensis - a double CD together with Dominique Vellard's new recording of this repertoire), Mare Balticum vol. II with music from Sweden and Finnland (Tacet) and a recording of the Silesian music of the 14th and 15th centuries - a ocommission of the Silesian Museum in Katowice. 

Peregrina has performed at numerous festivals in Switzerland (such as Lucerne Festival), Poland, Germany, Spain, France, Austria, Great Britain, Estonia, Iceland, Latvia, Lithuania, Italy, Czech Republic and thrice in the USA. The concerts of the ensemble have been regularly broadcasted on Schweizer Radio DRS 2, Deutschlandfunk, Südwestfunk, SWR2, BR, Klaasika Radio Estonia, PR 2 und BBC 3. 2003/2004 the ensemble has also been invited to lecture on the music of 12thcentury Aquitaine at the Schola Cantorum Basiliensis. 2011-2013 Agnieszka Budzińska-Bennett and Kelly Landerkin belonged to the research department of this institution. Agnieszka Budzińska-Bennett taught early music history at the Schola Cantorum Basiliensis, was also a lecturer of Gregorian chant and music history at the Musikhochschule Trossingen in Germany. 

The name peregrina, the wanderer, alludes to the transmission of music and ideas throughout Europe in the Middle Ages, but also reflects the personal journeys of the singers themselves. The ensemble members (coming from Poland, Switzerland, France, Finland, Germany, Estonia and the USA) together achieve a dynamic balance through their differing origins, and they unite to emulate the interaction and convergence of the cultures and histories of the music they perform.

Most important performances:

Riediesheimer Konzerte 2017 (F)
Abendmusiken Brugg 2017(CH)
Festival de Música Antigua Las Huelgas Medieval, Burgos 2017 (ES)
Sacer Nidus tour (Kalisz, Dolsk, Gniezno, Poznań) 2017 (PL)
Forum Musicum, Wrocław 2017 (PL)
Białystok Philharmonic 2017 (PL)
Nowe Epifanie, Warszawa 2017 (PL)
Giacinto Scelsi Festival Basel 2017 (CH)
Mariasteiner Konzerte 2017 (CH)
Festival Sint-Niklaas 2016 (B)
Festival of Anniversaries, Oxford 2016 (GB)
Muzeum Śląskie, Katowice 2016 (PL)
XX. Jubileuszowy Destiwal im. Mikołaja z Radomia 2016 (PL)
Five o’clock, Polskie Radio, Warszawa 2016 (PL)
Leszno Barok Plus 2016 (PL)
Abendmusiken in Berner Münster Bern 2016, 2012 & 2010 (CH)
Festiwal „Fide et amore“, Żory 2016 & 2013 (PL)
Klingental Museum 2016 & 2014 (CH)
Festival dell'Ascensione, Milano 2016 (IT)
Wiedereröffnung der Kunsthalle, Hamburg 2016 (D)
Filharmonia Szczecińska 2016 (PL)
"Diapsalma", Muttenz 2016 (CH)
X Zjazd Gnieznienski, Gniezno 2016 (PL)
Augustinerkirche Konzerte Zürich 2016, 2015, 2014, 2013 (CH)
Stunde der Kirchenmusik, Stiftskirche Stuttgart 2016, 2013, 2011 (D)
Koncerty w Wilanowie Warszawa 2016 (PL)
Madison Early Music Festival 2015 (USA)
Musikmuseum Konzerte, Innsbruck 2015 (A)
Via Mediaeval - Vokalmusik entlang der romanischen Strasse 2015 & 2010 (D)
Festival MITO Milano – Torino 2015 (IT)
Festiwal Muzyki Polskiej Kraków 2015 (PL)
Voix et Route Romane 2015 &2014 (F)
Forum Alter Musik Zürich 2015 & 2009 (CH)
Festival Portico di Ourense 2015 (ES)
Wunderhoeren Festival, Worms 2015 (DE)
European Broadcasting Union Day, live in Warsaw 2015 (PL)
Freunde Alter Musik Basel 2015, 2012, 2006 & 2002 (CH)
Kromer Festival, Biecz 2015 (PL)
Musik in der Klosterkirche Muri 2015, 2011 & 2007 (CH)
Festival Cantar di Pietre, 2016, 2015 & 2010 (CH)
Muzyka w Starym Krakowie 2014 (PL)
Klosterkirche Königsfelden 2014 (CH)
Domo Musicale, Zamora Cathedral 2014 (ES)
Musik zu Heilig Kreuz, Binningen 2014, 2013 (CH)
Festival Music Before 1800, New York 2013 (USA)
Bozar Sunday, Bozar, Bruxelles 2013 (B)
Festiwal “Gorczycki in antico e moderno”, Bytom 2013 (PL)
Festiwal “Anima mundi”, Kielce 2013 (PL)
Misteria Paschalia Kraków 2013, 2012 (PL)
Festival Banchetto Musicale, Vilnius 2013 (LT)
Filharmonia Krakowska, Musica da camera, musica da chiesa 2013 (PL)
Landesmuseum Ferdinandeum Innsbruck 2012 (A)
Forum Alte Musik St. Gallen 2012 (CH)
Tage Alter Musik Regensburg 2012 (D)
klangreich alte kirche, Romanshorn 2012 (CH)
Blansingen Konzerte 2012 (D)
Recontres Internationales de Musique Médiévale du Thoronet 2012 (F)
Rezekne Festival - Lettland-Tournée 2012
Musica Antica Calolziocorte 2011 (I)
Internationale Tage der mittelalterlichen Musik Montalbane 2011 & 2004 (D)
Festival Les Gouts Reunits Lausanne 2011 (CH)
Benedictine Music Summer Tyniec/ Tuchów/ Staniątki 2011 (PL)
Masovia Festival Warszawa 2010 (PL)
Starosądecki Festiwal Muzyki Dawnej 2010 (PL)
Festiwal „Muzyka w raju“ Paradyż 2010 (PL)
Festival Goldbergowski Gdańsk 2010 (PL)
York Early Music Festival 2009 (GB)
Festival INNOVANTIQUA Winterthur 2008 (CH)
Freunde Alter Musik Laufenburg 2008 & 2006 (CH/D)
Festival "Portico di Zamora" 2007 (ES)
Europäische Kirchenmusik Festival Schwäbisch Gmünd 2007 (D)
Tage Alter Musik Knechtsteden 2007 (D)
IV Königliches Musikfestival Kloster Zlata Koruna & Prague 2006 (CZ)
Schnüttgen Konzerte Köln 2005 (D)
IX International Tartu Early Music Festival Festivitas Artium 2004 (EE)
XIV. Berliner Tage für Alte Musik 2003 (D)
Lucerne Festival 2003 (CH)
Festival de musique ancienne de Rougemont La Folia 2002 (CH)
Musica Antiga Palma de Mallorca 2002 (ES)