The 13th edition of the International Festival of Sacred Music and Art, that took place from October 22 until 29, 2014 in Rome and Vatican, was for critics as well as for the audience a great success. In an official writing the Founder and General President of the Foundation Fondazione Pro Musica e Arte Sacra, Dr. Hans-Albert Courtial, described it as follows: “The Festival 2014 was an enormous success: Alone a thousand artists among them choristers and orchestra members, 26 soloists, 8 conductors and choirmasters from all over the world like Japan, U.S.A., Germany, Austria, Tatarstan, the Vatican State and Italia participated at this special musical event.”

On eight evenings during the Festival renowned artists performed the most important and rarely executed opus of sacred music as the oratorio “Saul” by Georg Friedrich Handel, the oratorio “Lazarus” by Franz Schubert, the “Mass in Fa-Minore” and the “Te Deum” by Anton Bruckner, “Ein deutsches Requiem” by Johannes Brahms, the “Misa Azteca” the Requiem” by Mark Hayes, the “Messa da Requiem” by Giuseppe Verdi and the “Jubilate Deo”- Holy Choirmotets in the mirror ofthe musical cultures.

The audience showed its appreciation for the thirteenth edition of the Festival. More than 11.000 listeners from Germany, Switzerland, Austria, the Principality of Liechtenstein, France, Japan, the U.S.A., Russia, Denmark, Spain, Italy and the Vatican State visited the numerous concerts in the extraordinary and beautiful framework of the Papal Basilicas in Rome.

Of course, the concert with the Vienna Philharmonic was the most awaited one. The Vienna Philharmonic is the orchestra in residence of the Festival since its first edition, and this year together with the Wiener Singverein under the conduction of Ingo Metzmacher and selected soloists voices of international reputation (the concert took place on October 23, 2014 at 9 p.m. in the Papal Basilica of St. Paul outside the Walls), they executed the very seldom performed and incomplete oratorio “Lazarus” by Franz Schubert, one of his most touching opus of sacred music. Another very important moment of the Festival was the private concert dedicated to the supporters of the Foundation Fondazione Pro Musica e Arte Sacra. In this special concert the Sistine Chapel Choir “Pontificia Sistina” under the conduction of Maestro Massimo Palombella sang corals after the Roman tradition in the unique framework of the Cappella Corsini in St. John in Lateran on October 28, 2014 at 9 p.m ..

From this year on the Foundation Fondazione Pro Musica e Arte Sacra is proud to have her own hymn, named “INNO ALLA FEDE” for oboe and strings, which was dedicated to her by the Conductor and Composer Maestro Andrea Morricone.

This piece was executed musically for the opening ofthe concert on October 26, 2014 at 9 p.m. in the Papal Basilica of St. Paul outside the Walls by the J apanese Orchestra Illumin’ Art Philharmonic under the conduction of Maestro Tomomi Nishimoto before the “Messa da Requiem” by Giuseppe Verdi.

By the help of the International Festival of Sacred Music and Sacred Art the audience made the experience of a real spiritual elevation and salvation.

Among of that, the Festival supported the ecumenical spirit, having musicians of the protestant part of Germany (The Kantorei Schlosskirche Weilburg and the Capella Weilburgensis) as well as the orthodox Christians from Tatarstan (Choir and Orchestra of the Conservatory of Kazan).

Furthermore, the participation ofthe Choristers and orchestra members of the Illumin’Art Philharmonic from Japan, being part of different kinds of creeds, that are characteristic for the religious reality of the state of Nippon, could make its contribution to the interreligious dialogue between Christians and many other religions, that co-exist in Japan.

In addition, one of the highlights in the framework of this years’ Festival was the award ceremony of the Award of Honour of the Foundation Fondazione Pro Musica e Arte Sacra on October 23,2014 at midday in the Papal Institute of Sacred Music. This special award goes to personalities with a special meritoriousness as artists, supporters, benefactors or patrons in the culture of sacred music and sacred art.

The Award of Honour of the Foundation Fondazione Pro Musica e Arte Sacra 2014 went to the following persons:

  • Maestro Mons. Pablo Colino: Prefect for the Music in the St. Peter’s Basilica in Vatican for his merits towards sacred music in the Vatican and in the whole world as an academic and artistic director for more than 50 years;
  • Prof. Dr. Dr. Herbert BatIiner: Knight from the Great Cross with Diamonds of the PrincipaIity of Liechtenstein as patron and supporter of sacred music and sacred art;
  • Maestro Prof. Dr. Nikolaus Hamoncourt: Austrian conductor, for his merits in the field of sacred music;
  • Maestro Tomomi Nishimoto: Japanese conductor, for her conviction in the rediscovery ofthe tradition ofthe Orasho in Japan, the traditional chants, originated from the canto Gregorian and for her research for these ancient Christian chants.

The Founder and General President of the Foundation Fondazione Pro Musica e Arte Sacra, Dr. Hans-Albert Courtial, concluded: “It is known, that sacred music with its transcendental character has the potential to cause a very strong spiritual experience, stronger than words or images: For that reason, religious faith is very strong connected to the music and religious rites have been accompanied by music from time immemorial.

For me it is always a great pleasure and gratification to contribute to bring people to these holy places in the framework of the INTERNATIONAL FESTIVAL OF SACRED MUSIC AND SACRED ART.”

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