The Teatro Mayor Julio Mario Santo Domingo presents the V International Festival of Classical Music of Bogotá. Bogotá is Baroque: Bach, Händel, Vivaldi, from November 12 to 15, 2021

The fascination and fantasy of a vital, exuberant and dramatic era are the frame of reference to stimulate the senses and vibrate with the virtuosity present in the music of the Baroque period. The Teatro Mayor Julio Mario Santo Domingo, stage of the Mayor’s Office of Bogotá through IDARTES and the Secretariat of Culture, carries out the Festival thanks to the support of Caracol Televisión, Sura, Grupo Energía Bogotá and the Ministry of Culture – National Program of Cultural Agreement . In this edition there will be three guests of honor who represent the way this era was lived in different corners of Europe: the composers Johann Sebastian Bach, Georg Friedrich Händel and Antonio Vivaldi.


The Baroque takes Bogotá! During a weekend in November, from Friday 12 to Monday 15, the V International Festival of Classical Music of Bogotá will take place. After having toured the music of Beethoven, Mozart, Brahms, Schubert, Schumann and Romantic Russia in their past editions, this year they will be heard in the capital of Colombia, by Colombian and international artists who stand out for their interpretation of instruments and period repertoires, the works of three composers who marked the Baroque period: Johann Sebastian Bach, Georg Friedrich Händel and Antonio Vivaldi.


The Festival will be face-to-face, with limited capacity to guarantee all current biosafety protocols, and will take place in 12 stages located in seven locations in the city. Thus, it will be four intense days to enjoy great orchestras, stellar artists, musical jewels and instruments such as the lute, the harpsichord and especially the cello da spalla, which can be heard for the first time in our country. Furthermore, the work of these three composers – Bach, Händel and Vivaldi – will allow the public to experience and enjoy the richness of the Baroque style and its particular characteristics, both in the sacred and secular repertoire.


Opening and closing


The opening and closing concerts rescue iconic works from this period. The opening will be on November 12 at the Julio Mario Santo Domingo Theater at 8:30 pm: with Mass in B minor BWV 232 by Johann Sebastian Bach, performed by the Bogotá Philharmonic Orchestra under the direction of Carlos Mena (Spain ). They will be as soloists: Cornelia Horak, soprano from Austria; Andrea Niño, mezzo-soprano from Colombia; Benedikt Kristjánsson, tenor from Iceland; José Coca Loza, bass from Bolivia; the Philharmonic Youth Choir of the Bogotá Philharmonic Orchestra under the direction of Paola Ávila (Colombia), and the Chamber Choir of the Faculty of Arts of the Pontificia Universidad Javeriana, under the direction of Ana Paulina Álvarez Sandoval (Colombia).


Ensamble Barroco © Juan Diego Castilo


The closing of the festival, meanwhile, will be on November 15 at 5:00 p.m. at the Teatro Mayor Julio Mario Santo Domingo, with a stellar presentation by the lautten compagney BERLIN, from Germany, who will perform the oratorio Mesias, by Handel. It will be an opportunity to feel the intensity of this work and listen to it as it was thought in the eighteenth century, when it was composed: “It seemed to me that I saw the whole sky before me and God himself!”, Said Händel after composing it, in such only three weeks, between August 22 and September 14, 1741. Over time, the oratory that became one of the most applauded sacred works in history. This concert will be conducted by Wolfgang Katschner (Germany) and will have as soloists Cornelia Horak, soprano from Austria; Carlos Mena, countertenor from Spain; Benedikt Kristjánsson, tenor from Iceland; José Coca Loza, bass from Bolivia, and the Santa Cecilia Choral Society, under the direction of Bárbara de Martiis (Colombia).


The festival in figures


The Festival will feature artists from Spain, Germany, France, Austria, Bolivia, Switzerland, Hungary, Argentina, Russia, the United Kingdom, Iceland and Colombia. Thus, it will be an appointment with the most outstanding exhibitors of baroque music in the world.


  • 31 concerts


22 paid concerts on five stages and nine free concerts on seven stages.


  • Three composers


Johann Sebastian Bach (1685-1750) – Georg Friedrich Händel (1685-1759) – Antonio Vivaldi (1678-1741)


  • Five orchestras


Four national orchestras: National Symphony Orchestra of Colombia, Philharmonic Orchestra of Bogotá, Young Philharmonic of Colombia and Youth Philharmonic Chamber Orchestra.


An international orchestra: the lautten compagney BERLIN.


  • Five conductors


Wolfgang Katschner (Germany), Carlos Mena (Spain), Adrián Chamorro (Colombia), Jürgen Wolf (Germany) and Roger Díaz-Cajamarca (Colombia).


  • Three choirs


The Youth Philharmonic Choir of the Bogotá Philharmonic Orchestra, the Santa Cecilia Choral Society and the Chamber Choir of the Faculty of Arts of the Pontifical Javeriana University. As directors will be Paola Ávila, Bárbara de Martiis and Ana Paulina Álvarez.


  • Six assemblies


Two international ensembles –IL Convito (France) and Julia Boucaut & Extempore (France / Colombia) – and four national ensembles –the Bogotá Baroque Ensemble, Spicata, Música Amable and the Wind and String Ensemble of the National Symphony Orchestra of Colombia— will participate. in the festival. As directors will be Maude Gratton (France) Leila Shayegh (Switzerland), Julien Faure (France) and Leonidas Cáceres (Colombia).


  • Seven international soloists


Pierre Hantaï (harpsichord, France), Sergey Malov (violin and cello da spalla, Russia), Leila Shayegh (violin, Switzerland), Maude Gratton (organ and harpsichord, France), Jürgen Wolf (organ, Germany), Tamás Balla (oboe , Hungary) and Julia Boucaut (natural trumpet, France), will be the soloists from other countries that will be at the festival.


  • Ten national soloists


Diego Salamanca (lute), Manuel Arango (piano), Ana María Ospina (organ and harpsichord), Camilo Giraldo (guitar), Santiago Medina (violin), Leonidas Cáceres (violin), Rafael Aponte (flute), Juan David Arias (piccolo ), Giovanni Scarpetta (sackbut and trombone), Germán Díaz Guerrero (sackbut and trombone) and Brayan Ruíz (mandolin).


  • Four international singers


The sopranos Verónica Cangemi (Argentina) and Cornelia Horak (Austria), the tenor Benedikt Kristjánsson (Iceland) and the bass José Coca Loza (Bolivia), will perform several iconic pieces of the Baroque.


  • Three conversations


Clemens Birnbaum, Director of the Halle Handel Festival, will speak about Georg Friedrich Händel; The doctor. Michael Maul, director of the Leipzig Bach Festival, about Bach, and finally, both will participate in Bach’s Messiah, a talk on the theme they chose for their respective festivals in 2021. Yalilé Cardona, co-director of the International Classical Music Festival of Bogotá will moderate the conservatories.


Clemens Birnbaum © Mathias Marx


The Bogotá International Classical Music Festival will be the opportunity to have a face-to-face experience of meeting the other, with the artists, with the public and with excellence in musical performance, with attractive events such as the great Orlando gala: Händel vs. Vivaldi, in which the Youth Chamber Orchestra of the Philharmonic Orchestra of Bogotá will participate, the director Roger Díaz Cajamarca, the Argentine soprano Verónica Cangemi and the mezzo-soprano Andrea Niño; the harpsichord recitals by Pierre Hantaï (France); or the concert by IL Convito, directed by Maude Gratton (France) that will make a very interesting interpretation of Bach’s The Art of the Fugue. After the confinement, the uncertainty, the hopelessness, Bogotá covers itself with Baroque music that inspires and heals.


A Festival for everyone


The festival invites diverse audiences to live this sublime sound experience, which is why it presents several Colombian and international artists for free.


Camilo Giraldo Ángel, Colombian guitarist, composer, producer and teacher, winner of the call for the V International Festival of Classical Music of Bogotá, will perform in the concert “La zarabanda y la chacona, encierran la vida bona (a singular case of the sacralization of the profano) ”several pieces by Bach at the El Tunal Library, while the Young Philharmonic of Colombia will perform The Four Seasons, Vivaldi’s iconic work, at the“ Viva Vivaldi ”concert, which will take place at the El Ensueño Theater, together with the violinist and Director Adrián Chamorro.


The present that revives the past


The V Festival of Classical Music of Bogotá, Bogotá is Baroque: Bach, Händel, Vivaldi offers with all this programming a trip back in time to the Baroque period, which lived its splendor thanks to the technical skill and interpretation of instruments such as the harpsichord, the organ, lute, cello da spalla and viola da gamba, among others.


Leila Schayegh © Marco Borggreve


The sounds of these instruments can be revived in Bogotá thanks to interpreters such as Leila Schayegh from Switzerland, a connoisseur of period instruments and considered one of the main exponents of the violin in the early music scene. Other must-see concerts to listen to the sounds of the time are those of the Spicata ensemble, whose main sources of inspiration are the exclusive use of period instruments such as the baroque guitar and the baroque traverso.


For her part, Eleonora Rueda will perform a harpsichord recital of Bach’s iconic Goldberg Variations, while Diego Salamanca, a musician born in Bogotá and who has devoted himself fully to the lute and historical plucked instruments, will also perform several pieces of the German composer.


Some notes of happiness


Artists from 11 countries will come together in Bogotá.


There are outstanding figures such as Jürgen Wolf, born in Germany, who worked in the construction of organs and obtained the degree of excellence in the specialization in Evangelical Religious Music, who in this festival will play the organ of the Catedral Primada de Colombia with a program focused on Johann Sebastian Bach, while in other concerts will be Verónica Cangemi, Argentine soprano internationally recognized as an icon of baroque music, and Pierre Hantaï, from France, one of the greatest exponents of the harpsichord in recent decades.


For its part, the lautten compagney BERLIN is the international orchestra in charge of some of the most impressive concerts: it has been recognized as one of the most creative baroque orchestras in Germany. For three decades, and under the artistic direction of Wolfgang Katschner, he has fascinated audiences whether playing chamber music or accompanying an opera and continues to push boundaries with contagious joy and an innovative repertoire in his quest to discover new sounds and interact with other art forms.


When baroque music reaches our ears, nothing is the same again and this magic comes from Russia with Sergey Malov, born in Saint Petersburg, who represents versatility and virtuosity; he plays the violin, the viola, the baroque violin, the cello da spalla (which will be played for the first time in Colombia), as well as the viola da gamba. Happiness is complete with the presence of the Colombians Adrián Chamorro, conductor and violinist, and Diego Salamanca, who plays the Lute, a plucked string instrument of origin.


Classical music is art that finds its reason for being when it entertains, inspires and releases emotion. It is magnified when it is heard, felt and enjoyed by many.


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