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TERRA SANCTA ORGAN FESTIVAL Music from the Churches of the Middle East and the Levant From September 25, 2016 to February 15, 2017

The Levant Season
The Autumn Season in the Holy Land
The Winter Season in Egypt, Lebanon and Syria

The Custody of the Holy Land is delighted to announce the third season of the Terra Sancta Organ FestivalMusic from the Churches of the Middle East and the Levant.

The unique feature of the Terra Sancta Organ Festival is that it is being held at the churches and shrines of the Holy Land and in the locations where the Franciscan Friars of the Custody of the Holy Land have been active for centuries: Israel, Palestine, Jordan, Greece, Cyprus, Egypt, Lebanon and Syria.

The Terra Sancta Organ Festival is one way to bear witness to the presence of the Christian communities in the Middle East and the Levant in the field of music and culture. Here, organ music is a superior artistic contribution perceived as specifically Christian, the pipe organ being present almost exclusively inside churches. The festival is also an opportunity to promote the maintenance of organs and the study of this instrument, necessary for the liturgy.

The concerts take place in churches, but all are welcome, regardless of their religious affiliation: the Terra Sancta Organ Festival represents in fact one of the rare occasions in the Middle East and the Levant in which one can listen to the sound of a pipe organ outside of its normal liturgical context. Admission to all concerts is free.

Prelude (September 25, 2016)

The opening concert will take place in El Qubeibeh, Palestine, on Sunday September 25, at the sanctuary that commemorates the episode from the Gospel known as “the Disciples at Emmaus”. Difficult to reach due to the limitations of movement imposed by the political situation, the sanctuary is the destination of an annual pilgrimage of the Custody of the Holy Land that celebrates the Feast of Saints Cleopas and Simeon (the disciples of Emmaus, in fact). After the mass celebrated by the Custos of the Holy Land Fr. Francesco Patton, there will be a recital for organ and voice performed by the German Gunther Martin Goettsche (organist of the Church of the Redeemer in Jerusalem) and the Dutch soprano Anne-Marieke Evers.

The Levant Season (October 1-8, 2016)

A few days later the festival will move to the Levant, in Rhodes (Greece) and Larnaca (Cyprus). The concerts in Rhodes – at the Church of St. Francis, from October 1 to October 8 – are part of the Organ & Music Festival Rhodes and feature local, national and international musicians, among which we mention the Greek organist Christos Paraskevopoulos (also the artistic director of the Greek section of the festival) and the Italian organist Mario Duella.
Danile Dori, the principal organist of Florence Cathedral, will give his organ recital on October 8, at the Church of Saint Mary of Graces in Larnaca.

The Autumn Season in the Holy Land (from October 16 to November 11, 2016)

On October 16, on the occasion of the celebrations for the reopening of the Memorial of Moses on Mount Nebo in Jordan, the Italian concert artist Eugenio Maria Fagiani will perform on the new organ “Nicola Puccini” donated by a benefactor specifically to the Memorial of Moses: this instrument is the only pipe organ in Jordan.

The main program of the Terra Sancta Organ Festival takes place in Israel and Palestine from October 18 to November 11: a total of 16 concerts scheduled on Tuesdays at St. Peter’s Church in Jaffa (Tel Aviv), on Wednesdays at the Basilica of the Annunciation in Nazareth, on Thursdays at the Church of St. Saviour in Jerusalem and on Fridays at the Church of St. Catherine at the Basilica of the Nativity in Bethlehem. During the four weeks, one after the other, we will listen to the Polish organist Witold Zalewski, principal organist of the Cathedral of Wawel in Krakow, to the American Jennifer Pascual, musical director and organist of St. Patrick’s Cathedral in New York and to two young musicians who are emerging on the international scene: the Italian Antonio Di Dedda, a teacher at the Conservatory of Foggia and a winner of major international competitions, and the Austrian Stefan Donner, organist of St. Peter’s Church in Vienna, formerly organist at St. Stephen’s Church in Amsterdam and winner of international awards that have led him to perform in Europe and the United States.

The Winter Season (January – February 2017: Egypt, Lebanon and Syria)

For some years now, Lebanon is witnessing a renewed interest in the pipe organ: important churches (especially of the Latin, Maronite or Evangelical rite) have restored their pipe organs, or have built new ones or are planning to do so. The Terra Sancta Organ Festival, along with the Music School of Notre Dame University and thanks to the work of Italian organ builder Saverio Anselmi Tamburini, is the protagonist of this renaissance, which has now found an international artistic recognition with the festival SOL: Semaine de l’Orgue au Liban. Taking place from January 28 to February 5, 2017, the Lebanese Pipe Organ Week will open at the church of the Carmelite Monastery of St. Elias in Maayssra on January 28 with Cosimo Prontera (Italy), and will continue on January 29 at the Basilica of the Miraculous Medal in Beirut-Achrafieh with Jean-Christophe Geiser (Switzerland), on January 31 in Zouk Mosbeh at the Maronite Church of Notre Dame de Louaize, once again with Cosimo Prontera (Italy), on February 2 on the organ of the American University of Beirut with Crista Miller (USA ), on February 4 in the chapel of the college of the Brothers of the Christian Schools in Beirut-Gemmaizeh with Marie-Bernadette Dufourcet Bocinos (France), and ending on February 5 at the National Evangelical Church of Beirut with Bernard Gfrerer (Austria).

In Syria, the Terra Sancta Organ Festival – the only international festival active in the country – stands as a sign of hope and solidarity against the isolation of its musicians and people, victim of an embargo that has not helped to stop the war. In the Church of St. Anthony in Damascus – where a chorale of sacred music is active – the Custody of the Holy Land has promoted the extraordinary maintenance of the organ (not yet a complete restoration, for which a lot of money is needed), thanks to the availability of Italian organ builder Roberto Curletto; in addition, the festival has allocated some scholarships for students of this instrument.
In Damascus, the Terra Sancta Organ Festival, along with the Higher Institute of Music and with the collaboration of the Damascus Opera House, has established the Damascus Pipe Organ Week, which will be held from February 9 to February 15, 2017. This year’s edition will feature two internationally celebrated musicians: the Franco-Spanish Marie-Bernadette Duforcet Bocinos and the Franco-Lebanese Naji Hakim: they will perform as soloists alongside the Syrian National Symphony Orchestra conducted by Missak Baghdboudarian (Syria). Syrian musicians and the Orchestra of the Conservatory of Damascus, directed by André Malouli (Syria), will perform in the other concerts.

The details of the artists’ biographies and the full programs of the winter season will be announced later and made available on the websites and . The Festival is also preparing its first appearance in Egypt, with a concert to be arranged in Cairo in the month of January 2017.

Aside from the collaboration with the aforementioned religious and civil institutions, the Terra Sancta Organ Festival is made possible thanks to the organizational resources of the Custody of the Holy Land such as the Franciscan Monastery of the Holy Land in America, the Magnificat Institute of Jerusalem, the Christian Information Center, ATS Pro Terra Sancta,, the Christian Media Center and the Franciscan monasteries in Amman, Mount Nebo, Rhodes, Cyprus, Emmaus El Qubeibeh, Jaffa (St. Peter), Nazareth, Jerusalem (Saint Saviour) and Bethlehem and with the support given by: the Italian Cultural Institute of Athens, the Embassy of Italy in Nicosia, the Office of the Representative of the Republic of Poland to the Palestinian National Authority, the Austrian Cultural Forum Tel Aviv, the Italian Cultural Institute of Haifa, the Italian Cultural Institute of Tel Aviv, the French Institute of Lebanon – Institut Français du Liban, the Italian Cultural Institute of Beirut, the Embassy of Switzerland in Lebanon, the Embassy of Austria in Lebanon, the US Embassy in Lebanon, the Foundation Marc-Henry Mainguy, the Municipality of Tradate and the Friends of Tradate in memory of Silvio Martegani. –

Terra Sancta Organ Festival
Custodia Terrae Sanctae
Memorial of Moses
Mount Nebo Siyagha
Faysaliyah – P.O.B. 2
17196 Madaba

Tel: +962.5. 325.29.38
Fax: +962.
Voice mail: +39.0510.828.612

Music from the Churches of the Middle East and the Levant
Concert Season 2016/17


EMMAUS EL QUBEIBEH –– 25 September 2016
Terra Santa Monastery > Feast of Sts. Cleopa and Simeon
@ 10:30 Solemn Mass @ 11:45 Recital for Organ and Voice
Gunther GOETTSCHE (GER), organ; Anne-Marieke EVERS (NL), alto voice

Levant Concert Season

1 > 8 October 2016

RHODES –– 1 > 8 October 2016
Organ & Music Festival Rhodes
Church of St. Francis @ 8:30 pm
1 October > Rhodes Municipal Choir; Michalis KALAENTZIS (GR), conductor; Christos PARASKEVOPOULOS (GR), organ
2 October > Municipal Choir and Orchestra of City of Petaludes; Flora PELEKANOU, conductor; Margaret VAINIO (FIN), organ
4 October > St. Cecilia Singers; YIANNIS TRIMIS, trumpet; Chris PARASKEVOPOULOS, conductor; Natassa BOLAKI, organ
6 October > Recital for Organ and Voice – Natali ELEFTHERIOU, soprano; Mario DUELLA (ITA), organ
8 October >; Elpidoforos RAISAKIS (GR), baritone, Chris PARASKEVOPOULOS (GR), organ – Michalis KANTARIDIS, organ

LARNACA –– 8 October 2016
Church of Our Lady of Graces @ 7:30 pm
Daniele DORI (ITA), organ

Holy Land Concert Season
16 October > 11 November 2016

JORDAN > Mount Nebo “Memorial of Moses” – Oct. 16: Celebration for the re-opening of the Basilica – Eugenio Maria FAGIANI (ITA), organ

TEL AVIV-YAFO > Church of St. Peter | Old Jaffa @ 6:pm – Tuesdays 18, 25 October & 1, 8 November

NAZARETH > Basilica of the Annunciation @ 6:00 pm – Wednesdays 19, 26 October & 2, 9 November

JERUSALEM > Church of St. Saviour | New Gate @ 6:00 pm –Thursdays 20, 27 October & 3, 10 November

BETHLEHEM > Church of St. Catherine at Nativity @ 6:00 pm – Fridays 21, 28 October & 4, 11 November

Pipe Organ Recitals featuring: Witold ZALEWSKI (POL): Oct. 18, 19, 20, 21 / Jennifer PASCUAL (USA): Oct. 25, 26, 27, 28 /
Antonio DI DEDDA (ITA): Nov. 1, 2, 3, 4 / Stefan DONNER (AUT): Nov. 8, 9, 10,11

Winter Concert Season

CAIRO –– January 2017 –s.d. > Cathedral of Our Lady of Heliopolis

LEBANON –– 28 January > 5 February 2017
SOL: Semaine de l’Orgue au Liban
28 Jan. > Couvent St. Elie – Mu’aisrah Jounieh > Cosimo PONTRERA (ITA)
29 Jan. > Église de la Medaille Miraculeuse – Achrafieh – Beirut > Jean-Christophe GEISER (SUI)
31 Jan. > Notre Dame de Louaizé – Zouk Mosbeh > Cosimo PONTRERA (ITA)
2 Feb. > American University of Beirut > Crista MILLER (USA)
4 Feb. > Collège du Sacré-Coeur – Gemmayzé – Beirut > Marie-Bernadette DUFOURCET BOCINOS (FRA/SPA)
5 Feb. > The National Evangelical Church of Beirut > Bernard GFRERER (AUT)

DAMASCUS –– 9 > 15 February 2017
Damascus Pipe Organ Week > Church of St. Antony > Damascus Opera House
9 Feb. > Naji HAKIM (LEB/FRA), organ, Syrian National Symphony Orchestra – Missak BAGHDBOUDARIAN (SYR), conductor;
10 Feb. > Marie-Bernadette DUFOURCET BOCINOS (FRA/SPA), organ;
12 Feb. > Aghiad MANSOUR (SYR), organ – Manar KHWEIS (SYR), soprano voice;
15 Feb. > Choir & Orchestra of the High Institute of Music in Damascus – André MALOULI (SYR), conductor|

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