Culture and religions of the world come together in the Sacred Music Festival of Bogotá

Bogotá, Sep 10 (EFE).- The XI International Festival of Sacred Music of Bogotá begins this Friday with the union of the peoples as a central theme and an outstanding participation of women and artists from native communities from different regions of Colombia.

The month-long festival will present a selection of sacred, spiritual, meditative and contemplative music from different styles, periods and religions in 22 concerts in the Colombian capital.

«The idea is to find spaces of union through sacred music and also unite the different religions, the different cultures, and open spaces for reflection for people who are so diverse, but who have a common point, which is the love of music» The director of the festival, Marianna Piotrowska, told Efe.

According to the director, this union will be reflected “in the different cultural traditions of the world” that will be represented with their music by artists from Europe, the Middle East and Latin America.


The festival, which is once again fully face-to-face after the years of the pandemic, will be inaugurated with a recital at the National Museum by the Lebanese singer Ghada Shbeir, who will present a repertoire of Syro-Maronite sacred music.

Shbeir studied Arabic and Eastern Mediterranean music, is a specialist in Byzantine ecclesiastical music and in Arabic-Andalusian, as well as in the Syriac musical tradition in the Aramaic dialect.

The Lebanese singer was awarded the 2007 BBC World Music Award for the Middle East and North Africa for her album “Mouachahat,” Piotrowska added.

The program also includes the Choir of the Colombian Opera, under the direction of maestro Luis Díaz Herodier, with the presentation of “The Little Solemn Mass”, and the Spanish violinist Lina Tur Bonet, with the program “A spiritual journey from its origins to Bach.”

Belgian Anneleen Lenaerts, principal harpist of the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra, will give a recital of works by Zabel, Lenaerts, Dvorak, Liszt, and the world premiere of “Cantos por la Esperanza” by Colombian composer Pedro Sarmiento.

The Bogotá Philharmonic Orchestra and the Youth Chamber Orchestra will also be accompanying different soloists.


The festival will give a special place to the Women’s Philharmonic Orchestra, directed by teacher Paola Ávila, which is part of the Bogotá Philharmonic, as “recognition of women who, throughout history, have been performers, composers and directors in the world of classical music”, explained Piotrowska.

“This project of the Bogotá Philharmonic was specially designed to enhance the aesthetic approach and expressive sensitivity of women in a universe that continues to be so macho and mostly male,” said the festival director.

Following this line, the French soprano of Cameroonian descent Nadège Meden will take a tour of religious chamber music with the String Orchestra of the Orquesta Sinfónica Foundation, and with the National Symphony of Colombia she will perform Henryk Gorecki.

The Czech organist Pavel Kohout, the Israeli violinist and lute player Yair Dalal, the Swiss tenor David Munderloh, the Cuban pianist Beatriz Batista, the Italian ensemble La Terza Prattica and the Colombian group Armonía Scordata will also participate.

The festival will also open the doors to spiritual music from Colombian communities such as Remanso Pacífico, from the southwest of the country; the Runakam indigenous band, from the Amazonian department of Putumayo, and Palo Alto Son, from the Caribbean region.

“The ancestral musicians and their spirituality connect us with the most sacred that each of our cultures has (…) and transmit the wisdom of the communities and that connection with mother earth,” Piotrowska concluded. EFE

Culture and religions of the world come together in the Sacred Music Festival of Bogotá