This year, the festival is part of the Celebrations of the 800th anniversary of the Franciscans’ arrival in the Holy Land. It was in fact the Autumn of year 1217 when the first group of Franciscan friars led by Elia Buonbarone, leaving Italy, landed in the port of Akko and has remained in the Holy Land until today. The logo of the celebrations, drawn from an ancient code preserved at the Historical Institute of the Capuchins in Rome, depicts this arrival. What in 1217 was the “Overseas Mission” of the Franciscan Order, in 1342 it became the Custody of the Holy Land.
The Custody of the Holy Land is a special and international mission of the Catholic Church in the Middle East and a diplomatic entity recognized by many countries and institutions, an international community with more than 300 friars who care for the main sanctuaries and churches in Israel, Cyprus, Greece (Rhodes), Palestine, Lebanon, Jordan, Syria and Egypt. In these same countries the Terra Sancta Organ Festival takes place and in some of them it represents the only chance of listening to the sound of a pipe organ. In the section Places & Organs of the festival website www.tsorganfestival.org you can read about the history and the activity of the Custody of the Holy Land in each place, by clicking on the map.
For musicians playing in the Lebanese Pipe Organ Week, please see www.solfestival.org .
25 September 2107 JORDAN – Mount Nebo – Memorial of Moses – 6 pm
Cosimo Prontera is professor of organ and organ composition at the Conservatory “Gesualdo da Venosa” in Potenza (Italy) where he also teaches “basso continuo” and ancient organ. He gives master classes in Lebanon at the Notre Dame University. He is founder and director of the Baroque Orchestra La Confraternita de’ musici, which produced various first performances in modern times. Prontera was a guest to Musikwissenschaftliches Institut of Basel and the Handel House in London with concerts from the Neapolitan school of XVII and XVIII century. Positive reviews have appeared in magazines such as CD Classical, Opera, Music, L’Opera de Paris International, Contrappunti, Amadeus, Instruments and Music, Music and School and Orpheus.
2 October 2017 NAZARETH – Basilica of the Annunciation – 6 pm
3 October 2017 TEL AVIV – JAFFA – St. Peter’s Church – 6 pm
5 October 2017 JERUSALEM – Church of St. Saviour – 6 pm
6 October 2017 BETHLEHEM –Church of St. Catherine at Nativity – 6 pm
Adriano Falcioni is an Italian concert organist, recognized worldwide for his technical ability and musicality. He was finalist and prizewinners in many international organ competitions in Europe and USA. He holds concerts every year in many important festivals and Cathedrals all over Europe. Adriano Falcioni has a particular affection for the virtuoso music of the later nineteenth and all twentieth centuries. He teaches organ at the Conservatory of Sassari (Italy) and gives many masterclasses in Europe and South Africa (Unisa University of Pretoria). He is the main organist of the Metropolitan Cathedral of San Lorenzo in Perugia.
10 October 2017 TEL AVIV – JAFFA – St. Peter’s Church – 6 pm
11 October 2017 NAZARETH – Basilica of the Annunciation – 6 pm
12 October 2017 JERUSALEM – Church of St. Saviour – 6 pm
13 October 2017 BETHLEHEM –Church of St. Catherine at Nativity – 6 pm
Damin Spritzer has been appointed full-time Assistant Professor of Organ at the University of Oklahoma, in the fall of 2015. She continues to serve the Cathedral Church of Saint Matthew in Dallas as Artist-in-Residence and was recently Adjunct Professor at the University of North Texas teaching Organ Literature and Sacred Music. Her recent performances include a four-recital tour of Germany in August, as well as performances in Italy, France and several performances in the United States. She was recently Adjunct Professor at the University of North Texas teaching Organ Literature and Sacred Music.
17 October 2017 TEL AVIV – JAFFA – St. Peter’s Church – 6 pm
18 October 2017 NAZARETH – Basilica of the Annunciation – 6 pm
19 October 2017 JERUSALEM – Church of St. Saviour – 6 pm
20 October 2017 BETHLEHEM –Church of St. Catherine at Nativity – 6 pm
Robert Kovács studied at the Conservatory of Budapest under Endre Virágh and continued his studies at the University of Music and Performing Arts in Vienna. Here as organist, choir coach and choir singer he has maintained a long association with the Stephansdom and Augustinerkirche and such prominent Viennese musical institutions as the Arnold Schoenberg Choir and the Vienna Chamber Choir. In 2004 he was finalist and in 2006 won the 1st Prize at the International Competition for Organ Improvisation in Haarlem, the Netherlands. He is the principal organist of the Vienna Symphonic Orchestra, the Vienna Radio Symphony Orchestra and the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra. From 2009 to 2015 he was Cathedral Organist in Eisenstadt, Austria.
24 October 2017 TEL AVIV – JAFFA – St. Peter’s Church – 6 pm
25 October 2017 NAZARETH – Basilica of the Annunciation – 6 pm
26 October 2017 JERUSALEM – Church of St. Saviour – 6 pm
27 October 2017 BETHLEHEM –Church of St. Catherine at Nativity – 6 pm
Felician Roşca is one of the most remarkable contemporary Romanian organ players. At present he teaches the organ class at the Faculty of Music, West University of Timisoara and he is the President of the Romanian Society of Hymnology. He undertakes a vast activity as an organ player in Romania and abroad. As soloist, he gave concerts and toured in Austria, Argentina, Belarus, Canada, Czechoslovakia, Germany, Denmark, France, Hungary, Italy, Moldova, Norway, Poland, Russia, United Kingdom, USA, Slovenia, Spain and Uruguay. He is the director of several national and international festivals, such as the “Timorgelfest” Pipe Organ Music Festival, now celebrating its 15th edition. Roşca is the author of several books.
Organ & Music Festival Rhodes
28 September 2017 Church of St. Francis | 8:30 pm | admission free
30 September 2017 Church of St. Francis | 8:30 pm | admission free
2 October 2017 Church of Santa Maria | 8:30 pm | admission free
7 October 2017 Church of St. Francis | 8:30 pm | admission free
Chris Paraskevopoulos is a very talented Greek organist. As one of the few organists to be found in Greece, since 1991 he has organized a series of organ concerts in various churches in Athens and other cities of Greece. He is vice president and co-founder of the “Friends of the Organ Association,” which aims to install new organs in churches and and ensure its maintenance. He is also the artistic director of the music festival that has taken place since 2009 in the church of St. Francis in Rhodes. In Greece he is a well known and much appreciated teacher of the organ, at the Philippos Nakas conservatory in Athens.
Chris Paraskevopoulos was born in Athens. His musical education began early under the tutelage of the renowned piano teacher Mrs. Evangelia Hasapladakis.
He is a graduate of the Athens National Conservatory in pianoforte from Kate Truli’s class of 1994 and also in composition from Spyros Klapsis’ class of 1997. He is also an LRSM recipient in organ music and a former student of Athens’ Concert Hall organist Mr. Nicholas Kynaston.
He has organized a series of organ concerts in various churches in Athens and other cities of Greece and has given many concerts in the Athens German Lutheran Church as one of its organists where, since 2012, he has been its main Organist and Director of Music. He has performed in various other churches and concert halls in Greece, such as, the First Greek Evangelical Church of Athens, St Paul’s Anglican Church of Athens, St Paul’s Catholic Church in Piraeus, the Sacred Heart of the Saviour Greek Orthodox Church, the Chanea Catholic Church of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary, at the Athens National Opera Centre, the Athens Concert Hall, and the Parnassus Concert Hall. He has also played in organ concerts with other artists from the National Opera, the National Radio Broadcasting Company, the Athens Chamber Opera, the wind section of the National Orchestra of Athens, the Athens State Symphony Orchestra and Choir, H2O Opera and other musical groups and organizations.
He has taken part in two Organ Festivals at the Athens Concert Hall organized by the well-known organist Mr. Nicholas Kynaston. He is the Artistic Music Director of the Annual Music Festival of Rhodes that takes place in the Catholic Church of St. Francis, Rhodes, where he gives organ recitals and organizes other musical events throughout the year. He visits Rhodes frequently to play for the liturgies, organize the choirs and assess the condition of both organs.
He has given recitals in the church All Souls, Langham Place in London at the International Organ Series Festival, in the church of St. Saviour in Jerusalem at the International Festival “October Organ Series” and in St. Francis Church in Rhodes since 2009.
In 2008 the choir “Musica Sacra,” which performs sacred choir music from the Renaissance and Baroque periods, was founded and is conducted by him. This choir is unique in all of Greece in performing only this kind of music.
He recorded two CDs in 2007. One for organ music entitled “A Mighty Fortress is our God” and the other “Christmas Melody.” He has been invited to record a new disc with organ and choir music.
In Greece he is a well known and much appreciated teacher of the organ, at the Philippos Nakas conservatory and also gives singing and voice coaching lessons at the St Andrew’s Byzantine Music School.
Organ & Music Festival Rhodes
7 October 2017 Church of St. Francis | 8:30 pm | admission free
Walter Gatti (Italy) since 1988 performs regular concerts both as soloist and as accompanist for choirs, soloists and orchestras in Austria, Czech Republic, France, Germany, Poland, Spain, Switzerland and Italy, playing for important festivals and on prestigious stages. He contributed, as organ player and composer, with different vocal and instrumental teams, among which the orchestra and choir of the University of Bamberg (Germany), as organ player and choir director of the orchestra Adoramus (London) and with the “Roberto Goitre” choir (Turin). He has collaborated with Teatro Regio Opera House (Turin) and RAI (Italian Television).