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Musicians 2023/24

(For the Lebanese Pipe Organ Week, please visit



Rhodes (Greece) | Organ & Music Festival Rhodes | Church of St. Francis, 4 & 5 October 2023

Renowned internationally for his impressive, enthralling and vibrant musical language, the Italian organist Eugenio Maria Fagiani performs regularly on the most important instruments in Europe, Russia, Middle East and Northern America such as Notre Dame de Paris (F), Berlin’s Dom (D), St. Patrick’s Cathedral in New York (US), Tchaikovsky’s Great Hall in Moscow (RU), the Royal Albert Hall in London (UK), Basilica di Santa Maria del Fiore in Firenze (I). the Hofkirche St. Leodegar in Luzern (CH), the St. James Anglican Cathedral in Toronto (CDN), the Skt. Florian Stiftsbasilika (A), the Cathedral of Barcelona (Spain), the National Center for the Arts Weiwuying di Kaohsiung (TWN). Besides his activity as a soloist, he holds a long term collaboration with the Orchestra Sinfonica di Milano (since 2010), and has been directed by eminent conductors as Jeffrey Tate, Riccardo Chailly, Xian Zhang, Claus-Peter Flor, Chien Wen-pin, Patrick Fournillier, Stanislav Kochanovsky, John Axelrod, Missak Baghboudarian, Jader Bignamini, Giuseppe Grazioli, Robert Trevino and Alpesh Chauhan. Celebrated as “the wizard of improvisation”, he’s also a fine composer. His works are now part of the repertoire of some of the most prestigious artists of our time such as David Briggs and Stephen Tharp. Since 2008 he is the Organist of the Franciscan Shrine of La Verna, Arezzo (IT) and to this position he combines that of Titular Organist of the Arezzo’s Cathedral (2022). Eugenio is the Artistic Director of the Festival Internazionale di Musica d’Organo de La Verna and the Festival Organistico “S.Donato” in the Arezzo’s Dome, and also since 2016 the Executive Artistic Advisor of the Terra Sancta Organ Festival, across seven countries in the Middle-East region, organized by the Custody of the Holy Land. He is invited to hold masterclasses (both in Interpretation and Improvisation) and lectures for several top-class music institutions around Europe and North America, such as the Cambridge University Organ Scolar’s Forum (UK) and the RCCO, Toronto (CDN). He is also invited to serve as juror in international competitions. He records with: VDE-Gallo, Spektral Records, Fugatto, Da Vinci Classics, Decca and Warner. These productions have received flattering reviews from the major international specialized magazines.



Rhodes (Greece) | Organ & Music Festival Rhodes |

Church of St. Francis, 4 October 2023

The Time Machine Ensemble, conducted by Marco Attura, is the string orchestra invited by the Pergolesi Spontini Foundation, specializing in both contemporary and ancient classical repertoire.

Time Machine Ensemble

Marco Attura


Rhodes (Greece) | Organ & Music Festival Rhodes | Church of St. Francis, 7 October 2023

Vincent de Pol ranks among the elite of Polish organ virtuosi. His musical education encompasses studies at the “Fryderyk Chopin”- University of Music in Warsaw, Poland, and at the Academy of Performing Arts and Theater in Hamburg, Germany (1986 final examination with a diploma in artistic organ playing). In 1989, he obtained an Artist Diploma with honours followed by master classes with Prof. Gaston Litaize, Paris, Martin Haselböck, Vienna, Dr. Michael Schneider, Cologne, André Fleury, Paris and André Pagenel, Bourges, France. Vincent has also received a Performer Diploma from Indiana University School of Music, Bloomington, U.S.A. He participates in renowned international organ festivals in Africa, Asia, Australia, Europe, Central and South Africa, New Zealand, Canada, and in the U.S.A. Vincent de Pol holds master classes worldwide and is a visiting professor at universities and conservatories in Australia, Brazil, Namibia, Nigeria, Singapore, and the U.S.A. His artistic work also includes CD recordings, and television and radio registrations. With great joy and thankfulness, he has been visiting the Holy Land since 1990 with many concerts in Jerusalem, Nazareth, and Bethlehem. He has been the “Organist in Residence of St. Bernard´s Church in Hamburg since 1987.



Organ & Music Festival Syria 
Damascus | Damascus Opera House, 25 April 2024
Damascus | Church of St. Anthony, 27 April 2024


Missak Baghboudarian has been the conductor of the Syrian National Symphony Orchestra (SNSO) since 2003. In March 2024 he was appointed general director of the Damascus Opera House. Born in Damascus, Missak made his first debut in December of 1994 with the SNSO, then he studied conducting in Italy from 1997 until 2002 with Julius Kalmar. He took part in master-classes with H. Handt, D. Pascu, M. Beck, Carl St. Clair, Jorma Panula and Riccardo Muti. He was principal conductor Amadeus Orchestra in Florence from 2001 until 2003 and conducted several concerts with this orchestra in various Tuscany cities (Florence, Chianciano, Vicchio, Poggibonsi, etc.). He has conducted the Amadeus Orchestra in Florence, Bruno Maderna Symphony Orchestra of Forlì, the Hans Swarowsky Orchestra of Milan, the Orchestra of the National Academy of Bucharest, the New Phiharmonic Orchestra of Sofia, the Pacific Sym. Orch., the National Sym. Orch. of Dominican Republic, the Grunbunden Kammerphilharmonie, Bilkent Sym. Orch., the National Sym. Orch. of Algeria and the “Bernasconi” ensemble of the La Scala Academy. He conducted the SNSO in several concerts in Syria (Damascus, Aleppo, Lattakia, Homs) and abroad (Lebanon – Bahrain – Jordan – Oman – U. A. E. – Turkey – Italy and Algeria). He worked with international soloists like Armen Babakhanian, Galina Vartcheva, Riccardo Sandiford, Ghazwan Zerkly, Daniele Giorgi, Gloria Scalchi, Fabio Andreotti, Talar Dekrmenjian, Nabil Suleiman, Bassam Nashawat. In 2004, he had the honor to conduct the SNSO in the opening concert of the Damascus Opera House and at the opening and closing ceremony of “Damascus Arab Capital of Culture 2008” in the presence of H.E. the President of the Syrian Arab Republic. He was also invited to conduct many official ceremonies, such as: the Opening and closing concerts of Damascus Arab Capital of Culture 2008, Tlemcan Capital of Islamic Culture (Algeria) and the closing ceremony of Oran Arab Film Festival 2012. In 2006, he participated with The Orchestra of the High Institute of Music in Young-Euro-Classic festival at the Konzerthaus Berlin. In 2010, he conducted “Le Nozze di Figaro” the first Opera produced by the Damascus Opera House. In 2016, he was invited to conduct at the Cartage International Festival in Tunisia and he is permanent guest at the International Festival of Symphonic music in Algeria. He performed many world premiere of works by contemporary composer, such as: Marta Gentilucci, Annachiara Gedda, Grazia Bonasia (Italy) Johanna Doderer (Austeria), Zadi Jabri, Nouri Iskandar, Solhi Alwadi (Syria), Marcos Fernandez (Spain), and Vedran Mehnovic (Bosnia). In 2017, in cooperation with the “Bruno Maderna” association of the EU. TERPE project co-founded by the Creative European Programme of the European Union, he had the idea for a project to promote transnational circulation of new musical work co-created by EU and refugee artists. He was in charge as musical director of the project and he conducted three concerts in 2018 in Forli (Italy), Almeria (Spain) and Sarajevo (Bosnia). In 1998, he was a founder member of the “Cantiere Musicale di Toscana” Association – Italy. From 1998 – 2006 Coordinator of the “Estate Regina” festival – Montecatini Terme – Italy. In 2010, he received a Medal of Honor “Stella della Solidarietà Italiana” order of “Commendatore” from the President of Italy Giorgio Napolitano for his efforts and achievements in developing the musical cooperation projects between Syria and Italy. He was awarded the “Golden Medal” of the Ministry of Culture in Armenia. In 2021, he received the “State Encouragement Award” in Syria. In April 2023, he was awarded by the “Bravo Award” on the stage of the prestigious Bolshoi Theatre in Moscow. He is very active in creating cooperative programs between Syrian and international organization and institutions and offering his services as “music consultant” to many NGO’s working in the field of music and culture in Syria and abroad. In 2019, he finished “Master in performing arts management” organized by Academia la Scala and the Politecnico of Milano. He is head of the Orchestra department at the High Institute of Music of Damascus and the conductor of the Chamber Choir of the same Institute.

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Organ & Music Festival Syria 
Damascus Opera House, 23 April 2024
Aleppo | Latin Church of St. Francis, 29 April 2024
Latakia | Latin Church of the Sacred Heart, 1 May 2024

Strongly recognizable by the eclectic and exciting approach to the piano, Mario Mariani conceives the instrument as an orchestra with an unusual alchemy sound where the composer, performer, and performer merge in the present time. Pianist, organist, and composer, he collaborates with important institutions and clients including the Venice Biennale, (with the two music for Venice Film Festival), Theaters (Piccolo of Milan, FVG, Stabile Marche), Embassies and Italian Institutes of Cultural many others, with concerts across four continents. He wrote many soundtracks for cinema, theater and television receiving the “Oscar Marchigiano 2014” award for best musician. In 2011 he built a small wooden theatre in a forest, to create the Teatro libero del Monte Nerone, an environmental sustainability festival with over one month of events featuring international artists. Furthermore, he alternates between conferences, workshops, and special projects such as Francesco Povero, dedicated to Saint Francis (directed by Pietro Conversano with the Community of San Patrignano in 2015) and Fragments of Life Songs and Freedom (with the Opera Prison in 2017) both performed at the Theater Piccolo of Milan.



Organ & Music Festival Syria | Damascus | Damascus Opera House, 25 April 2024

Aarón Ribas was born in Barcelona in 1992. In 2013 he won the first prize in the organ competition in commemoration of Joseph Gabler, held in Ochsenhausen (Germany) and the first prize unanimously by the jury in the 82nd edition of the Permanent Competition of Jeunesses Musicales in Spain. In this contest he also won a special award from the EMCY (European Union of Competitions for Youth) for a European tour. For the 2016-2017 season he has undertaken a tour organized by the cultural office of the Spanish Embassy in the USA as part of their Spanish Young Music Talents (SYMT) program. As a solo organist he regularly offers concerts at major festivals and cathedrals in Europe, such as in Spain, Andorra, France, Germany, Lithuania and Italy. He has played as a soloist with many orchestras in Spain. Aarón Ribas is a performer committed to contemporary organ music. He serves as the curator of the organ at the Royal Academy of Fine Arts of San Fernando, Madrid.

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Organ & Music Festival Syria | Damascus | Damascus Opera House, 24 and 29 April 2024

Mitra Kotte, pianist, has won multiple prizes in national and international competitions as a soloist and as a chamber musician: “MozARTe Festival Aachen”, Benjamin Prize of the Wolfgang Boesch Private Foundation, Zhuhai International Mozart Competition for Young Musicians – China, Musica Juventutis Vienna, International Piano Competition Ettlingen. She has received many awards, in particular for her interpretation of classical works, for example in the Haydn Prize or the Margaretha Schenk Foundation’s prize for young artists from the Mozart Community in Vienna. Already in her youth she received numerous prizes and awards (including Rosario Marciano Piano Competition, Munich Piano Podium, Jenö Takács Piano Competition). For the 2022/23 season she was selected as a “Featured Artist” at “Jeunesse-musik.erleben”.

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Organ & Music Festival Syria | Damascus | Damascus Opera House, 24 and 29 April 2024

It is difficult to summarize Daniel Auner’s activity in a few lines. This is just a small selection: extensive training as a violinist, numerous awards and prizes, appearances in concert halls and music clubs, first violin of the Auner String Quartet, Austria’s cultural ambassador in the “New Austrian Sound of Music” for many years, lecturer for violin, viola and chamber music at the Friedrich Gulda School of Music, founder of CIMA at the Vienna University of Music.

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Organ & Music Festival Syria | Aleppo | Church of St. Francis 29 April 2024

The “La Classica” choir from Aleppo is one of the very few vocal groups in Syria that practice classical polyphony, as well as reinterpreting songs from the Syrian tradition.



Rhodes (Greece) | Organ & Music Festival Rhodes | Church of St. Francis, 6 October 2023

Daphne Melanitou-Paraskeva was born and raised in Athens. She started piano lessons at the age of six. She took her diploma under Professor Irina Kusnezova from Panarmonio Odeio in 2010. She also took a Counterpoint certificate with Professor Evangelos Kokkoris from Odeio Filippos Nakas (2009). Daphne continued her piano studies with Natalia Michailidou and took fugue lessons with Panagiotis Adam. She has actively participated in many seminars with many well-known pianists and pedagogues such as Vladimir Viardo, David Lively, Domna Eunouchidou, Maria Eustratiadi, Gloria Cheng, Alexandros Markeas, and Ermis Theodorakis. She is a member of a piano seminar focused on contemporary piano music under the guidance of Lorenda Ramou at Athens Conservatory. She is a graduate of the University of Athens, History And Archaeology Department (2012). She started studying organ with the cantor of the German Evangelical Church in Athens, Chris Paraskevopoulos, in 2016 and she is a diploma( dipABRSM) recipient from ABRSM in 2022. Daphne has also participated in seminars with other organists, including Eleni Keventsidou, Bartosz Jakubczak and Matthias Dreissig. From 2018, Daphne has served as the organist in St. Denis Areopagitae, the Cathedral Catholic Church in Athens. She has given organ recitals in various church venues and she has also collaborated with vocal ensembles and single instruments.

Terra Sancta Organ Festival