The first season of the Terra Sancta Organ Festival takes place in Greece, Israel and Palestine. Our hope is that the festival will – in future years – reach other places where the Custody of the Holy Land has a presence.
The concerts of the festival will take place November 5-28, 2014.
The criteria for choosing the musicians who participate in the Terra Sancta Organ Festival are different, but they are linked by two features: skill and willingness to undergo a strenuous tour.
November 5 in Nazareth, November 6 in Jerusalem, November 7 in Bethlehem
MARK PACOE has performed in major festivals and the most important churches in Europe and the United States. Mark Pacoe serves as Director of Music for St. Malachy’s Church – The Actors’ Chapel located in the heart of New York’s theater district in Times Square. He is also Artistic Director of the acclaimed Concerts at St. Malachy’s series. In 2013, Cardinal Dolan appointed Mark to a six-member music commission for the Archdiocese of New York.
Mark Pacoe has performed as soloist and accompanist domestically and abroad. As prizewinner from the Oundle International Young Organists’ Academy in Great Britain, Mark made his European solo debut tour at St. Paul’s Cathedral (London), Chichester Cathedral, and St. Mary’s Cathedral (Edinburgh Fringe Festival). Other performances include the Artisten in Göteborg, Sweden, St. Peter’s Basilica in Vatican City, the Cathedral of St. Patrick in New York, the Poulenc ‘Concerto for Organ, Strings and Tympani’ with members of the Naples Philharmonic in Florida, St. Paul’s Cathedral (Pittsburgh), Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angels (Los Angeles), Princeton Chapel, “Voices in the House International Music Festival” concerts at Sydney Opera House and Sydney Town Hall (2007 and 2011), “Perform in Harmony with Olympic Spirit” at Forbidden City Concert Hall in Beijing, the Oriental Arts Center in Shanghai (2008), and at Vienna’s Peterskirche and Konzerthaus as featured soloist for the International Haydn Festival (2009). Recent engagements have included The Connecticut Choral Society (Danbury), The Montgomery (Alabama) AGO chapter recital series, the 14th International Organ Festival in Amsterdam (Oude Kerk), Koepelkerk (Purmerend, Netherlands) and Hooglandse Kerk (Leiden, Netherlands), Broadway Baptist Church (Ft. Worth, Texas) AGO, ‘Celebrity Organ Recital Series’ at the Co-Cathedral of the Sacred Heart (Houston), ‘Stop-In Series’ at Holy Trinity (NYC), ‘Pipes at One’ Trinity Wall Street/St. Paul’s Chapel (NYC), ‘Concerts at St. Malachy’s’ (NYC), Duomo San Maria del Fiori (Florence), San Francesco (Pistoia, Italy), 8th International Organ Festival in Arona (Italy), 22nd International Organ Festival (Sens, France), Cathedral of St. John (Milwaukee), St. Maclou (Rouen), La Madeleine (Paris), National City Christian Church (Washington, DC), and Trinity Church (Boston).
Mr. Pacoe earned degrees from Duquesne University (Pennsylvania), and East Carolina University (North Carolina), and did post-graduate studies at the Eastman School of Music, University of Rochester, NY. His primary teachers include Ronald Gould, Ronald Doiron, Janette Fishell and David Higgs. Mr. Pacoe is a member of the American Guild of Organists and the National Association of Pastoral Musicians and is also on the artist roster of the EastWest Organists. He has published several articles on sacred music in the GIA Quarterly (Gregorian Institute of America), Fall 1996, Summer 2003 and Fall 2003 and Word on Worship, the Newsletter of the Office of Divine Worship of the Archdiocese of Newark in Spring 2006. Mr. Pacoe is in demand as an adjudicator for organ competitions including the 1er Concours International d’Orgue in Saint-Julien-du-Sault (Yonne, France, July 2013), 2nd Concorso Internazionale Di Interpretazione Organistica “Agati-Tronci” (Pistoia, Italy, April 2013), George Markey Scholarship (Metro New Jersey Chapter AGO), AGO Region I RCYO Competition (2011), and the John Rodland Scholarship (2012).
Mr. Pacoe serves as Director of Music for St. Malachy’s Church – The Actors’ Chapel located in the heart of New York’s theater district in Times Square. He is also Artistic Director of the acclaimed Concerts at St. Malachy’s series.
During Mark’s tenure, he has led this music program to become known as one of the finest all-volunteer ministries in Manhattan and also was instrumental in the acquisition and installation of the 1935 vintage Aeolian-Skinner Paul Creston Memorial Pipe Organ in 2012. In 2013, Cardinal Dolan appointed Mark to a six-member music commission for the Archdiocese of New York. Fr. Richard Baker, pastor of St. Malachy’s, recognizes the vital importance that music has in the liturgy and the cultural life of the parish. He states, “It’s natural for a place like St. Malachy’s, situated in the heart of the Theater District and this great city, to be fully engaged artistically to the ageless expression and inspiration of the Church.”
November 12 in Nazareth, November 13 in Jerusalem, November 14 in Bethlehem
ULRICH PAKUSH was engaged as the head of music and conductor from 2004 to 2011 in the“Mainfranken Theater Würzburg.” Since 2006 Ulrich Pakusch has been a member of staff of the Hochschule für Musik in Würzburg. He is the musical director and creator of the well-known concert activities at the pilgrimage basilica to Werl (Westphalia) as a concert organist and song accompanist.
As an organist he was a guest of theaters and concert halls as the “Konzerthaus am Gendarmenmark” “Berliner Philharmonie”, “Alte Oper Frankfurt,” “Philharmonie am Gasteig” in Munich, Paris, the “Jack Singer Hall” in Calgary and in New Zealand.
Ulrich Pakusch studied organ with Daniel Roth, piano with Wilhelm Ohmen and conducting with Max Pommer in Saarbrücken and Frankfurt am Main. The Master class with Sergiu Celibidache and assistance for Lorin Maazel stamped his artistic development.
His professional career as a correpetitor and conductor led him to the opera houses of Regensburg, Kaiserslautern and “Badisches Staatstheater Karlsruhe” to the “Mainfranken Theater Würzburg.” Here he was engaged as the head of music and conductor from 2004 to 2011. As conductor in the field of opera Ulrich Pakusch performed operas such as “Hänsel und Gretel”, “Cosi fan tutte”, “La clemenza di Tito”, “Der Vampyr”, “Rigoletto,” “Wiener Blut,” “Vogelhändler,” “Kiss me Kate,” “Die Dreigroschenoper,” and the first performance of the chamber opera “Wunderhorn.”
In addition Ulrich Pakusch exercises an activity as a concert organist and song accompanist.
He guested in concert houses such as “Konzerthaus am Gendarmenmark,” “Berliner Philharmonie,” “Alte Oper Frankfurt,” “Philharmonie am Gasteig” in Munich, Paris, the “Jack Singer Hall” in Calgary and in New Zealand.
He is the musical director and creator of the well-known concert activities at the pilgrimage basilica to Werl (Westphalia).
Since 2006 Ulrich Pakusch is member of staff of the Hochschule für Musik in Würzburg.
In 2012 he conducted here the first performance of the chamber opera, “Refidim junction“ of the german-israeli composer Magret Wolf (Jerusalem) and in February 2014 Leoš Janáčeks opera “The cunning little vixen.”
November 18 in Jaffa, November 19 in Nazareth, November 20 in Jerusalem, November 21 in Bethlehem, November 23 in Emmaus El-Qubeibeh
EUGENIO MARIA FAGIANI is the organist of the Orchestra Sinfonica di Milano “Giuseppe Verdi.” He regularly performs in Europe, Russia, the United States and Canada on some of the most important instruments including the: Brucknerorgel della Skt. Florian Stiftsbasilika in Skt. Florian, Linz (A); Domkirche, Eisenstadt (A); St. Clement’s Church, Rathgeb Memorial Organ at Deer Park United Church e St. James Anglican Cathedral in Toronto (CDN); Église Unie St. James, Montreal (CDN); Église Chalmers-Wesley, Quebec City (CDN); Kollegiorgel, Schwyz (CH); Frauenkirche, Dom zu Unserer Lieben Frau, München (D); Kaiser-Wilhelm-Gedächtnis Kirche, Berlin (D)
He studied with M° Enzo Corti in Milan and got and Organ and Composition Diploma at the “Luca Marenzio” Conservatorium in Brescia. He also graduated in Musicology at the SPFM in Cremona-Pavia University with a graduation thesis on “Marcel Duprè and the art of improvisation.” He took part to several specialization courses in interpretation with Nigel Allcoat, Ewald Kooiman, Piet Kee, Daniel Roth, Gillian Weir and Naji Hakim. Later on he specialized in the art of improvisation with: Nigel Allcoat, Jurgen Essl, Peter Planyavsky e Naji Hakim. He also went thoroughly into the study of Music Analysis with Marcel Bitsch.
He regularly performs in Europe, Russia, the United States and Canada on some of the most important instruments including the: Brucknerorgel della Skt. Florian Stiftsbasilika in Skt. Florian, Linz (A); Domkirche, Eisenstadt (A); St. Clement’s Church, Rathgeb Memorial Organ at Deer Park United Church e St. James Anglican Cathedral in Toronto (CDN); Église Unie St. James, Montreal (CDN); Église Chalmers-Wesley, Quebec City (CDN); Kollegiorgel, Schwyz (CH); Frauenkirche, Dom zu Unserer Lieben Frau, München (D); Kaiser-Wilhelm-Gedächtnis Kirche, Berlin (D); Ottobeuren Stiftsbasilika (D); St-Marien Domkirche, Hamburg (D); Ulmer Muenster (D); St. Jakobs-Kirche, Rothenburg o.d. Tauber (D); La Madeleine, Paris (F); Saint Saviour’s Church, Jerusalem (IL); Bialystok’s Cathedral (PL); Olsztyn’s Cathedral (PL); Uppsala Domkyrka (SVE); Temple Church, Southwark Cathedral and St. Paul’s Cathedral in London (UK); King’s College Chapel, Cambridge (UK); Basilica of the National Shrine of Immaculate Conception in Washington D.C. (USA); St. Thomas (Episcopal) Church, St. Patrick’s Cathedral and St. Bartholomew’s Church in New York City (USA); Saint Paul’s United Methodist Church, Rochester MI (USA); Hill Auditorium, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor (USA); Santuario della Verna (I); Basilica di S. Vitale, Ravenna (I); Duomo di Messina (I).
He is invited to hold masterclasses and lectures for several important musical institutions around Europe and North America as Cambridge University Organ Scolars’ Forum (UK) and the Royal Canadian College of Organists, Toronto (CDN), and he is now the professor of the Improvisation Class created by the Ente Ecclesiastico of the Messina’s Dome (Sicily). He is also invited as juror in international competitions.
During October 2012 he had done his first Russian Concert Tour that has received enthusiastic praise, with nine concerts in three weeks in some of the most important Concert Halls of Russia (Philharmonic Halls of Perm, Nizhniy Tagil, Omsk, Chelyabinsk, Ufa, Tyumen, Ekaterinburg and Khabarovsk – as soloist with the Far East Symphony Orchestra) and Moscow’s Cathedral. The success of this tour is worth the immediate invitation to a new major tour in the 2014-2015 season.
In 2008 he was appointed as Guest Organist of the Franciscan Shrine of La Verna, Arezzo. In 2010, he began the collaboration as organist with the Orchestra Sinfonica di Milano “Giuseppe Verd,” with which he has recorded also for the Italian’s state broadcasting company Radio Tre Rai. On the 10th anniversary of the 9/11 tragedy he performed Britten’s War Requiem at the Teatro alla Scala in Milan with the Orchestra under the baton of Xian Zhang. With LaVerdi he also took part in their Russian Tour, with concerts in the Great Tchaikovsky Hall of Moscow’s Conservatory, and the Glinka’s Chapel of the Imperial Palace in St. Petersburg, that the Orchestra held in November 2012. As well as worked with the orchestra in the recording project of the symphonic music of Nino Rota (6 CD), published by Decca in 2013. In September 2013, he was with LaVerdi at the BBC-Proms in London, on the well known instrument of the Royal Albert Hall, again under the baton of Xian Zhang. In November 2013, he was the organist in the highly praised performance of the Mahler’s 8th Symphony that the LaVerdi gave with maestro Riccardo Chailly in Milano.
As a composer, his works include pieces for camera ensemble, organ and orchestra and are published by Carrara, Turris and Delatour France. His production for organ, whose relevance is internationally well-established (performed by several artists in top venues: from the Tokio’s University to the Leizpig’s Gewandhaus, from Notre Dame de Paris to the Sydney’s Cathedral via the Hill Auditorium of the University of Michigan), is testified by the continuous commissions from European and North-American Festivals as well as from world top-class virtuosos. These works are now part of the repertoire of some of the most prestigious artists of our time as John Scott, Stephen Tharp, Johannes Geffert, Carol Williams, Robert Kovacs and David Briggs.
He is also the author of a very successful series of organ transcriptions.
With the CD “Crucis Christi Mons Alvernae”, recorded with the choir of La Verna’s friars, obtained the “Recording of the year 2009” acknowledgement from Alias, cultural review of the National newspaper Il Manifesto, by the director of the contemporary music review Konsequenz.
He records with the German label Spektral Records.
November 26 in Nazareth, November 27 in Jerusalem, November 28 in Bethlehem
In 2006, Axel Flierl was assigned the position of titular organist and conductor at St. Peter’s Basilica in Dillingen an der Donau (Bavaria/Germany), where in 2007 he initiated the international organ festival “Dillinger Basilikakonzerte,” around the large Sandtner-organ as its founder and artistic director. He conducted several oratorios as Bachs Magnificat, the Christmas Oratorio, Handels Messiah, Mozarts Requiem and the Coronation mass, Haydns Paukenmesse as well as Mendelssohns Elijah.
Axel Flierl (1976 in Nuremberg/Bavaria) studied sacred music and concert organ and concert organ improvisation with Edgar Krapp and Wolfgang Hörlin at the University of Music and Performing Arts in Munich as well as with Thierry Escaich and Vincent Warnier at Saint-Étienne-du-Mont in Paris (France) from 2004 to 2006, where he studied the complete organ works by Maurice Duruflé (1902-1986). He was granted several renowned scholarships by the Bavarian Ministry of Education and the Arts and the Franco-German High Council for Cultural Affairs. His studies included time as a visiting student at the “Cité Internationale des Arts” and the “Cité Internationale Universitaire” in Paris (France). Since 2012 he has been preparing a dissertation at Karlsruhe University of Music about the organ works of the german composer Karl Höller (1907-1987).
Apart from working as an organ soloist internationally and giving masterclasses in Australia (Melbourne), Hong Kong (Cultural Centre), South America (Uruguay), Russia (Moscow Cathedral, St. Petersburg Philharmony, Khanty-Mansijsk Concert Hall), Iceland (Reykjavik) and Europe (including performances at renowned festivals as Notre-Dame de Paris, Rome, Lucerne, Cathedrals of Dresden, Warshaw, Sevilla, Lausanne, Bordeaux, Dijon, Narbonne, Antwerp, Edinburgh, Helsinki, Turku, Oslo, Bergen and Trondheim), Axel Flierl made an excellent name for himself through TV-, radio- and several CD- recordings, as well as through numerous music publications.
September 30, October 2 & 4 – Rhodes – Church of St. Francis
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.
Welcome to the video and news section of our site.
Here you will find a selection of photos, videos and news from the Festival and from the Holy Land.
To watch more videos, please go to our YouTube Channel.
Eugenio Maria Fagiani