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Cartagena International Music Festival

Cartagena International Music Festival

The old city of Cartagena is never more alive when music fills the streets. Set against the backdrop of spectacular colonial buildings, in the streets,  in its churches and the beautiful Adolfo Mejia Theatre,  the Cartagena International Music Festival fills these venues every January with 20,000 music enthusiasts in a  classical music event that involves the community, the public and private sectors, national and international musicians.

The festival was founded by Victor Salvi, the Italian-American harpist and his wife, Julia and it is dedicated to introducing Colombians, from all avenues of life to the masterpieces of classical composers.

It is worthy to note that the Cartagena International Music Festival is the only classical music presentation in Latin America that blends an event of very high calibre with a specific social project. This is a significant goal and contribution that the Festival makes to the community. More than 3000 children belonging to various social programs have the opportunity to take part in the Festival and well over 300 young musicians have been privileged with taking part in masterclasses presented by some of the finest musicians in the world.

The Salvi Foundation Colombia is the driving force behind the Festival. ”Its mission is to contribute to the restoration of the social fabric using music as a major tool in the struggle against violence and poverty in Colombia.”

Fundacion Salvi

The Victor Salvi Foundation (Colombia) also collaborates with Batuta and the Plan Nacional de Musica para la Convivencia, two public programs that bring music to more than 50,000 children mainly from underprivileged backgrounds and rural areas affected by war. It provides assistance to these excellent endeavours as they attempt to recruit more qualified instructors , increase the accessibility of musical instruments available to participating students, develop cultural journalism, and take a leadership role in generating a larger corporate sponsorship for the cultural requirements of Colombia.

This 8th version of the Cartagena International Music Festival  will take place January 4 to 12, 2014 in Cartagena. For more information please follow this link. http://www.cartagenamusicfestival.com/

In 2014, this 8 days celebration of classical music will feature eight fables as the ”stars of the show” – Pulcinella, a Soldier’s Story, Mother Goose, the Carnival of the Animals, Peter and the Wolf, the Prelude to the Afternoon of a Faun, Petrushka and Cinderella are works that embody the essence of the fantastic tales set to music.

This is a world class festival that combines educational outreach and social development. The Festival has always believed that music was for everyone so in 2009 they created the first music player for the deaf.     http://vimeo.com/67088091

The first link below is a superb performance from the Young Philharmonic Orchestra of Colombia which is only in its 3rd year of existence. The Orchestra is created anew every year from a group of  talented 16 to 24 year olds who meet several times during the year for 8 to 10  days workshops, sectionals and rehearsals.


From the 2012 Festival, the link below is a performance of the gifted Colombian cellist Santiago Cañón Valencia playing the ”Fire Dance” by Manuel de Falla (he was 16 at the time of the recording). Santiago made his debut at the age of 6 with the Bogota Philharmonic and is known around the world for his virtuosity.

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Cartagena at night has a magical quality to it that is second to none but perhaps Paris. When you add 8 spectacular days, full of  world class performances into the mix with a UNESCO World Heritage Site that is almost 500 year years old, you have an event that is second to none. Make the 2014 Cartagena International Music Festival your personal ”Magical Mystery Tour”.

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