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special events


Conductor: Patrick Allen

Upper Basilica of St. Francis, Assisi
15th June 2010

S. Ignazio Basilica, Rome
19th June 2010

On the occasion of the trip to Italy of the American choir Grace Church Choir of Men and Boys from New York, the Associazione Internazionale Amici della Musica Sacra gave its patronage to the organization of two marvelous concerts in which the young choristers performed with a great exit. The choir sang in the renowned Upper Basilica of St. Francis in Assisi and in the heart of the Eternal City (Rome) at the Basilica of St. Ignazio.

Established in 1894, it is the oldest resident Choir in continuous service in New York City. It has sung on many occasions at the major concert halls in New York City including participation in performances of Mahler’s Eighth Symphony and Massenet’s Hérodiade at Carnegie Hall. The choir performed in Italy under the baton of the famous conductor Patrick Allen who also founded “Bach at Noon” and the weekend Organ Meditations programs. Through these programs organ music is offered as meditation six days a week during the regular season from September through May.


Conductors: Klaus Knubben, Carsten Igelbrink

S. Ignazio Basilica, Rome
11th October 2009

On the occasion of the Limburg Diocese pilgrimage in Rome in October, the Associazione Internazionale Amici della Musica Sacra, gave its patronage to the organization of a marvellous concert that took place in the S. Ignazio Basilica. The Limburg Diocese Choirs, under the conduction of Klaus Knubben and Carsten Igelbrink, sang in the presence of the Limburg Bishop, Dr. Franz-Peter Tebartz-van Elst. A large audience of Romans and foreigners attended this unique event. The choirs, accompanied at the organ by Wilhelm Gries and by a small chamber orchestra, performed the marvellous pieces of O. di Lasso, G. P. da Palestrina, F. Mendelssohn Bartholdy, C. Monteverdi, C. Villiers Stanford, H. Kaminski, R. Mauersberger e V. Miskinis.


Rome and the Vatican City
July 17th - 20th, 2009

Rome, the city of history and art, beauty and culture: choirs sang in this marvellous scenario meeting other choirs coming from all over Europe. They combined the emotion of a music performance with an all-round artistic experience with concerts in the magnificent Roman basilicas, with the participation to the Holy Mass at St. Peter’s Basilica, with an open air concert in Piazza Navona in front of a lot of people. Last but not least choirs sang in the beautiful cities of Nemi and Lanuvio, located in the well-known Albani hills area at only 30 kilometres from Roma. Choirs have been welcomed by the local authorities with enthusiasm and warmness and at the end of the concert, they have been offered a dinner in the squares of the historical centre.

Choirs who took part in the V editino of the Festival:
Mixed Choir “Armoniko Ergastiri”, Greece
Daltrocanto Choir, Italy
Elianico Chorus, Italy
Lublin University Academical Choir, Poland
Sound Mixed Choir, Romania
Poliot Children’s Choir, Russia

Conductor: Temistocle Capone
S. Ignazio Basilica, Rome
26th October 2008

On the occasion of the pilgrimage of the Historischer Schützen in Rome in October 2008 the International Association Friends of Sacred Music gave its patronage to a very interesting concert in the Basilica of S. Ignazio, where the Vicariate of the Vatican City Choir and the Pessoa Orchestra performed. Since 1993 this choir sings daily during the liturgies in St. Peter’s Basilica and is conducted by Temistocle Capone. The concert, which took place in the presence of His Eminence Cardinal Angelo Comastri, Archpriest of the St. Peter’s Basilica, was set up in two parts. In the first one music pieces by Perosi, Palestrina, Bartolucci and Liberto have been performed accompanied at the organ by Gianluca Libertucci, Organist of the Vicariate of the Vatican City in St. Peter’s Basilica. In the second part the Orchestra played Vivaldi’s “Concerto per due flauti e orchestra” with the soloists Annalisa Capone and Mauro Salvatori, and Mozart’s Missa Brevis “Spatzenmesse”. At the end of this extraordinary concert, the audience could appreciate the music piece “Aurea Luce” by Pietro Raimondi in a very interesting orchestral version.
Conductor: Toralf Hildebrandt
Bolzano and Laives, Italy
29th September – 4th October 2008

At the beginning of Autumn 2008 the International Association Friends of Sacred Music gave its patronage to two special concerts with the famous Hösel Children Choir. The choir composed of young boys and children was skilfully conducted by Toralf Hildebrandt, a very well known musician in the field of children choir conducting and choir pedagogy. The first event took place on the 29th of September in the wonderful Parish Church of Gries in Bolzano in collaboration with the Leonhard Lechner Youth Choir, conducted by Barbara Pichler and Ulrich Kössler. On this occasion the two choirs sang pieces by Elgar, Purcell, Franck, Mozart, Kodaly, parts from the Peace Mass by Chilcott and other composers. The concert has been a great success. The second event took place in the Parish Church of Laives (Bolzano) consacrated to Saint Anthony the Great and Saint Nicholas. The audience enjoyed very much also this concert, in which pieces by Elgar, Franck, Mozart, Silcher, Rabe, Maierhofer and other composers have been sung.
X International Folksong Choir Festival

Barcelona, Spain
September 24th – 28th, 2008

In 2008 there has been a very important edition of the Festival who reached its 10th edition and taking place as usual, in one of the most beautiful cities in Europe: Barcelona. Thanks to its President, Dr. h.c. Hans Urrigshardt, many choirs decided to take part in the Festival. There has been a total of 22 choirs coming from Bosnia Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Estonia (4 choirs), Finland, Germany, Italy (7 choirs), Lettland, Poland, Rumania, Russia, Serbia, for a total of about 700 persons who have been singing in the churches and streets of Barcelona for four days in their traditional costumes. Barcelona represents the ideal city of the Festival thanks to its strategic position close to the seaside and for its marvellous atmosphere particularly suitable for folk songs. The festival allowed all choirs to experience a social and professional enrichment through a cultural exchange and the possibility to be judged and honoured for their performance. The parade of all choirs and open air concerts in the heart of the capital of Catalonia have animated the festival.
Rome and Vatican City,
rd– 25th MAY 2008

During the Benedict Parade 2008, over one thousand musicians belonging to twenty five musical bands from Italy Germany and Austria marched in honour of Benedettoct  VXI, in the fourth year of his Pontificate. The bands paraded along Via della Conciliazione and the streets of the Borgo area, wearing their colourful traditional costumes. After the parade, they lined up in St Peter’s square and played the European hymn, surrounded by a wide audience of tourists and Romans.After the parade, the bands participated in a happy and joyful party in the gardens surrounding Castel Sant’Angelo, followed by “La Girandola”, a splendid show of baroque fireworks, commemorating the 500th anniversary of the start of the works for the Sistine Chapel.

The Benedict Parade started with a Holy Mass in the St Peter’s Basilica, celebrated by His Eminence Cardinal Angelo Comastri, Archpriest of the St Peter's Basilica. During the mass, the bands played a vast repertoire. On Sunday the musicians participated in the Angelus prayer and played the “Grosser Gott wir loben Dich”, a German religious sacred, dedicated to the His Holiness. The musicians then received the special blessing of the Holy Father.

Ambassador of Rome to the world
Dr. Hans-Albert Courtial
January 2008

Sen. Dr. hc. mult. Hans-Albert Courtial, General President of the Fondazione Pro Musica e Arte Sacra, has been appointed “Ambassador of Rome to the world” by Rome’s municipality, represented by Rome’s vice-mayor, On.le Mariapia Garavaglia, at the hall of the Protomoteca of Capitol Hill on the 14th of January 2008. Since 2002 this award is given annually to personalities who actively promote Rome’s image in Italy and world-wide in culture, art and economy. Dr. Hans-Albert Courtial was nominated for the title in his position as the General President of the Fondazione Pro Musica e Arte Sacra, which he founded in 2002 with the objective to protect, restore, and promote Italy’s sacred artistic patrimony.

Dr. Hans-Albert Courtial created the Festival Internazionale di Musica e Arte Sacra, at which the most famous sacred music works are performed by the best-known artists worldwide such as the Vienna Philharmonic, in the extraordinary atmosphere of the Roman Patriarchal Basilicas, gathering thousands of art and music lovers to the eternal city of Rome every year.

Photo: Paolo Bruno
Roma Symphonia Orchestra
Stuttgarter Liederkranz Choir

Conductor: Ulrich Walddörfer
June 2007

Giuseppe Verdi’s Messa da Requiem was presented in the marvellous Basilica of St. Paul outside the Walls on Saturday the 30th of June, 2007 on the occasion of the solemnity of the Roman Saints Peter and Paul: an artistic collaboration between Italy and Germany in the name of the grand composer to propose his most famous works of sacred music in a magnificent framework. The Orchester Romana Symphonia and one of the most traditional German choirs, the Stuttgarter Liederkranz founded at Stuttgart in 1824, performed conjointly conducted by the maestro Ulrich Walddörfer. This unique concert under the patronage of the Associazione Internazionale Amici della Musica Sacra, was crowned by a huge success not only due to the numerous audience but also due to the critics. This great musical event confirmed the felicitous collaboration between Italian and German artists united in the name of Verdi paying homage to the Roman City on this for the city so important holiday. Together with the choir and the orchestra the following renowned soloist performed at the concert: the soprano singer Roxana Briban, guest soloist of the National Opera and the Volksoper of Vienna, the mezzosoprano singer Carmen Mammoser, fix ensemble member of the National Opera of Stuttgart, the tenor Levent Gündüz, permanent ensemble member of the National Opera of Izmir, and the bass voice Marcel Rosca, ensemble member of the Aalto Theatre in Essen.
ChoIr OF THE Accademia Filarmonica Romana
Conductor: Pablo Colino
December 2006

On the occasion of the jubilee year of S. Ignazio of Loyola (450 years), of S. Francesco Saverio and of the Blessed Pietro Fabro (500 years), the International Association Friends of Sacred Music patronized the Christmas Concert of the Choir of the Accademia Filarmonica Romana in the Basilica S. Ignazio da Loyola, conducted by Pablo Colino. This choir belonging to the School of Music founded by the Accademia in 1961, which participates in the concert season of the Filarmonica and also in the solemn high masses in the Basilica of St. Peter in the Vatican, is well known to the Roman audience, which always flocks enthusiastically to its concerts. On the occasion the choir performed the most famous Christmas songs from all over the world, Gregorian chants, Renaissance music, and a composition by Maestro Colino, Anima di Cristo. Pablo Colino conducted concerts in all Europe and in the United States, furthermore he recorded and published many CDs and DVDs. He is Emeritus Director of Music of St. Peter's Basilica in the Vatican, and also member of the Board of Directors and of the Artistic Committee of the Fondazione Pro Musica e Arte Sacra.
Musicians of Saint Clare Choir
Conductor: Carma Romano – La Morte
November 2006

In November 2006 in the Basilica of S. Ignazio in Rome the International Association Friends of Sacred Music gave its patronage to the wonderful concert of the American choir Musicians of Saint Clare, conducted by Carma Romano – La Morte. This choir, already known to the Roman audience because of its participation in the II International Festival of Sacred Music and Art (November 2003), performs mainly Gregorian Chant and Renaissance Polyphony. In this concerts it performed music of Palestrina (Missa Tu es Petrus) and Arcadelt (Ave Maria), moreover the audience could appreciate an excellent performance of the famous Miserere by Gregorio Allegri. Furthermore the choir wanted to measure itself with the contemporary polyphony, performing pieces by Patrick Heid (American composer) and Henryk Gorecki (famous Polish author). Wishing to pay homage to the last exponent of the so called Roman School, Domenico Bartolucci, they performed his Veni Creator Spiritus. The audience, which crowded the church, appreciated in particular the masterly direction of Maestro Romano – La Morte, who, besides being a great choir conductor, is also a famous violinist and Director of Liturgy for the Archdiocese of Denver.
ChoIr OF THE Landesregierung Düsseldorf
Oratorien-ChoIr Hilden RumANIAN StaTE PhilharmoniC ORCHESTRA "Dinu Lipatti", Satu Mare

Conductor: Franz Lamprecht
July 2006

In July 2006 the International Association Friends of Sacred Music gave its patronage to two special concerts in Rome of the Choir of the Landesregierung Düsseldorf and Oratorien-Choir Hilden, accompanied by the Rumanian State Philharmonic Orchestra "Dinu Lipatti" from Satu Mare, united under the skilled direction of Franz Lamprecht. In the first concert, in the suggestive Church of S.S. Apostoli, they performed wonderfully the famous Coronation Mass (KV 317) by Mozart, the Ouverture from “Lobgesang” (Psalm 150 - op. 52) by Mendelssohn, and the Te Deum (op. 103) by Dvorák. In the second concert, in the famous Church S. Ignazio, they performed the Te Deum by Bizet and the Mass for St. Cecilia by Gounod. The Roman audience appreciated both these concerts and actually crowded incredibly both the churches in spite of the summer heat. The choirs and orchestra, which participated in these two events, have a consolidated concert experience, but their performance has been optimized by the direction of Franz Lamprecht, worldwide famous musician. The conductor is the principal organizer of the Festival Schloss Benrath, and also the music director of the Satu Mare orchestra.
Conductor: Rudolf Piehlmayer
May 2005

April 2nd, 2005: the death of Pope John Paul II is announced in St. Peter’s Square. The world bids farewell to a great man, a man who changed the history of the church and of the whole world.

The Fondazione Pro Musica e Arte Sacra had scheduled a concert to celebrate the Pope’s 85th birthday on May 18th 2005, but after his death the program was changed and the concert became in memoriam. The concert took place in the Basilica of St. Mary Major and it was a very emotional occasion. Mons. Angelo Comastri, General Vicar of the Vatican City, held a long and touching speech and afterwards Barber’s famous Adagio for Strings was played, as a last farewell to a great man. This concert was also the Italian premiere of an interesting contemporary work: the Missa Speravi in Te Domine by Austrian composer Hubert Steppan. In the occasion of this unique concert, many prestigious artists joined together: Rudolf Piehlmayer conducted the Augsburg Philharmonic Orchestra and the Klagenfurt Cathedral Choir. The soloists were Sally du Randt (Soprano), Kathrin Koch (Alto), Jörg Schneider (Tenor), Hakan Selcuk Tirasoglu (Bass).
Director: Gerre Hancock
April 2004

In April 2004, the International Association Friends of Sacred Music has had the pleasure and honour to give its patronage to a concert tour in Italy for the outstanding chorale Saint Thomas Choir of Men and Boys from St. Thomas Cathedral in Fifth Avenue, New York, directed by Gerre Hancock.

The concerts took place in the most beautiful churches of Venice, Florence, Assisi, and Rome. The performance of a wonderful program of choral music by Palestrina, Victoria, Purcell, Byrd, Bach, etc. and of the Afro-American spirituals, which the Italian audience loves so much, was an enormous success especially in the Basilica of St. Francis in Assisi and in the Basilica of St. Ignatius in Rome.

Gerre Hancock chose this Italian trip as his farewell tour with the choir that he has been conducting for 33 years. He is internationally recognized as a concert organist and improviser, and his extensive responsibilities at Saint Thomas Church have been complemented by his concert appearances and his teaching responsibilities at The Juilliard School, Yale University and the Eastman School of Music.
Conductor: Paul Salamunovich
November 2003

In November 2003 the II edition of the Festival Internazionale di Musica e Arte Sacra took place in the Roman basilicas organized by the Fondazione Pro Musica e Arte Sacra. On Sunday November 23rd the Master Chorale of the USA with the St. Petersburg Philharmonic Chamber Orchestra from Russia conducted by Paul Salamunovich performed Mozart's Requiem in the Basilica of St. John Lateran. On the occasion of this unique concert some of the most important American choirs joined together in the Master Chorale of the USA. "The Corpus Christi Pontifical and Youth Chorales" from Corpus Christi/Texas (director: Lee Gwozdz), the "St. Charles Borromeo Choir" from North Hollywood/California (director: Paul Salamunovich) and the "The Musicians of Saint Clare" from Denver/Colorado (director: Carma Romano La Morte) performed for an enthusiast audience of sacred music lovers from all over Italy and many European countries.

Paul Salamunovich is one of the most important Californian choir directors. He was a member of the music faculty and Director of Choral Activities at Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles for 27 years. His lifetime association with the Los Angeles Master Chorale and its founder Roger Wagner culminated with a nomination to Music Director Emeritus of the Chorale in 2001, capping his ten-year term as its Director. He has been Music Director at St. Charles Borromeo Church in North Hollywood since 1949. Under his direction the St. Charles Choir has performed in important concerts, concert tours and in television, and has recorded for numerous motion pictures, television shows and CDs. Paul Salamunovich has been responsible for choral music in numerous feature films and television productions for such studios as Columbia, Paramount, 20th Century Fox, Warner Bros., and Disney.

Conductor: John A. Romeri
July 2003

On July 1st 2003 a unique concert took place in Rome performed by the outstanding choirs "Archdiocesan Choir of St. Louis" and "Archdiocesan Choir of Newark" under the direction of John A. Romeri. In the marvellous basilica of St. Ignatius, located in the heart of the Eternal City near the Pantheon, the Roman audience enjoyed a splendid arrangement of Giuseppe Verdi's Requiem for choir, soloists, trumpets, timpani, bass drum, flutes and organ.

The Archdiocesan Choir of St. Louis has been formed seven years ago under the direction of John A. Romeri, while the Archdiocesan Choir of Newark is directed by John Miller and Jennifer Pascual.

John A. Romeri was appointed Organist and Director of Music at the Cathedral Basilica of St. Louis in 1992. He also works as Music Coordinator and Artistic Coordinator for the St. Louis Cathedral Concerts. He has a Bachelor of Music in Organ Performance from the University of the Pacific (California) and a Master of Sacred Music from Westminster Choir College (New Jersey). He directed Choral Festivals in cities throughout the United States and was nominated the "Outstanding Choral Director for 1998/1999" by the Missouri Choral Director's Association. The National Association of Pastoral Musicians has named him the "Pastoral Musician of the Year" in 2003.

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Roma e Città del Vaticano 23 – 25 maggio 2008
Dr. Hans-Albert Courtial riceve l’onorificenza di “Ambasciatore di Roma nel mondo" dal Vice-Sindaco di Roma, On.le Mariapia Garavaglia, nella Sala della Protomoteca in Campidoglio.
Direttore: Ulrich Walddörfer
Direttore: M° Pablo Colino
Direttore: M° Carma Romano
La Morte
Direttore: M° Franz Lamprecht
Concerto straordinario in memoria del Santo Padre Giovanni Paolo II
Concerto nella Basilica di S. Ignazio, Roma
Direttore: M° Paul Salamunovich
Concerto nella Basilica di S. Ignazio, Roma
VIA PAOLO VI, 29 - 00193 ROMA (ITALIA) - C.F. 97124180585 - TEL. +39 0668805816 - INFO@AIAMS.IT