Through twelve seasons, the Cartagena International Music Festival has gained a special place in the international circuit of classical music events.
Its current most distinctive characteristic is its approach to music from two different visions: one European, the other Latin American. Overall, cultured musical expressions and traditions from both world regions have a place in the Festival (for example, it may be possible to appreciate works by Bach, Vivaldi, Mozart, Beethoven, or Debussy on the one hand, while also Jerusalem, Cervantes, Villa-Lobos, Ginastera or Adolfo Mejía, on the other).
Every year, the program centers on a particular theme, in an effort to understand the key breakthroughs in the history of music in current and innovative ways. Previous themes have included “The Italian Style - 2014”, “Mare Nostrum - 2015”, “Towards the Mainland - 2016”, “Symbol and Sound - 2017”, and “The Classic Style - 2018”.
The artists have been world-renowned musicians whose performances stand out for their originality or specialized form. Among them stand out Concerto Italiano, directed by Rinaldo Allessandrini; the acclaimed Mahler Chamber Orchestra; the great Spanish musician Jordi Savall; the innovative French orchestra, Les Siécles, directed by François-Xavier Roth; the unique Orpheus Chamber Orchestra from New York; the famous Russian violinist Maxim Vengerov; and the persuasive German orchestra, Münchener Kammerorchester.
From Latin America, highlights include Brazil’s admirable pianist, Nelson Freire, the composer and guitarist, Guinga, and the famous Dúo Assad; the Cuban director Leo Brower; the powerful Venezuelan violinist Alexis Cárdenas; the mature Mexican ensamble Cuarteto Latinoamericano; the rising Colombian cello star Santiago Cañón-Valencia; the National Symphony Orchestra from Colombia; and Venezuela’s Schola Cantorum, directed by María Guinand.
Certainly, the event’s singular energy comes from its local context, diverse venues and warm atmosphere, where listening to orchestral and chamber music is a one-of-a-kind experience.