Cartagena Music Festival offers Colombians access to world renown musicians

World Today

Over the course of ten days, spectators at the Cartagena International Music Festival will enjoy classical music from world renown artists offering a musical journey through the Mediterranean, including stops in France, Greece, Italy, Egypt, Turkey and Spain. The artists say Cartagena’s colonial charm provides the perfect backdrop to the classics. CCTV America’s Michelle Begue reported this story from Cartagena, Colombia.

Cartagena Music Festival draws world renowned musicians 1

Cartagena Music Festival draws world renowned musicians 1

French composer Claude Debussy once wrote, "When you don't have any money to go on holiday, you must make do by using your imagination." Appropriately the Cartagena International Music Festival opened with Debussy's work to evoke a trip through the Mediterranean- the Festival's theme for 2015. CCTV America’s Michelle Begue reported from Cartagena.

Cartagena Music Festival offers Colombians access to world renown musicians

Cartagena Music Festival offers Colombians access to world renown musicians

Over the course of ten days, spectators at the Cartagena International Music Festival will enjoy classical music from world renown artists offering a musical journey through the Mediterranean, including stops in France, Greece, Italy, Egypt, Turkey and Spain. The artists say Cartagena's colonial charm provides the perfect backdrop to the classics. CCTV America’s Michelle Begue reported this story from Cartagena, Colombia.

The first performances of this 10-day festival lived up to its motto to offer “music is for everyone”. World class musicians from three continents took the stage in a neighborhood church, to an audience of hundreds of Cartagena locals.

“It is a great way to learn about culture, and see other places without having to leave your home,” student Melissa Stremour said.

The festival was founded by Victor Salvi, an Italian-American harpist and his Colombian wife with the purpose of introducing Colombians to the masterpieces of classical composers.

“Artistically it is amazing and a pleasure to be in this land, because you have a musical richness that I admire, and that I was really wanting to live in the flesh,” vocalist Marina Heredia said.

Antonio Miscena, is a three-time director of the festival and said the mix of cultures is what makes this event one of a kind.

There is a free concert every day among the more than 30 performances, and throughout the week, master classes are offered to more than 300 students.

Israeli Mandolin Player Avi Avital will perform and is also taking part in the festival’s Musical Dialogues, where musicians and musicologists gather for an hour of conversation on musical history.

The Victor Salvi Foundation, named after the Festival’s founder, works year round, with the mission of using music to fight violence and poverty in Colombia. By collaborating with local initiatives, the foundation supports music programs for more than 50,000 underprivileged children.

In recent years the Salvi Foundation has also supported local efforts to get children to play in full orchestras. At the festival more than 150 students take the stage with the University of Cartagena and international artists from the Mediterranean Ensemble.