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Rome Reports

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Sacred Music and Art festival celebrated in papal basilicas


The International Festival of Sacred Music and Art, brings artists and the Vienna Philharmonic together to perform sacred music in the papal basilicas of Rome. It is conducted every autumn, and this year is their 17th edition. 

Their aim is to promote sacred music and the preservation of art within these historic basilicas. 

In the past, it has been attended and supported by notable figures such as Benedict XVI, the Princess of Liechtenstein, and Princess of Kent.

The founder and president of the “Pro Musica e Arte Sacra” Foundation believes that although other types of music are beautiful, the structure and importance of music in churches is fundamental. 

HANS-ALBERT COURTIAL
Founder, Pro Musica e Arte Sacra
“Sacred music is fundamental, because people like sacred music in sacred structures. This means, in basilicas and churches, but not in concert halls.” “At the concert halls, the music is very beautiful, but having music in the basilicas, in the churches, is something else. The heart opens towards God and that is the work we are focusing on.”

The festival is also an opportunity to raise funds to help maintain the sacred works in these Roman basilicas. 

HANS-ALBERT COURTIAL
Founder, Pro Musica E Arte Sacra
“In gathering the most famous orchestras and choirs from around the world, we can find many benefactors.” “That helps restore sacred works in different Roman basilicas.”

One of the organization's recent restoration projects is the small dome of St. Peter's Basilica, which they are still in the process of finishing. 

This year's festival is particularly special. It is dedicated to Pope Paul VI who has recently been canonized. 

CARD. ANGELO COMASTRI
Archpriest of the Papal Basilica of St. Peter
“The festival is promoted by the Paul VI Foundation and therefore it is right that this year, when Paul VI was declared a saint, the festival be dedicated to him.”

Throughout the months of October and November, the “Festival of Sacred Music and Art” will continue to perform in these basilicas.