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The Churches of the Middle East host the Terra Sancta Organ Festival

The Terra Sancta Organ Festival presented its fourth edition offering musical performances in the Churches of the Middle East for an entire month, crossing countries like Jordan, Israel, Palestine, and Greece.


Organized by the Franciscans of the Custody, the Terra Sancta Organ Festival has enabled the public to appreciate the good music performed on the organ, regardless of their religion. The organ is an instrument that, in the Middle East, is found exclusively in churches.

This was an opportunity to witness the living and active presence of the Christian community in this region.

The inaugural concert was held at Emmaus, in the sanctuary that commemorates the manifestation of the Risen Lord, with the performance of the Palestinian organ player Yacoub Gazzawi, along with the choir of the Magnificat Institute of Jerusalem.

The Basilica of the Annunciation in Nazareth was also the venue for some of the concerts.

Adriano Falcioni
Organist - Italy
"A lovely place and a beautiful festival, in a magnificent setting. I hope that it keeps blooming and that it continues performing. Long life and success are my wishes for them!”

This year, the Festival is held in conjunction with the celebrations for the 800th anniversary of the Franciscan presence in the Holy Land. Therefore, in Jerusalem, before attending the concerts, the audience was able to contemplate the reproductions of the frescoes by Giotto, a painter who lived in Italy between the 13th and 14th century.

The artist, shortly after St. Francis' death, depicted the most relevant moments of the life of the Saint on frescoes. The originals are found in the Basilica dedicated to the saint of Assisi, in Italy.

Inspired by these images, the organist Kovács has produced a special repertoire.

Robert Kovacs
Organist - Hungary
"I improvised, inspired by the fresco that depicts St. Francis preaching to the birds. I came up with the idea as soon as I saw the picture. I believe that this music perfectly suits the commemoration of the 800th anniversary of the Franciscans in the Holy Land!"

The outcome enchanted the audience!

Adriano Falcioni
Organist - Italy
"The Holy Land was a dream I have always had, which came true before I came here to play the organ, when I traveled to this land as a faithful and a pilgrim. They say that whoever sings, prays twice and that whoever plays an instrument, prays three times, therefore I can say that I have combined these things: playing and praying, thanks to this beautiful organ!”


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