International Baroque Music Festival

International American Reinaissance and Baroque Music Festival, Chiquitos, Bolivia

The region of Santa Cruz in southeastern Bolivia, bordering with Brazil, was named “Chiquitos” by the Jesuit missionaries from Europe who arrived in the late 17th century. The Jesuits brought their European instruments like violins, viols, flutes and harpsichords to these indigenous jungle communities, who adapted to them and became talented baroque and renaissance musicians, a tradition preserved to the present day—even after the expulsion of the Jesuits in 1767.

The old Jesuit missions of Chiquitos: San Javier, Concepción, San Ignacio, Santa Ana, San Rafael, San Miguel (1691 – 1767) and those of Moxos (1681 – 1767) represent one of the most important treasures pertaining to the national and regional culture heritage.

During the restoration process of Jesuitic temples at the aforementioned missions, a musical wealth of the first magnitude was discovered: more than 5,000 sacred music sheets in Chiquitos and another 4,000 in Moxos, written by both European and local indigenous composers between the XVII and XVIII centuries. This music was used to play in those missional towns every day up to mid-nineteenth century. It should be added to this treasure that in 1991 the UNESCO has declared six missional towns and the temples therein a Humankind Cultural Heritage.

In order to preserve the beauty of this world heritage, and disseminate the wealthy musical archive of Chiquitos and Moxos, a bunch of volunteers entertained the idea of organizing an international musical festival which would have the magnificent temples as its stage scenery; however this goal is deeply rooted in a grounding « leit motiv »: to awaken the citizens to the importance of this historical legacy as the kernel of our culture identity by means of turning the old Jesuit Missions of Chiquitos and Moxos into public knowledge icons, disclosing besides an unknown facet of our own country which involves several pillars from its cultural wealth.

Since 1996 such dream is being successfully accomplished. Deemed to be the most important cultural event within Bolivia, and the world’s largest event at its kind, the festival is carried out by APAC (Asociación Pro Arte y Cultura) every two years. The next one will be held from April 22 until May 3, 2020. Contact us for info on our 4D/3N (April 27-30, 2020) trip to the Jesuit missions during the Music Festival. (Small group departures, limited places available, so book early.)

This festival constitutes a joyous occasion, wherein music makes tropical forests harmonize with scattered tokens of Baroque architecture which are throughout a journey 3,000 kilometers long interspersed among conspicuous symbols of art and craft, that depict the living multiculturalism actually existing in 18 communities which are found in Eastern Bolivia.
Source: APAC – Festival Organizer.

  • Download the schedule of the past International Baroque music Festival Chiquitos 2018.The schedule of the 2020 festival will be available a few weeks before the launch of the festival.
  • Over a 1000 musicians from all over the world perform music written in the XIII and XVIII centuries bu Jesuit missionaries and native « Chiquitanos » living in the old Jesuit missions. This musical festival is  one of the most important cultural meetings in Bolivia and one of the most internationally projected.
  • The XII version of the Misiones de Chiquitos Baroque Music Festival  started with 11 concerts on the first day in nine of the venues. The Choir and the Orchestra of San Javier and the German School Schulspatzen were in charge of opening the presentations in the Chiquitos region. The Tarija Philharmonic Orchestra made the world premiere of the 16th Pedro Ximénez and Julliard 415 symphony and the Urubichá Choir sang like angels in the cosmopolitan capital of Santa Cruz de la Sierra.

International Baroque Music Festival accomplishments:

The International Baroque Music Festival in the Bolivian Mission Towns region of Chiquitos/Chiquitania (since 1996) has achieved many accomplishments:

  • The festival is enrolled in the circuit of the more important musical festivals of the world.
  • The festival has been sistered with the Festival of Sarrebourg (France) one of most important of Europe.
  • A series of videos has been published, in which the festival is not only promoted, but the whole Chiquitana region from the tourist point of view.
  • The festival has published several compact discs (CD’s) with a selection of representative music from each Festival in which priority to the music of Chiquitos.
  • Support has been obtained for the improvement of the manufacture of violins in all the region of Guarayos has been obtained.
  • Support of the Government of Holland has been obtained for the project of musical formation of the children and young people of Urubicha.

 

The old musical archive discovered in the Jesuit missions in Chiquitos, Bolivia is a real treasure. One example are the music compositions by the Italian Jesuit Baroque composer and missionary Domenico Zipoli (1688-1726): two Masses, two psalm settings, three Office hymns, a Te Deum laudamus and other pieces.  The opera: « San Ignacio de Loyola », often performed during the Baroque Music Festival  and compiled by Martin Schmid (1694-1772) Swiss Jesuit missionary, musician and architect) in Chiquitos has been attributed to Zipoli.

International Baroque Music Festival in the media:

– The program « The Strand », BBC network from UK about the VIII International Baroque Music Festival 2010 held in Abril/May 210 with an interview to Fr. Piotr Nawrot (artistic director of the Baroque Music Festival-Chiquitos), Mr. Ashley Solomon (director of UK Baroque Music Ensemble ‘Florilegium’) and Simon Aguape (talented Guarani indian violinist)- go to minute 14:40.

– CBS documentary: Searching for Baroque in Bolivia

– NPR Music interview: Bolivian Mission towns revive Baroque Legacy by Julie McCarthy

Would you like to hear the music of the performances? Then come visit our office to check our selection of CD´s and books.

Interested in knowing more about when/how to attend the next International Baroque Music Festival? Contact us for info on our 4D/3N (April 27-30, 2020) trip to the Jesuit missions during the Music Festival!

Is it not possible for you to plan your visit during the music festivals? No problem, we can arrange a private mini-concert so you can taste a bit of it during your visit to the beautiful missions!

Read the comments from people who have traveled with us to the Jesuit Missions during the International Baroque Music Festival.

REVIEWS

  • ´Estimada María Eugenia: Una vez aclimatada en mi ambiente, va mi parecer de este conmovedor viaje. En lo atinente a la actividad de la agencia, destaco la excelente disposición del chofer Sr. Iver, atento a complacer nuestra curiosidad en todo el recorrido. Los guías que nos recibieron todos, con sus diferencias, nos han pintado un paisaje muy enriquecedor; ni qué hablar de Milton .... uno de los increibles artífices de la historia. En los alojamientos nos hemos sentido muy cómodas y agradas. La gente y su música y su espiritualidad, nos ha calado muy hondo y estamos más que satisfechas. La saludo con todo cariño, Silvia Bustos'

    Silvia Bustos Argentina
  • ´Yo soy Adriana Jou y viaje a través de su empresa a Bolivia, para el Festival Internacional de Mùsica Barroca en las misiones de Chiquitanìa. Quiero contarles que fue un viaje realmente hermoso, que me permitiò conocer un mundo del que no tenìa conocimiento: las misiones jesuìticas en Bolivia, su historia, su restauraciòn a partir de 1975, y su importancia actual. Los conciertos de los que participé fueron excelentes, cada uno con su particularidad, dada por los grupos musicales y los lugares increíbles donde se realizaron. Hoteles y lugares de almuerzos y cenas resultaron de primera calidad en lo relativo a servicios y a atenciòn de la gente a cargo. Nuestro chofer Iver, estuvo siempre presente con una actitud colaboradora y con propuestas muy apropiadas en cuanto a horarios y recorridos. Los guías locales en Concepción y en Santa Ana fueron muy competentes y entusiastas en su trabajo y sus relatos nos permitieron entender y maravillarnos con lo que veíamos. Por todo esto, quiero felicitarlos por sus servicios que recomendaré a otros conocidos míos. Sin más, los saludo afectuosamente. Adriana Inés Jou'´Estimada María Eugenia, me tomé algo de tiempo en escribir este Mail, porque es el tiempo que le llevó a mi mente y mi corazón en aterrizar de este sueño. Que puedo decir ? todo perfecto, organización ,hotelería, chofer, los guías de Santa Ana y Concepción, que me hicieron amar esos lugares . ESOS CONCIERTOS !!!!! que me hicieron volar. Todo, absolutamente todo impecable.. Gracias y nos mantenemos en contacto. Silvia Jau´'Mi nombre es Alcira Jou y soy una de las diez personas que integraba el grupo. No tengo mas que palabras de agradecimiento por la hermosa experiencia vivida. Todo estuvo espectacular. El lugar y el trato de la gente supero mas que ampliamente mis expectativas. Los servicios prestados por ustedes ya sea transporte, hoteles, comidas, conciertos, ha sido maravilloso. Y hasta hoy no he dejado de recomendar a cuanta persona pueda, que viva esta hermosa experiencia. Quisiera hacer una especial mencion para el chofer de la camioneta, quien en todo momento estuvo a nuestro lado, acompañandonos, orientandonos, contandonos cosas sobre este maravilloso país y solucionando los distintos inconvenientes surgidos. Nuevamente agradezco infinitamente hayan organizado de manera tan óptima una experiencia que para mi ya es inolvidable. Quedo a sus servicios y a la espera de información cuando se produzca nuevamente este evento. MUCHAS GRACIAS POR TODO, Alcira I. Jou'

    Silvia, Adriana y Alcira Jau Argentina
  • ´Hi Maria, Now that we're back in the UK we just wanted to say a huge thank you for organising such a wonderful trip, it really was seamless and everything from the tranfers to the accomodation was to such a high standard. Particularly high praise should go to Pablo and Julian who were simply wonderful and so generous with their time and energy, they really made the trip extra special. We would definitely recommend you to our friends when they travel to Bolivia, thank you for such a fantastic holiday! Best Wishes, Helen and Peter'

    Helen Williams UK
  • ´Hi Maria, Now that we're back in the UK we just wanted to say a huge thank you for organising such a wonderful trip, it really was seamless and everything from the tranfers to the accomodation was to such a high standard. Particularly high praise should go to Pablo and Julian who were simply wonderful and so generous with their time and energy, they really made the trip extra special. We would definitely recommend you to our friends when they travel to Bolivia, thank you for such a fantastic holiday! Best Wishes, Helen and Peter'

    Helen Williams UK
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