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International Festival of American Renaissance and Baroque Music
"Missions of Chiquitos"
 
 

The ancient Jesuit mission of Chiquitos in the province of Santa Cruz and those of Moxos in Beni are one of the principal riches of Bolivia’s regional and national cultural heritage. While the churches in these towns were being restored with financial assistance from the Catholic Church in the late 1990s, a trove of sacred music was found—5,500 pages in Chiquitos and 7,000 pages in Moxos—written as much by the European missionaries as by the people native to the region. Composed in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, local musicians interpreted this music daily until the middle of the nineteenth century.

Because of the unusually harmonious coexistence of the missionaries with the local people, the missionary period resulted in immense collaboration. Apart from the era’s musical legacy the towns also boast architectural and other cultural riches, prompting UNESCO to declare six of the towns—San Xavier, Concepción, Santa Ana, San Rafael, San Miguel, and San José de Chiquitos—World Heritage Sites. Unlike other former Jesuit mission towns in Bolivia that no longer exist, these six towns have survived and flourished over time, retaining their customs, celebrations, ceremonies, style of dress, and tradition of instrument-making.

APAC established the International Festival of American Renaissance and Baroque Music in these towns in 1996 to preserve and diffuse this cultural heritage. The festival does not take place only in these areas, however: there are also concerts in other missionary towns in the provinces of Santa Cruz and Beni, spanning a distance of more than 3,000 kilometers in total. The majority of the concerts are free and the festivals create significant work opportunities where they occur.

The festival is unique because it celebrates a vibrant and dynamic cultural heritage in the towns where it originated and is still maintained. For the musicians, the festival allows them to step back through history to a time brimming with historical and cultural significance. Oftentimes the music they perform was composed or arranged by natives of the area, for whom this music plays a fundamental role in their cultural identification. Each festival is accompanied by a scientific conference, the International Symposium of Musicology (ECSIM), in which historians, researchers, and musicologists discuss topics relevant to ancient music. APAC’s Publishing Fund disseminates everything presented throughout the ECSIM.

 

 
 
 

Growth of the Festival

  1996 1998 2000 2002 2004 2006 2008 2010
Ensembles
14
32
28
30
42
44
50
45
Concerts
32
68
76
77
122
143
165
121
Musicians
355
517
402
400
980
623
600
800
Countries
8
14
14
17
21
19
24
14
Venues
3
9
9
14
16
19
22
12
Spectators 12.000 20.000 30.000 40.500 70.000 71.000 75.000 60.000
 
 
 

Parallel Activities

International Symposium of Musicology
Each festival brings together historians and musicologists who discuss and present research on ancient music. The APAC Publishing Fund circulates their conclusions.

Presentation of books and CDs
These presentations provide a venue for the exhibition of books and CDs that compile research on and interpretations of baroque music.

Arts expositions
These allow attendees to enjoy the artistic wealth of the Jesuit Missions, demonstrated through wooden carvings, paintings, and textile products.

Cultural presentations
With the support of each of the municipalities hosting the festival, each concert becomes a celebration in which artists present their folklore, crafts, and unique cultural and gastronomic traditions.

 
 
 

Goals

Each festival has the following objectives:
  • Preserve and diffuse the richness of the musical archive of Chiquitos and Moxos
  • Increase awareness of Chiquitos as a component of local identity and of the region's music as part of World Cultural Heritage
  • Promote tourism in the Missions of Chiquitos
  • Show the world a different face of Bolivia that emphasizes its culture
 
 
 

Achievements

Among the festival's many accomplishments are:
  • . Its growth into the most important festival in the world of its genre and a partnership with the Sarrebourg Festival in France, one of the most important music festivals in Europe
  • . The release of a series of tourism videos promoting both the festival and the region
  • . The release of various CDs featuring music from each festival, with priority given to local music
  • The publication of the findings from each International Symposium of Musicology
  • The world premieres of the San Ignacio Opera and the San Francisco Xavier Opera from the Musical Archive of Chiquitos and Vespers of Cerruti from the National Archive in Sucre and their recordings under the French label K617
  • Incorporation of music from the Archive of Chiquitos into the repertoire of groups who have performed at the festival and others
  • Generation of interest in the rich musical heritage of the region among the people of Santa Cruz and of Bolivia, demonstrated by significant attendance at concerts in Santa Cruz de la Sierra and other sites of the festival
  • Recording of Bolivian Baroque I with the English ensemble Florilegium under the Dutch label Channel Classics
  • Creation of the Arakaéndar Choir, which performed at the 6th festival, toured Europe with Florilegium, and recorded Bolivian Baroque II under the label Channel Classics
  • The acquisition of musical instruments, including harpsichords and organs
  • The publication of "The Indigenous and Musical Culture in the Jesuit Missions" (Indígenas y Cultura Musical de las Reducciones Jesuíticas) and "Domenico Zippoli," works of investigation and transcription by musicologist Piotr Nawrot
  • The editing of volumes of the Moxos Anthology: five baroque sonatas and six masses by Giovanni Battista Bassani
  • The collaboration to create and promote the Youth Orchestra and Choir of Urubichá, which has performed all over Bolivia, Latin America, and Europe, and produced recordings
  • Support from the Government of Holland for a project to teach children and young people music in Urubichá
  • Signing of an agreement with France to support the improvement of violin-making in Guarayos
 
 
 

Hans Roth Prize

Recipients
Año
- Mons. Bols, Plácido Molino, Alain Pacquier
2000
- AECI, Town Council of Santa Ana, Town Council of San Rafael
2002
- Franciscan Order of Bolivia, Rubén Darío Suárez Arana and Urubichá, Ramiro Soriano and Carla Nova, Piotr Nawrot
2004
- Father Walter Newrith, Town Council of San Ignacio de Moxos, Mons. Carlos Stetter
2006
- Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, Juan Carlos Ruiz, Ashley Solomon
2008

- Municipal Choir of Santa Cecilia, Daniela Dolcci, General Consul of Chile in Bolivia

2010
 
 
 

Chirimbolo Award

Recipients
Año
- Juan Pita
2000
- José Piqueras
2003
Annie Copponex, Francisco Tecuapleta, Roger Gilberson, Karina Carillo, Els van der Plas, Víctor Fagilde, Octavio Pastrana, Raúl Arrazola, Ton and Vera from UIT, Enrique Iglesias
2004
- Municipal Government of Santa Cruz de la Sierra, Provincial Government of Santa Cruz
2008
- Cainco
2010
 
 
 
 
 
 


Offices:
Avenida Busch No. 552
Phone: (+591)-3-333-2287
Email: info@festivalesapac.com