After two years of silence due to the pandemic, the concerts organized by the Terra Sancta Organ Festival, which here is called the ORGAN & MUSIC FESTIVAL RHODES (4th – 9th October 2022), have started again.
Since the 1980s, the friars of the Custody of the Holy Land have hosted organ concerts in their church of St Francis on the island of Rhodes, which has the largest church organ in Greece. These concerts have been part of the Terra Sancta Organ Festival since 2014, developing the characteristic of presenting musicians of international, national and local level.
This year, the opening concert on 4th October (the feast-day of St Francis), organized in collaboration with the Italian Cultural Institute of Athens, was by the Italian organist Matteo Golizio. On 6th October, the large audience was able to listen to a highly varied programme with the organist Christos Paraskevopoulos, who teaches organ at the Athens Conservatoire, the soprano Rania Panagiotou and with the choir and the ensemble of mandolins of the city of Petaludes, conducted by Flora Pelekanou. A very pleasant discovery was the performance by the organist Stelios Daniliidis who, although he is still completing his training, revealed all his talent on 8th October. On the other hand, the organist of the final concert on 9th October is very well known and has an international career: Eleni Keventsidou. Eleni arrived from London, where she now lives and collaborates on projects with the Royal Academy of Music and the South London Organ Society.
The concerts were also attended by the civic, religious and diplomatic authorities, including the Turkish Consul, Mehmet Atif Sekercioglou, the British Consul, Ourania Kossioris, the Austrian Consul, Mary Moschis, the French Consul, Aliki Moschis, the secretary of the Orthodox diocese of Rhodes, Father Emmanuel Sklivakis, the Catholic Archbishop of Athens, Mons. Theodoros Kontidis, the deputy mayor of Rhodes, Stefanos Drakos and of course the host, Father John Luke Gregory, parish priest, Vicar General of the Archdiocese of Rhodes and delegate of the Custody of the Holy Land.
The next dates of the Terra Sancta Organ Festival will be in Israel and Palestine from 31st October to 18th November with the Holy Land Pipe Organ Weeks, and in Syria from 4th to 19th November with the Organ & Music Festival Syria (Damascus – Latakia – Aleppo). For information, please consult the website www.tsorganfestival.org.