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37th International Bamboo Organ Festival

MANILA, Philippines — The 37th International Bamboo Organ Festival (IBOF) pays tribute to Giovanni Gabrieli on his 400th death anniversary. Gabrieli was an influential Italian composer and organist who popularized the “concertate” (today called “a concerto”), which is a competition between two or more instrumental groups. The gala night of the week-long festival is scheduled on February 23 at the St. Joseph’s Church in the City of Las Piñas, Philippines.

The festival will feature world renowned local and foreign artists and groups. Among Gabrieli’s works that will be performed in a setting similar to the practice in Venice, his hometown, are “Omnes Gentes,” “Plaudite,” and “In Ecclesiis.” Asia’s premier vocal harmony group, CompanY, will serenade the audience with the most loved pop songs of the Philippines. An evening of purely organ music will feature a variety of pieces ranging from the Baroque to the Contemporary. A Festival of para-Liturgy on the Advent – Epiphany of Jesus Christ to be presided by Bishop Jesse E. Mercado, DD, will highlight the work of Nicolas Matias Sengson in a concert dubbed “Awitan-Kristo.” The final night will feature Chamber Music with excerpts from Gluck’s most famous opera Orfeo, together with Bach’s Brandenburg Concerto No. 5, and Mozart’s Sinfonia Concertante for Violin, Viola, and Orchestra.

The festival is organized by the Bamboo Organ Foundation, Inc. (BOFI) in cooperation with the National Commission for Culture and the Arts, the Las Pinas City Government, the Diocese of Paranaque, Diego Cera Organbuilders, Inc., St. Joseph’s Academy, and the Parish of St. Joseph (where the world renowned Bamboo Organ is housed), with generous support from several other distinguished sponsors.

Crafted by Augustinian Recollect Fr. Diego Cera de la Virgen del Carmen, the Las Pinas Bamboo Organ was initially exclusively for liturgical purposes. Years later, the unique instrument was used to stage a full-fledged festival of sacred music that drew international attention, helping promote our unique and rich Philippine music. Over the years, apart from showcasing Filipino talent, the festival has fostered a collegial relationship among Filipinos and strengthened our diplomatic and friendly relations with other countries. We all take pride in the uniqueness of this world renowned instrument that has been declared a Philippine National Treasure.

We congratulate the Bamboo Organ Production, Inc., its officers, partners and sponsors, led by BOFI President and Parish Priest of St. Joseph Parish Rev. Msgr. Mario Josefino F. Martinez, PC, JCD, on the occasion of the 37th International Bamboo Organ Festival. We wish them all the best and success in all their endeavors. CONGRATULATIONS!