In the year that marks the worldwide celebration of the 250th anniversary of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart’s birth, audiences of the 16th Credomatic Music Festival can be sure this year’s concerts will include compositions by the Austrian music genius. According to festival director and founder Jordi Antich, though the festival will not adhere exclusively to a Mozart theme, his music will be “the thread that unites almost all concerts” at the event sponsored by financial institution Credomatic.
The annual festival, which brings well-known national and international musicians to different venues across the country, will run Aug. 4-20 this year.
Sixty musicians will perform 36 concerts at 17 sites in this edition of the festival,
Antich told journalists during a press conference at one of the festival’s venues, Hotel Monterrey Del Mar in Playa Esterillos, on the central Pacific coast.
The performers from 10 European, South American and North American countries will include the Moscow Trio, an ensemble of violin, cello and piano, the Clair Obscur saxophone quartet from Germany and Camerata Klaipeda chamber orchestra from Lithuania, among other talented groups and soloists.
National artists this year include three violinists whose careers have taken them outside the country: Luis Diego Piedra, who lives in the U.S. city of Chicago; Caterina Tellini, who lives in Mexico; and Marcela Chavarría, who resides in the Netherlands. They will be incorporated to Divertimento Orchestra, led by Swiss conductor Jan Dobrzelewski.
Antich referred to the National Theater in downtown San José as the central axis of the festival, describing it as a European theater amid the chaotic beauty of the tropics.
However, he said he is proud that this year the festival has moved down the country’s central Pacific coast, with two new host locations: Esterillos’ Monterrey Del Mar and, farther south, Hotel Cristal Ballena, near the popular beach destination of Dominical.
“Little by little the festival is covering more territory around the country,” he said.
In the Central Valley, concerts will be held at sites including the National Biodiversity Institute’s INBioparque and Hotel Tirol, both in Heredia, north of the capital, and the Gran Hotel Costa Rica, in downtown San José. Free concerts will be held at the churches of San Ramón and Grecia, both in the Alajuela province, northwest of San José, and for the first time at a San José church, in a southern suburb at the Church of Hatillo 6.
Outside the Central Valley, concerts will be held at the luxurious Hotel Villa Caletas, near Jacó on the central Pacific coast; Hacienda Pinilla, in the northwestern province of Guanacaste; and Hotel Villa Alegre in Tamarindo, also in Guanacaste.
Although venues are luxurious, one of the goals of the festival is to make the music accessible to all Costa Ricans, Antich said, pointing out that concerts will either be free or modestly priced. Tickets at the National Theater will cost ¢2,000-11,000 ($3.90-21.40), while INBioparque will charge ¢5,000 ($9.75). According to Antich, hotel prices will vary and may include package deals with meals and overnight stays. See the Calendar section for a full listing of concert times and locations.