San José, Costa Rica, since 1956

Annual Festival Showcases Classical Music

If you love cantatas, fermatas, polyphonies and klangfarbenmelodies – or even know what they are – it’s a good time to be in Costa Rica. The 17th annual Credomatic Music Festival starts Aug. 3, bringing some top classical music performers from around the world along with it.

The three-week festival will feature concerts set in venues across the country, from the Central Valley to the northwestern province of Guanacaste, mostly at resorts and hotels but also at San José’s National Theater. Free concerts will be offered at other theaters and several churches in the Central Valley area.

Among the acts is the returning favorite, the Vienna Boys’ Choir from Austria. Dating back to 1498, the choir group today consists of 100 members between the ages of 10 and 14, split into four traveling groups. Directed by Nikolaus Müller, the choir performs 300 concerts annually for nearly half a million people worldwide. Its diverse repertoire includes medieval, contemporary and experimental music.

The Bach Academy of Berlin, Germany, is another highly touted group of musicians participating in the festival this year. Members come from the most important orchestras in Berlin, including the Berlin Philharmonic and the Berlin Radio Symphony Orchestra. The group is known for its spontaneity and its vivacious performances.

Other groups include the Hromek Duo from the Czech Republic, specializing in Celtic and European folk music, and the Swiss quintet Eole Dixtuor, directed by Jan Dobrzelewski, a professor at the Music Conservatory of Neuchatel, Switzerland. The French group Trio con Fuoco, started in 1998 by three young French musicians who have since performed in various European countries, will also be featured.

A sizeable slate of individual performers have been invited as well, coming from Russia, Europe, the United States and Central America.

Kirill Gliadkovsky, a renowned organist and pianist from Russia, is one of them.

Gliadkovsky, the musical director and organist for the Westwood Hills Christian Church in the U.S. city of Los Angeles, has studied music since the age of 5 and has performed throughout Europe and North America.

The last day of concerts is Aug. 19, so there will be plenty of opportunities to catch one of these world-class performances.

Free concerts will be from Aug. 11-19, at Iglesia de Las Mercedes in Grecia, west of San José; the Municipal Theater and Parochial Theater in Alajuela, northwest of the capital; and the Basílica de Los Angeles in Cartago, east of San José.

Ticket prices for other concerts were unavailable at press time, but should vary by venue. For a full schedule of festival concerts and venue information, see the Calendar pages.


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