San José, Costa Rica, since 1956

August brings myriad musical masters to Costa Rica

Russia´s Bolshoi Theater Quartet and U.S. soprano Nell Snaidas are among the artists set to perform in Costa Rica as part of an August medley of classical performances that will span the country.

The annual Credomatic Music Festival is scheduled to last from Aug. 1 through 16, with performances to be held from the westernmost points of the Nicoya Peninsula to points as far east as Limón province.

In its 19th year, the music festival has established itself as one of the country´s remier musical events, bringing world-renowned soloists, composers, classical groups and singers to perform across the country.

The festival has always tried “to make itself accessible to the largest number of people in Costa Rica,” said festival Director Jordi Antich.

Artists from the United States, Russia, Costa Rica and across Europe will convene in Costa Rica during the first weeks of August to perform in 18 different venues – from the National Theater in San José to the Hotel Cristal Ballena in Ballena Bay on the Nicoya Peninsula – all of which provide a different experience and atmosphere for performer and audience member alike.

In addition to amphitheaters and more traditional venues, artists will be playing in numerous hotels, natural settings and churches. The churches offer a unique opportunity for the three famous organists that will be playing – especially to commemorate the newly-restored, more than 100-year-old organ in the San José Cathedral.

The cathedral´s organ dates to 1880, when a new organ was commissioned from a Belgian maker after two earthquakes destroyed the old one. People immediately fell in love with the instrument, Antich said.

“This year, we have the pleasure of falling in love with it again,” he said.

Three Costa Rican groups will be performing: Ganassi, a group dedicated to the music of the Renaissance, the Heredia Municipal Symphony Orchestra, and composer Eddie Mora.

Also on the program are the Hunfeld-Hengst Duo from the Netherlands and the Merlin Ensemble of Vienna, Austria, as well as the young French cellist Yann.

Performances at five of the 18 different venues are free to the public. These are the San José Cathedral, Las Mercedes Church in Grecia, Don Bosco Church in San José, the San Ramón Church in Alajuela, and the Temple of Music in Morazán Park in San José.

Tickets to the performances in the National Theater range from ¢10,000 to ¢500 ($20 to $1).

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