Dedicated to commemorate the anniversary of the death of the first Cuban musician of whom there is record of printed scores, every year the Esteban Salas Early Music Festival gathers outstanding performers of Medieval, Renaissance and Baroque music who perform in Old Havana headed by the Ars Longa Music Ensemble. This festival has made it possible for audiences to enjoy for the first time in Cuba important pieces of the universal repertory, such as the madrigalian comedy “Festino” by the Italian composer Adriano Banchieri and Handel’s “Messiah.”
This event was preceded in 2000 and 2002 by the Esteban Salas Ancient Music Festival; in 2003 it became part of activities commemorating “Salas Year,” dedicated to the 200th anniversary of the death of the first Cuban musician whose scores have been preserved over the years. Every year the festival invites outstanding artists of Medieval, Renaissance and Baroque music to perform in the historical heart of Old Havana alongside their Cuban colleagues and led by the Cuban Ars Longa Group for Ancient Music. Initially performances were held at the Basílica Menor del Convento de San Francisco de Asís and the de Paula Church but they have grown to use other sites under the Historian’s Office directorship and at the Oratorio San Felipe Neri, the Centro Hispano-Americano de Cultura, the Palacio de Gobierno and the Colegio Universitario San Gerónimo.
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