Chamber Orchestra of Bogota. Photo: Courtesy
Chamber Orchestra of Bogota. Photo: Chamber Orchestra of Bogota

The XVI Cartagena Music Festival begins

The music festival reopened its doors in-person for locals and tourists to enjoy chamber music. 


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On Tuesday, Jan. 4, the XVI Cartagena Music Festival kicked off. It is being held until Jan. 10 in Cartagena, Colombia with a program dedicated to chamber music, or pieces composed for a small group of performers. Titled "The color of sound," attendees will be able to enjoy a more intimate facet of classical music.
The repertoire focuses on 19th century works and is divided by country. The first two days are dedicated to Austrian and German music (Mendelssohn, Schubert, Brahms), with the following days will be devoted to France (Fauré, Debussy, Franck), Italy (Rossini, Donizetti, Ponchielli), Russia (Glinka, Tchaikovsky, Borodin) and Eastern European countries (Dvorak and Smetana). Finally, there will be a day dedicated to the most beloved works composed in Colombia.
"The color of sound" will include trios, quintets, sextets and other combinations that illustrate the overflowing imagination of composers when it comes to chamber music.
The name of this year's festival comes from the fact that many music analysts have equated the sound of each instrument to a color. In addition to the color of fretted strings and piano, composers played to include the voices of instruments, such as flute, oboe, horn and clarinet.
Gabo and music 
During this year's festival, special recognition will be given to the role Cartagena played in the life and work of Colombian writer and Nobel Prize winner Gabriel García Marquez, who expressed his desire to remain in Cartagena even after his death.
Gabo was a lover of classical music and made it very clear in his autobiography Vivir para contarla, where he wrote: "Today I have listened to as much music as I could get my hands on, especially romantic chamber music, which I consider to be the pinnacle of the arts. In Mexico, while I was writing One Hundred Years of Solitude, between 1965 and 1966, I only had two records that were worn out from being listened to so much: 'The Preludes' by Debussy and 'What a night that day', by the Beatles."
The entire program of the Cartagena XVI Music Festival can be found at

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