The Cartagena International Music Festival celebrated its tenth anniversary in January, and is doing impressive things for one so young.
It took over the old city, offering 28 concerts in 8 days with something for all kinds of audiences; stately concerts at its classically-styled Teatro Adolfo Mejía, sacred and secular concerts celebrating young talent in the beautiful chapel at the Hotel Santa Clara, free public concerts in the open air of Plaza San Pedro and more.
“Hacia Tierra Firme” was the theme for this year; I could only translate this as “Towards Terra Firma”, a crude attempt. This was the starting point for a musical reflection through history, looking back across the Atlantic towards Spain and Europe, and contrasting it with the influence of indigenous Southern American cultures. This idea of duality was also extended towards the sacred vs the profane (or perhaps more accurately, secular) and then obliquely, old and new. If this sounds dry in theory, rest assured that in practice it was entirely refreshing; I heard music one would rarely get a chance to hear in the UK and perhaps elsewhere in Europe.