Azores are the stage for big names in the national and international music scene

17ª FIA - Festival Internacional dos Açores

The Azores International Festival was born in the fullness of the Atlantic Ocean. The Azorean archipelago presents itself as a safe haven for all who cross the waters and skies that separate the European and American continents.

The period following World War II was particularly busy for the islands which, as stopovers for transatlantic flights, received travelers moving to and from New York. Commuting movements that, invariably, brought to some island cities the presence of renowned international musicians, which gave a particular dynamism to the cultural environment of the Azores.

A cultural life that not even the Azorean tectonic instability could stop. After the great earthquake of 1980, which almost destroyed the city of Angra de Heroísmo, Jorge Forjaz, then director of the Regional Directorate for Cultural Action of the Azores, concentrated efforts on recognizing the cultural and historical importance of the island and the city that became UNESCO Heritage. of Humanity three years later.

In 1984, together with Adriano Jordão, he created the International Festival of the Azores on the island of São Miguel, feeding the wave of cultural and heritage dynamization on the island. Together, they take the soprano Teresa Berganza to the Teatro São Micaelense, followed by some of the biggest names in music: Alicia de Larrocha, Moura Lympany, Ileana Cotrubas, Lella Cuberli, Sandor Végh, Ingrid Haebler, António Meneses, Maurice Bourg, among others. others, who until 2002 visited the archipelago, bringing their art.

Pianista Adriano Jordão,

Adriano Jordão, one of the founders of the Azores International Festival, underlines that “this project has always been very special for the Azores, and that this edition is even more special, due not only to his personal connection to José Saramago but also to the connection of José Saramago to music. The cello was one of Saramago’s weaknesses”, concluded Adriano Jordão. “The Festival was born in the Azores when Dr. Jorge Forjaz was secretary of culture in the Azores and in one of his trips to Italy he intended to replicate what he saw in a classical music festival in Italy Without funds for the realization of an emerging festival in the Azores, we sought support and a man connected to music and the oil industry fell in love with the project and financed the first festival in 1984. Teresa Berganza was the first artist of the Festival. The Festival continued with other support, but in 2002 it stopped as I was appointed Cultural Counselor of Brazil. As soon as I returned to Portugal I spoke with Tiago Nunes, performs l artistic director and president of CulturXis, and the festival happily returned last year”.

Currently, the Azores International Festival is organized by CulturXis, an association that brings together several young people from various arts and whose institutional mission is to promote, develop and disseminate initiatives aimed at the cultural development of the regions.

Tiago Nunes, currently artistic director and president of CulturXis, highlights “that this 17th edition has eight concerts, five of which are free. Terceira and São Miguel receive unique names in music, and through the Masterclasses, we have the opportunity to deprive and learn from musicians present, creating learning bridges, thus democratizing access to culture“.

The Azores International Festival brings together the historical, gastronomic, and scenic riches of a region full of character, shaped by the presence of the sea, with breathtaking landscapes. It is in this breathtaking scenery of the Azores that we will host the 17th edition of the International Festival of the Azores, which celebrates the centenary of the birth of José Saramago.

The exciting musical program of the 2022 edition of the Azores International Festival, in line with the natural and built heritage of the islands of São Miguel and Terceira, also has complementary activities, such as masterclasses and activities to raise awareness and value the natural and cultural heritage. The Azores, thus drawing attention not only to art and creativity in the lato sensu, but also to environmental sustainability and the importance of interdisciplinary and networking work in all domains.

It should be noted that the 17th edition of the Azores International Festival ends with a show in favor of UNICEF Portugal, starring the pianist Gülsin Onay, the Goodwill Ambassador of this institution in Turkey. In the opinion of Luísa Motta (UNICEF Portugal), “this is a solidarity initiative that reflects the role that culture can play.

17ª FIA – Festival Internacional dos Açores

Flying the machine, the whole sky will be music
José Saramago, in: Memorial do Convento

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