The muse that gave rise to the International Cartagena Music Festival was the USA Spoleto Festival: that source of inspiration sparked a faithful exacting artistic stewardship that has guided the Cartagena Music Festival over the past 8 years. The Festival has had 3 guiding helmsmen, each adept in his own right at adroitly selecting an intermingled repertoire able to resonate with the natural acoustics of Cartagena’s environs. Charles Wadsworth, who fell head over heels in love with Cartagena and was granted the keys to the city, captained the early festivals. Consummate pianist Stephen Prutsman, then took over the helm putting on festivals dedicated to Mozart and Bach, and since 2013, Antonio Miscenà has orchestrated our most recent festivals. Maestro Miscenà put together the 2013 Italian Style festival and the 2014 Fables and Fantastic Narrative in XX Century Music festival. For the 2015 festival, Miscenà has crafted, Mare Nostrum - a fanciful trip through the music of the Mediterranean.
The Cartagena Music Festival’s exceptional standing on the global circuit of classical music events has been earned through its profoundly faceted venue-repertoire that lends itself to a fresh take on two divergent sources year after year - The Old World and the New World.
In addition to its de rigueur 40-concert series, the Cartagena Music Festival offers a cornucopia of non-concert events. International artists conduct free Master Classes for both budding and professional Colombian musicians: The fledgling musicians are nationwide scholarship recipients selected for their extraordinary ability to perform and their exceptional interpretive capacities. Guitar making and repair workshops are also held where kids, young adults, music professionals and instructors receive training. In addition, a pipe and drum building workshop is held to highlight the region’s culture, along with exhibits, conferences, and other teaching activities that lend complementary substance to the Cartagena International Music Festival program.