Celebrating the life of St. Ketevan with the Ketevan World Sacred Music Festival


The Ketevan World Sacred Music Festival, located in Old Goa, combines sacred music traditions from different eras from the East and the West inspired by the life of St Ketevan, Queen of Georgia. The Ketevan world Sacred Music Festival is a project of music and religious coexistence, connecting and fostering dialogue among cultures. Like an oasis, different cultures have existed and coexisted in Old Goa (World Heritage City declared by UNESCO in 1986). Throughout history, many centuries ago, the relics of St. Ketevan were brought from the Middle East to Old Goa. They were found just a few years ago after being buried for almost 400 years.

Natalia Lemercier

An amalgamation of worlds

Ketevan Sacred Music Festival offers concerts, workshops and conferences with artists from several traditions around the world: Western Classical, Carnatic, Orthodox Christian, Catholic, Sufi, Hindustani, Jewish, Native and many others. The next edition of the Ketevan Sacred Music Festival will include existing programmes such as “Spiritualia” by the Italian jazz violinist Luca Ciarla as well as new programmes designed especially for the festival, such as “Bach’s Dreams and XXth Century Sounds” directed by UK-based Indian conductor Manvinder Rattan; combining ancient sacred chants from all eras and traditions.

From Milan will come the distinguished soprano Natalia Lemercier, who will perform as a soloist in the two biggest concerts of the festival. The oratory “Passion Landscapes”, written for the occasion, will be premiered at the festival and conducted by the composer and artistic director himself, Maestro Santiago Lusardi Girelli from Argentina and also performed by the GUC.

Goa University Choir

The past, present, and future

The Ketevan will also count with the participation of dhrupad singer Pandit Ritwik Sanyal, from Benares; the award-winning youth male choir from the UK The King’s Barbers; the santoor player Jonathan Voyer and dancer Gautam Nima. The Goa University Choir, in collaboration with renowned artists from France, Portugal, Spain, Argentina, Germany, UK, Italy, Georgia, and India, will perform the “Misatango” by the Carnegie Hall Resident Composer 2018, Martin Palmeri. This will be the closing concert of the 4th edition of the festival, which will be an eclectic and vibrating experience of music, ethnicities, and traditions, where past and present become one to propitiate coexistence between cultures.

A curtain raiser organized by sponsor Indy Hotels & Resorts and the Italian Institute of Culture (Mumbai) will be held on February 16 at O Pescador, Dona Paula. Entry is by invite only.

The donation passes for the festival will be available at Furtado’s in Panjim and Margao from 15th February.

(Except for the headline and subheadings, this story has not been edited by ItsGoa staff and is published from a press release.)