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Church and Composers: Words and Sounds

Lumsa University in Rome, September 13-15

Event: Church and Composers: Words and Sounds

Where and When: Lumsa University, Via di Porta Castello, 44, Rome

13-15 September 2018


What role for the composer today in the musical life of the Church? A range of speakers – biblical scholars, liturgists, educationalists, theologians, musicians (including of course composers themselves) – will approach the figure of the composer in order to shed light on their pastoral and cultural contributions as well as to the needs and expectations of the Christian communities.

The three-day reflection begins with “Music and the Word” accentuating questions of memory, intelligibility and significance, then “Music and the Gospel” allows some individual and community life experiences to reflect on the impact of different musical and compositive styles, before a day on “Music and Instrument” offers a technical accent with focus on different sounds, culminating in the human voice.

The conference is aimed at representatives of episcopal conferences and religious orders, musicians, curators of liturgical music, associations and movements.

The Programme (pdf)

Who are the speakers? (pdf)


13 September – Music and Word

09:00-09:30  Welcoming

09:45  Opening Greeting: Bishop Carlos AZEVEDO, Delegate of the Pontifical Council for Culture

10:00  “You heard the sound of words but saw no form: there was only a voice” (Dt 4:12): Card. Gianfranco RAVASI, President of the Pontifical Council for Culture

10:30  Composing for Christian Communities Today: John RUTTER, Composer, Great Britain

11:10  Historical ExcursusThe Composing Style of the Sistine Chapel for Papal Celebrations: Mons. Massimo PALOMBELLA, Director of the Cappella Musicale Pontificia “Sistina”


1. Translations, Music and Composition: Archbishop Arthur ROCHE, Secretary, Congregation for Divine Worship and Discipline of the Sacraments

2. Psalm, Psalms, Singing Psalms : Mons. Alberto TURCO, Coro Canto Gregoriano, Papal Archbasilica of St. John in Lateran

3. Singing the Word: Daniele SABAINO, Facolty of Musicology and History of Music, Pavia

15:00 The Bible and Biblical Songs: Mons. Marco FRISINA, Director, Coro della Diocesi di Roma

16:00 Music and Philology: Thomas Forrest KELLY, Morton B. Knafel Research Professor of Music, Harvard University, USA.

17:00 Music and Formation: Mons. Vincenzo DE GREGORIO, Head, Pontifical Institute of Sacred Music

18:00 Roundtable: Mons. Marco FRISINA / Thomas Forest KELLY / Mons. Vincenzo DE GREGORIO. Moderation: Fr. Jordi-A. Piqué, OSB, Head, Pontifical Liturgical Institute, Sant’Anselmo

19:30 VESPERS in the Sistine Chapel

14 September – Music and the Gospel

09:15 Fr. Claudio ZONTA, SJ, “La Civilità Cattolica”

10:00 Salvatore MARTINEZ, National President, Renewal in the Spirit Movement

11:15-12:30  WORKSHOPS

1. Spirituality and Songwriting in the New Evangelization: Nancy UELMEN, Gen Verde International Performing Arts Group

2. Gospel and Composition: Gabriel de Jesús FRAUSTO ZAMORA, Secretary for Liturgical Music of the Mexican Episcopal Conference

3. Oratorio and Cantata, History and Perspective: Richard MAILÄNDER, Musical Director, Diocese of Cologne, Germany

15:00 New Forms: Mons. Pierangelo SEQUERI, Head, Pontifical Institute “John Paul II”

16:00 New Styles: Maeve Louise HEANEY, Theology Faculty, Australian Catholic University

17:00 Roundtable: Movements

Gen-Focolari: Nancy UELMEN; Renewal: Salvatore MARTINEZ; Communion and Liberation: Pippo MOLINO

15 September  –  Music and Instruments

9:15 – 10:15 WORKSHOPS

1. Modes, Tones, Contemporary Times: M° Joana CARNEIRO, Teatro Nazional Săo Carlos Lisbon, Portugal

2. Organ, Guitar, Tambourine: Mons. Pierangelo RUARO, Director, Diocesan Office for the Liturgy, Vicenza

3. Electronic Music: Marcello FILOTEI, Music Critic

10:30  Instruments: one beauty, many expressions: Gianna FRATTA, Orchestral Conductor

11:15 “I saw and I heard the voices of many around the throne”: the pipe organ: Simon JOHNSON, Organist, St. Paul’s Cathedral, Great Britain

12 – 1pm “Praise him with the harp and … with the tambourine …” (Ps 150:3): Liturgical Inculturation and Musical Instruments : Fr. Olivier-Marie SARR, OSB, Liturgist, Pontifical Athenaeum Sant’Anselmo

20 – Concert at Assisi in the Basilica Superiore within the context of the Francesco Siciliani Prize, an international competition for a composition in sacred music, Fondazione Perugia Musica Classica Onlus with the St. Jacob’s Chamber Choir, Stockholm, directed by Gary GRADEN

Logistical information

Simultaneous translation provided

50 € for inscription (60 € including Assisi)

Please fill in this form to reserve your place


Pontifical Athenaeum St Anselm – Pontifical Liturgical Institute

Pontifical Institute of Sacred Music – Rome

The Acts of the 2017 Conference on Sacred Music Musica e Chiesa a 50 anni dalla Musicam Sacram are published by (July 2017).

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