VATICAN CITY, OCT. 18, 2010 (Zenit.org).- Salesian Father Massimo Palombella has been appointed the director of the Sistine Chapel Choir.
The Vatican announced the change on Saturday. Father Palombella succeeds Monsignor Giuseppe Liberto, who held the post since 1997.
The Sistine Chapel Choir — considered the oldest in the world — is overseen by the Prefecture of the Papal Household and it is present at all papal liturgies as well as those of cardinals.
Massimo Palombella was born in Turin on Christmas Day in 1967 and ordained a Salesian priest in 1996.
He did his musical studies with maestros Luigi Molfino, Valentín Miserachs Grau, Gabriele Arrigo and Alessandro Ruo Rui, and earned a diploma in Choral Music and Composition.
Father Palombella is the founder and director of the Inter-university Choir of Rome. He has worked in university ministry in the Diocese of Rome since 1995 and teaches in the faculties of theology, eschatology and of music and liturgy at the Pontifical Salesian University.
Since 1995 he has been the music maestro for all the Pope’s meetings with university culture.
Recently he was involved in the closing vigil of the Year for Priests in St. Peter’s Square.
He has given many concerts in Italy and around the world with Rome’s Inter-university Choir and has made a series of recordings on CD and DVD.
The Sistine Chapel Choir is currently stipulated to have 20 adult singers (six first tenors, five second tenors, four first basses, and five second basses) and some 30 boys (sopranos and contraltos).
The boys are not paid for their service, but the chapel covers the cost of their studies both in the Italian middle school as well as in the school for singing.