Morelia, Cultural Heritage of Humanity and cradle of the First Musical Festival of America, has witnessed the glorious path that has led this Festival to be classified as one of the most important and with the greatest attendance of its kind in the world.
It bears the name of its founder, who obtained the degree in Gregorian chants at age 16 and later on, in musical composition and finally his doctorate degree in organ, obtaining with it the maximum honor for the highest academic performance “Summa Cum Laude”. Having given concerts throughout the country and in the main capitals and venues of the world, Alfonso Vega Nuñez had a vision; to positively transform society through culture and place this city as one of the main references for concert music around the five continents.
With more than half a century since its first edition in 1966, Alfonso Vega Núñez´s International Organ Festival of Morelia, consolidated itself as the First Cultural Festival of America, thus being a precursor of the great cultural events of the continent and contributing through international cooperation to the creation of organ festivals in Buenos Aires (Argentina), San Juan (Puerto Rico), Guatemala (Guatemala), Medellín (Colombia) and Sao Paulo (Brazil), expanding the transformative mission of the festival by bringing culture to different parts of the world.
Taking place uninterruptedly every year since its foundation, the Festival has received more than 2,700 artists among them, the best organ and concert music performers worldwide. Such as Pierre Cochereau (who served as Notre Dame Cathedral´s titular organist), Adelma Gómez (the most important female organist in Argentina), Juan Paradel Solé (titular organist of the Sistine Chapel and Pope Francis´ ceremonies), Vera Volchamsky (director of the Millersville University Orchestra), Enrique Pérez Meza (Cuba´s National Symphony Orchestra Director), Federico Cortesse (Harvard University Symphony Orchestra Director) and Peter Holder (Titular Organist of Queen Elizabeth II Official Ceremonies). During its fiftieth anniversary, the Festival condecorated tenor Fernando de la Mora and the National Auditorium´s titular organist Victor Úrban, with the Alfonso Vega Nuñez Award.
Morelia´s Majestic Cathedral with its monumental 4,600 flute organ, one of the most important in the continent, has been the Festival´s main stage, having gathered around 3 hundred thousand attendees throughout its history, and currently receiving in each edition an average of 14,000 spectators who come to enjoy the impressive sound of the venue and the architecture of this baroque jewel, one of the greatest symbols of the viceroyal era in our country, whose unsurpassed beauty is complemented by a spectacular production made with the most cutting-edge architectural lighting effects and state-of-the-art screens, which, harmonizing with world-class musical performances, provide attendees with a magical and incomparable experience in this Creative City of Music, given this title by UNESCO.
Strengthening social cohesion through art is one of the central goals of this Festival´s mission, which is the reason why, within its activities, it seeks to bring young people and various society sectors closer to the emblematic world of cultural music through its massive didactic concerts, its master classes given by the most prestigious musicians, cultural graphic exhibitions and pairing events. A broader inclusion of the population has been possible thanks to the Festival´s Athletic - Cultural Race, that offers a unique combination of its kind: sports and classical music, creating an artistic and healthy atmosphere for all members of our society.
Like Morelia, the surrounding populations and magical towns have participated in the joy of this festival thanks to the extensions carried out throughout its history, which have not been limited to state territory but have expanded its limits and positioned our city´s name in various parts of the country and abroad, such as those performed at the National Auditorium of Mexico City with 7,000 spectators, a one week extension at San Felipe´s Port, in Bacalar Quintana Roo, another in San José, Costa Rica and the concert in the Pontifical Institute of Sacred Music of the Vatican in Rome, with the participation of well known Mexican musicians and the presence of 35 ambassadors, considered by the national and international press as a resounding success.
Today, Morelia continues opening its doors to culture and strengthening ties between local, national and international artists. We are convinced that joining efforts with authorities, institutions, private initiative and all of society, we will continue expanding the cultural legacy that belongs to all of us, approaching us to our main purpose; to positively influence our society through culture and art.
Morelia’s International Organ Festival Alfonso Vega Núñez
America's First Cultural Festival
Feel The Glory