59 years working for the music of our city
The Religious Music Festival was born in 1964, giving rise to the realization of the dream of some young lovers of cultured music, today called “academic”, and from that date to the current year, 59 editions of the event have been held. In its long history, the Festival has made it possible for more than 4.000 soloists, groups, orchestras and choirs from 30 countries of the five (5) continents to attend the Cauca capital, of the highest level. We have performed about 800 concerts that have allowed us to present to the public a large sample of universal musical literature that has included the world and / or national premiere of works of universal musical literature.
The Festival has taken the academic music of the universal repertoire and that of the national composers through churches, parks, coliseums, houses of culture and theaters and has always ensured to open spaces so that all types of public have access to the enjoyment of performance of this music. Its democratization policy means that, year after year, free entry is maintained for at least 80% of the activities that are programmed.
In the commitment to strengthening musical activity, we could also mention having supported the creation of the Santander de Quilichao International Classical Music Festival, which has completed more than 30 editions and has always been considered a “son” of the Popayán Festival, the creation of the Filarmonía Popayán Orchestra, which is one of the most ambitious projects that have been developed since 2016 or the opening of events associated with other musical genres, with the FestiJazz Popayán that in 2021 completes three editions.
On the occasion of its 40 years, the Popayán Religious Music Festival was registered by UNESCO among the competitions of world interest. For this date, the Ministry of Communication and the Postal Administration of Colombia were linked with an Issue entitled “Partitura de Hermandad”, a title that has become the slogan of the event.
In 2003, the Municipal Government, by Decree No. 68, declared it the Intangible Cultural Heritage of the City and awarded it the SHIELD OF THE VERY NOBLE AND VERY LOYAL CITY OF POPAYAN in its highest heraldic category BIG GOLD CROSS. In 2004 it was declared Cultural Heritage of the Nation, through Law 891. In 2013, the Festival of Religious Music of Popayán, became the only event of its kind that in all America managed to perform 50 uninterrupted versions. For this occasion, the Ministry of Culture awarded him its highest distinction: the “Great Order Ministry of Culture”
After 58 years of uninterrupted performance, the name of the Festival has become a first-line reference, which has allowed it to enjoy national and international prestige.