The Terra Sancta Organ Festival has honored the memory of the archaeologist Fr. Michele Piccirillo (1944 – 2008) on the tenth anniversary of his death, dedicating him the inaugural concert of the 2018/2019 season. The concert took place in the Basilica of the Memorial of Moses on Mount Nebo in Jordan, on Thursday, September 20, 2018. The musical protagonist of the evening was Alessandro Licata, professor of organ at the Conservatory of Santa Cecilia in Rome, assisted by Nicola Puccini, the builder of the organ, which was donated by an anonymous benefactor to the Memorial of Moses in 2015. The program presented the Canons of the Goldberg Variations by Johann Sebastian Bach.
The day before, the conference “Thirty Years of Mosaic Restoration & Beyond” has been held at the headquarter of Amman’s American Center of Oriental Research (ACOR) with the speech of Fr. Rosario Pierri (Studium Biblicum Franciscanum) and the lecture of Franco Sciorilli, mosaicist. Both the Terra Sancta Organ Festival and ACOR wanted to remember—each in their respective field—Fr. Piccirillo, the friend, the brother and the colleague. The Italian Embassy in Amman, which in the years of his activity has always supported Fr. Piccirillo, has generously collaborated in the organization of the concert, together with the Franciscan friars of the Custody of the Holy Land at Mount Nebo and Amman.
Fr. Michele Piccirillo, a friar of the Custody of the Holy Land, was one of the greatest archaeologists of Jordan and the Middle East: the archaeological complex of Mount Nebo—visited by hundreds of thousands of tourists and pilgrims— represents the peak of his work, certainly the most visible and known.
The event of September 20th has been a concert-commemoration: each musical piece has been followed by a short commemorative speech, given by Costanza Farina, UNESCO Representative to Jordan, Barbara A. Porter, Director of ACOR (American Center of Oriental Research), Fr. Quirico Calella, companion of Fr. Piccirillo and Győző Vörös, (Hungarian Academy of Arts and Jordanian Department of Antiquities), follower of Fr. Michele as Director of Machaerus Excavations. In this occasion Professor Győző Vörös has presented the restoration of a stucco discovered by Fr. Michele Piccirillo and Fr. Virgilio Corbo in Machaerus, inside the palace of Herod.
The evening was presented by Br. Riccardo Ceriani, director of the Terra Sancta Organ Festival. The Custos of the Holy Land Fr. Francesco Patton and Marco Salaris, first secretary of the Embassy of Italy in Amman, greeted and thanked all those present.
At the end of the concert, all participants entered the convent garden and visited the grave of the Franciscan archaeologist, who expressed the desire to be buried there.
After the event on Mount Nebo, the concerts of the Terra Sancta Organ Festival will continue in Rhodes from September 28 to October 6, in Lebanon on October 20, in Israel and Palestine from October 23 to November 2, in Syria for the Damascus Pipe Organ Week from November 18 to 25, again in Lebanon in the new year from February 2 to 10, 2019 and finally in Cyprus (dates to be defined). The updated program can be viewed on the official website of the festival: www.tsorganfestival.org . Many concerts from the last editions are available on the YouTube channel of the Terra Sancta Organ Festival.
Source: Custodia Terra Sancta