Festival History

The idea of creating an international festival dedicated to classical music in the Dominican Republic is brainchild of French conductor and pianist, Philippe Entremont, who after a concert in our National Theater, in the year 1995, proposed the idea to the President of Sinfonía, Margarita Copello de Rodriguez, who received it with enthusiasm and immediately consulted with her husband, don Pedro, founder of Sinfonía, and with its  board of directors.

The immediate task was to ensure the economic support that would allow the festival to invite first class music artists and the integration of a great orchestra, the Festival orchestra, with musicians from the National Symphony Orchestra and from renowned orchestras from the United States and Europe. Entrepreneurs and representatives from some of the most important Dominican corporations were summoned by Sinfonia for the creation of the Santo Domingo Music Festival, a biennial event that would “place Dominican Republic in the music world map”.  With the support and orientation of that group of entrepreneurs, who formed the Festival’s Superior Board, Fundación Sinfonía celebrated the first Santo Domingo Music Festival, presented from March 12 to 21, 1997 in the National Theater.

The ten editions of the festival, celebrated always in the month of March  1997, 1999, 2001, 2003, 2005, 2007, 2009,2011, 2013 and 2015, have been unprecedented successes.  They have conjugated the presentation of internationally renowned artists, programs of great variety and good taste, thus achieving the largest audiences ever reached in  concerts and classical presentations.   Maestro Philippe Entremont was its Artistic Director from the year 1997 until 2009 and during the last two festivals Maestro Ramón Tebar has been Musical Director.

During the month of May 2017 will be held the eleventh edition of the festival and for the first time a Dominican, Maestro José Antonio Molina, will be the Musical Director of the festival.

The jewel of the festivals has always been its orchestra, composed of around 120 musicians.  In the year 1999, we had the honor of presenting the strings of the Vienna Chamber Orchestra and in 2005 the splendid Orquesta de Cadaqués. From other great European and United States orchestras we have received musicians that have admirably integrated with local musicians.  The National Symphony Orchestra has been a great beneficiary of these biennial celebrations.

The Santo Domingo Music Festival has been an authentic music festivity.