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Ordained in 2011, Father Friel served for five years as Parochial Vicar at St. Anselm Parish in Northeast Philly. He is currently studying toward a doctorate in liturgical theology at The Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C.
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“Edwin Fischer was, on the concert platform, a short, leonine, resilient figure, whose every fibre seemed to vibrate with elemental musical power.”
— Daniel Barenboim (1960)

Music Conference in Rome (September 2018)
published 7 July 2018 by Fr. David Friel

HE VATICAN’S Pontifical Council for Culture (PCC) has announced that it is organizing another conference on sacred music this fall, in collaboration with the Pontifical Athenaeum Sant’Anselmo and the Pontifical Institute of Sacred Music. The PCC, which also organized a conference in March 2017, will host this event at Lumsa University in Rome.

The upcoming conference, scheduled for 13–15 September 2018, is entitled Church and Composers, Words and Sounds. The stated objective of this gathering is to consider the role of the composer in the life of the Church.

The announced program presents a wide range of speakers and topics, including:

“You heard the sound of words but saw no form:
there was only a voice (Dt 4:12)”

— Gianfranco Cardinal Ravasi
(President of the Pontifical Council for Culture)

“Historical Excursus: The Composing Style
of the Sistine Chapel for Papal Celebrations”

— Msgr. Massimo Palombella
(Director, Cappella Musicale Pontificia “Sistina”)

“Translations, Music and Composition”
— Archbishop Arthur Roche (Secretary, CDW)

“Composing for Christian Communities Today”
— John Rutter (Composer)

“Music and Philology”
— Thomas Forest Kelly
(Morton B. Knafel Research Professor of Music, Harvard University)

“Music and Formation” — Msgr. Vincenzo De Gregorio
(Head, Pontifical Institute of Sacred Music)

“‘I saw and heard the voices of many
around the throne’: the Pipe Organ”

— Simon Johnson
(Organist, St. Paul’s Cathedral, London)

“‘Praise him with the harp and . . . with the tambourine . . . ’
(Ps 150:3): Liturgical Inculturation and Musical Instruments”

— Fr. Olivier-Marie Sarr, OSB
(Liturgist, Pontifical Athenaeum Sant’Anselmo)

These proceedings are principally aimed at representatives of episcopal conferences and religious orders, musicians, curators of liturgical music, associations, and movements.

The three-day event will conclude with a concert in the Basilica Superiore at Assisi, within the context of the Francesco Siciliani Prize, an international competition for sacred music composition.

The March 2017 PCC conference was entitled Music and Church: Cult and Culture 50 Years after Musicam Sacram and included such speakers as Cardinal Ravasi, Michele Dall’Ongaro, Paul Inwood, Fr. Fergus Ryan, OP, and Fr. Jordi-A. Piqué, OSB. The acta of this conference have been published (Musica e Chiesa a 50 anni dalla Musicam Sacram) and are available here.