Castellar International Mandolin Festival
A prestigious festival
The Castellar International Mandolin Festival was created in 2009 to restore the concert mandolin to its rightful place in the universe of classical music.
Under the artistic direction of mandolinist Sabine Marzé, the Castellar International Mandolin Festival has become an integral part of the classical mandolin world. These musical summer nights are a wonderful opportunity for music lovers and novices alike to (re)discover an instrument that is experiencing a resurgence among audiences worldwide.
Every summer, famous artists and new young talents unite to create rich and varied concerts. With a music repertoire that extends from Baroque to contemporary, FIMAC showcases the TRUE nature of the mandolin in a variety of settings.
Castellar, the Capital of the Concert Mandolin
To be able to fully express itself, the concert mandolin needs an exceptional location. Castellar, a well-preserved village nested in the hills of the French Riviera, is where the Festival found its ideal location. In this setting full of historic charm, the greatest mandolinists in the world express themselves with virtuosity and passion. Accompanied by guitarists, pianists, and other prestigious musicians, they spread the name of Castellar across borders throughout the world.
L’église Saint-Pierre, the honoured concert space
The evening concerts take place in Castellar’s historic church. In this acoustically unique location, the sounds of the mandolin soar! In addition, the raised choir platform allows the entire audience an unobstructed view of the performance. Concerts often feature exciting features such as video projections, singers, dancers…anything is possible!
Walking concerts, a musical discovery of the village
During the day, FIMAC holds walking concerts through the streets of Castellar. These free musical experiences offer an original and exuberant exploration of the village. Beginning at 6 PM, the musicians lead you from city hall to the church, passing through Palais Lascaris Square, the wash house, or the oil mill.
These walking concerts allow you to approach and speak with the guest artists in a relaxed, informal atmosphere. They also serve as a great way to introduce people to the mandolin and allow children to experience classical music in a joyous and memorable way.
History of the Festival
The history of the Castellar International Mandolin Festival begins with a simple meeting: that of a renowned mandolinist and a passionate music lover.
In 2008, Sabine Marzé invited two great Belarusian artists, Nikolaj Maretzki and Natalia Korsak, to perform at Castellar. She never would have imagined that this would mark the beginning of a great musical adventure.
In the audience, a man fell under the charms of the mandolin. His name was Claude-Christian PIERRE. For this enthusiastic pensioner, the concert mandolin was an eye-opening revelation. He wanted to share this discovery with everyone around him. And why not with a mandolin festival?
Soon after, things began to fall into place. Surrounded by a reliable team, Claude-Christian and Sabine created the FIMAC Association in January 2009. The first year of the festival took place that summer.
Originally taking place over 3 days, the event was a great success and new concerts were added in the following years. Under the artistic direction of Sabine and thanks to the talent of the invited musicians, audiences (re)discovered the mandolin, an instrument long limited to traditional and folk music.
Now, more than 10 years later, the festival flourishes, featuring mandolin repertoire that includes original compositions and contemporary themes, for the pleasure of audiences the world over.
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