One of Bogotá’s most important cultural venues, the Julio Mario Santo Domingo Theatre, is bracing for what will sound – and look – like a landmark year. From the moment the curtain opens on the ‘Teatro Mayor’ audiences will be moved with the presence of some of the biggest names in the worlds of music, theatre and dance.

Let’s begin with the classics and a rich agenda starting February with the Bogotá Philharmonic Orchestra and invited Brazilian conductor Ligia Amadio. Amadio, who holds the baton as chief conductor of the National Symphony Orchestra, Rio de Janeiro, will also accompany Israeli violin virtuoso Shlomo Mintz in a concert of the ‘Transformation’ series June 6th.

The Julio Mario Santo Domingo will host world-class orchestras 2014, such as the China National Symphony Orchestra, Saturday, June 7th, and a return of the energetic conductor Gustavo Dudamel with the Simon Bolivar Symphony Orchestra of Venezuela, this same month. On September 13th Bogotanos have a real treat in store as Russian born Vladimir Ashkenazy conducts the Philharmonia Orchestra of the United Kingdom. English classic pianist John Lill performs October 3rd for the launching of the 2nd edition of the International Music Festival of Bogotá, and which celebrates ‘Bogotá is Mozart.’

The acoustically rich theatre has lined up an entire series dedicated to soloists, many of whom are well-known international recording artists, such as pianist Murrray Perahia. Perahia will perform May 17th at the Teatro Mayor and a date well worth setting aside on the calendar. A week later (May 23rd), the New-York based Emerson String Quartet will be in the spotlight and with cellist Paul Watkins at the helm.

Serhiy Salov, a Canadian pianist of Ukrainian origin who won First Prize in the 2004 edition of the Montreal International Piano Competition will no doubt dazzle audiences with a concert scheduled for August 14th. In September, one of Europe’s leading ensembles, the Fauré Quartett also takes the stage and will perform songs from their consecutive CD releases ‘Brahms’ and ‘Pop Songs.’

While the international line up of artists for 2014 puts the Julio Mario Santo Domingo theatre in a category of its own, one of the guiding principles of this cultural entity is to promote Colombian talent and its rich musical traditions. Under the series ‘Colombia es Musica’ (Colombia is Music), the year rolls in February 14th with a gala concert launching the 28th Festival of Colombian Music. With melodies and beats from all the different regions of this country, no festival would be complete without a tribute to the most musical of all cities, Ibagué. From the northern most part of the country – the islands of San Andrés – the Teatro Mayor welcomes the Orange Hill-Mento y Calypso Music Group on March 8th and for those who can’t make the trip to the legendary city of Barranquilla and it’s carnival parade, on March 29th some of the most colorful and emblematic dance groups, the comparsas, come to Bogotá.

Jumping a few months forward (May 3rd), the theatre will host the most important gathering of Andean musicians with the presentation of the Mono Nuñez festival, founded in Ginebra, Valle, and which next year, reaches a 40-year milestone. From showcasing one of the most important voices of traditional music, Leonor Gonzalez Mina (La Negra Grande de Colombia) to a celebration of porro and Hip Hop, this modern concert hall brings out the best in homegrown talent.

The Teatro Mayor’s 2014 agenda has sections dedicated to jazz, theatre and one titled ‘Voices of the world.” On March 6th Magnolia Jazz Band from Norway takes the stage with its New Orleans-style sounds. Amadou & Mariam are a musical duo from Mali nominated for a Grammy Award because of their distinctive tunes which blend rock guitars with African soul rhythms. Known as the “the blind couple from Mali,” they perform March 27th. Uruguay’s Jorge Drexler is scheduled for September. And don’t miss the opportunity to see Brazil’s contemporary dance company, Corpo Danza late March.

The Teatro Mayor’s 2014 agenda is so complete and varied that guests are encouraged to book tickets early to guarantee the best seats in the house, as this year presents so many creative firsts.

 Teatro Mayor Julio Mario Santo Domingo / Ave. Calle 170 No. 67-51