artistic director

Francesco Saverio Messina

He studied piano and composition at the «Arcangelo Corelli» State Music Conservatoire in Messina.

He also graduated in Sociology from the Faculty of Sociology at the «Federico II» University in Naples.

His first choral experiences were as a member of a liturgical choir, but he later went on to become both singer and conductor of several polyphonic choirs in Milazzo.

He founded the Vocal Ensemble Cantica Nova in 1989 and has been the conductor since its inception.

In 2005 and 2006 he was also the conductor of the Pier Luigi da Palestrina Polyphonic choir in Messina.

The concert activity carried out by the Vocal Ensemble Cantica Nova includes performances in important Italian and international locations, including Palermo, Messina, Catania, Enna, Assisi, Città di Castello, Lodi, Bucharest, Brașov, Vilnius.

Over the years he has furthered his study of choral music, choir conducting and choral vocal technique, performance practice and interpretation, with Mino Bordignon, Franco Potenza, Pietro Righini, VoicuPopescu, Nicole Corti, Umberto Rinaldi and Maria Luisa Sánchez Carbone; also with Giovanni Acciai (study and interpretation of Renaissance music), with Gary Graden (study and interpretation of contemporary music), with Filippo Maria Bressan (study and interpretation of Renaissance and contemporary music), with Werner Pfaff and with Vytautas Miskinis (study and interpretation of contemporary music), with Andrè Thomas (study and interpretation of gospel and black-spiritual) and with Alberto Turco (study and interpretation of Gregorian chant).

The Vocal Ensemble Cantica Nova has participated in numerous choral competitions, including: the 28th Edition of the International choir competition Florilège Vocal de Tours (France, 1999); the 9th Edition of the National competition for young musicians in Caccamo (Palermo) where they attained First Place in the choir section (2004); the Choral Festival in Malgrat de Mar (Spain), where they attained equal Second Place (no First Place assigned, 2006); the International Choral Festival LiberCanto in Lodi attaining First Prize (2007); the Ohrid International Choir Festival (Macedonia) attaining the special prize assigned by the jury for the best performance of a Renaissance piece (2010); the 53rd Seghizzi International Choir competition in Gorizia (2014).

Since 2009 he has been the Artistic Director of the International Choir Festival InCanto Mediterraneo which takes place every two years in Milazzo, Messina.

In 2014-2015 he has assumed the artistic direction of a Masters course in Choir Conducting and performance practice organized under the patronage of the A.R.S. Cori (Regional Association of Sicilian Choirs).

He was a member of the jury at the Bratislava Choir Festival (June 2018).