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Holy See

Sistine Chapel Choir: Msgr Massimo Palombella Concludes Service as Director

Monsignor Massimo Palombella has concluded his service, after nine years of mission, as director of the world-famous Sistine Chapel Choir.

Pope Francis accepted the  resignation this morning, announced a statement of the Holy See Press Office today, July 10, 2019.

In a subsequent brief statement from Alessandro Gisotti, Director of the Holy See Press Office, noted: “With the conclusion of the service of Mons. Massimo Palombella, the interim guide of the Pontifical Sistine Music Chapel was entrusted by the Master of Papal Liturgical Celebrations, Msgr. Guido Marini, to Msgr. Marcos Pavan, currently Master of the Sistine Chapel Choir’s Pueri Cantores.

Pope Francis accepted his decision, “taken after receiving the advice of the Salesians’ Congregation — to which the prelate belongs — and the Vatican’s Office of Liturgical Celebrations.

Palombella will be “at the disposition of the Salesian Congregation for the new ministry that will be entrusted to him,” specifies the note.

The Salelsian musician was appointed by Benedict XVI in October 2010 and confirmed by Pope Francis in 2015. Born in Turin on December 25, 1967, Massimo Palombella was ordained priest in 1996. He has a doctorate in Dogmatic Theology and studied music with Masters Luigi Molfino, Valentin Miserachs Grau — President of the Pontifical Institute of Sacred Music, Master of the Chapel of the Basilica of Saint Mary Major –, Gabriele Arrigo and Alessandro Ruo Rui. He obtained a diploma in Choral Music and Composition.

At the Salesian University of Rome, he was professor of Eschatology Music and Liturgy, as well as at the “Guido Cantelli” Conservatory of Novara in Composition for the Liturgy, Roman Polyphony and Legislation of Sacred Music. He also taught the Languages of Music at Rome’s “La Sapienza” University, at the Turin Conservatory and Liturgy at the Pontifical Institute of Sacred Music.

In September 2018, an investigation was opened on “financial and administrative questions” concerning the Sistine Chapel Choir. Its object was the management of the Administrative Director, Michelangelo Nardella. Monsignor Massimo Palombella was questioned.

His service as “Master Director of the Pontifical Music Chapel” came to an end these last days: Pope Francis accepted his decision, “taken after receiving the advice of the Salesians’ Congregation — to which the Prelate belongs — and the Vatican’s Office of Liturgical Celebrations.

Henceforth, Monsignor Palombella will be “at the disposition of the Salesian Congregation for the new ministry that will be entrusted to him,” specifies the note.

The Salelsian musician was appointed by Benedict XVI in October 2010 and confirmed by Pope Francis in 2015. Born in Turin on December 25, 1967, Massimo Palombella was ordained priest in 1996. He has a Doctorate in Dogmatic Theology and studied Music with Masters Luigi Molfino, Valentin Miserachs Grau — President of the Pontifical Institute of Sacred Music, Master of the Chapel of the Basilica of Saint Mary Major –, Gabriele Arrigo and Alessandro Ruo Rui. He obtained a diploma in Choral Music and Composition.

At the Salesian University of Rome, he was Professor of Eschatology Music and Liturgy, as well as at the “Guido Cantelli” Conservatory of Novara in Composition for the Liturgy, Roman Polyphony and Legislation of Sacred Music. He also taught the Languages of Music at Rome’s “La Sapienza” University, at the Turin Conservatory and Liturgy at the Pontifical Institute of Sacred Music.

In September 2018, an investigation was opened on “financial and administrative questions” concerning the Sistine Chapel Choir. Its object was the management of the Administrative Director, Michelangelo Nardella. Monsignor Massimo Palombella was questioned.

With Anne Kurian

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