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“There is nothing to playing the organ. You only have to hit the right notes at the right time and the instrument plays itself.” – Johann Sebastian Bach

POR LA ESPERANZA – ‘de un Pueblo que se levanta’
Catedral/Portoviejo Ecuador

18/08/2017 8:10 pm
Organista: Leisbert Moreno

Portoviejo – Manabi Province, Ecuador –   Letty Quadrado, a dear friend from Jama and Portoviejo exclaimed, “Lisa!  I live here, but you know more about where I live than I do! How did you know about this concert?”

With a smirk I replied, “A little inside information; the owner of the house I am renting is the person who has been repairing the organ for this concert!

I learned more over the past two days and stopped by the cathedral to meet the young maestro in person.  He is not only dedicated to his music, but he has charisma as well!

Organista Leisbert Moreno

So what inspired a young man from Portoviejo Ecuador to devote his life to the discipline and training to become an organista?  The catalyst happened when he was a teenager; Leisbert’s father Pasqual Moreno played the organ in Portoviejo.  When his father was sick and unable to play, Leisbert was the substitute!

With no prior experience for performing in the cathedral, Leisbert pulled the two doors inward for privacy and focused on his task!

The experience propelled him into new directions! Leisbert has been studying for three years in Roma/Rome and has also studied in Germany. He is the only professional ‘organista’ from Ecuador, and will be playing at 8:10 pm on Friday night/tonight in his home city of Portoviejo!

Friday night’s program – with Spanish titles – includes:
Leon Boellmann  – “Suite Gothique”
Paul Barras  – “Meditation Et. Cortege”
Johann Ludwig Krebs  – “Tocata y fuga en la Menor”
Eugene Gigout  – “Tocata en si Menor”

– Free Attendance, though donations will be appreciated. Proceeds will go to ‘the needy.’

JüRg Arnet, known to the locals as Jorge,  has been ‘tuning’ the organ, which has been quite a task. Several days this past week he worked from daylight until almost midnight!

The organ has 1,192 ‘flautas’ – pipes and two ‘cuerpos’/bodies. Due to the coastal environment, the iron inside has rusted from salt contamination.

“They were lucky to have it still,” Jorge said.

The entire cathedral, like many areas affected by last year’s earthquake, remains under renovation and restoration.  The dust from the earthquake as well as the ongoing construction placed a lot of dust inside the organ.

Side entrance – look up

Same window from inside


From Switzerland, Jürg has lived in Ecuador for over 30 years.  I asked him how long he’s been repairing organs.
He smiled and replied, “My whole life – since I was age 15.”

If possible, come enjoy this free concert! If you live in Ecuador, please pass the word!

For directions, see the previous post.

  • PS  – Any and all mistakes are mine!