Friar Alessandro is returning to Derry

Friar Alessandro, who was in Derry in March 2013 is returning to the city for a concert in Christ Church, Infirmary Road, on Thursday 17th July at 7.30pm. The concert is being jointly hosted by Saint Eugene's Cathedral and Christ Church. Friar Alessandro will be joined at the concert by the Christ Church organist Ben Mc Gonigle as well as a number of local guests.

Alessandro Giacomo Brustenghi was born in Perugia, Italy, in 1978. From his childhood he had a passion for music and this continued into his studies both at the Istituto Magistrale Musicale A. Pieralli, in his native city, and later at the Morlacchi music conservatory where he studied organ, musical composition and also operatic singing. Together with his passion for music he also was drawn to religious life and at the age of 21 he entered as a postulant in the Order of the Friars Minor of Umbria and would later take his final vows as a Franciscan friar some 10 years later. It was in fact the desire to join the Order which pushed him to complete his qualification at the musical conservatory as it was considered a touchstone for the seriousness of his commitment. At present he lives at the Porziuncola Friary in Santa Maria degli Angeli, Assisi, where he acts as a sanctuary guide, welcoming pilgrims to the Basilica there. He also animates the religious celebrations, playing the organ and singing with the choir or as a soloist. Alessandro was signed by Decca Records and has released a number of albums.

At the beginning of this year Friar Alessandro gave three concerts in Ireland, in Cork, Galway and Dublin. He also appeared on the Saturday Night Show on RTE 1 with Brendan O'Connor.

Admission to the concert on Thursday 17th July at 7.30pm is £10 and proceeds from the concert are for Christ Church and Saint Eugene's Cathedral.