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SEASON CALENDAR SEPTEMBER Sat 1st Finalists’ Concert (Conducting Masterclass) Sun 2nd MYO Summer Camp Showcase Thu 13th Aida Sat 15th Aida Sat 15th Rockestra Fri 21st Kunċert għall-Jum l-Indipendenza Sat 29th Notes from Vienna OCTOBER Wed 3rd Cliff Zammit Stevens in Concert Sat 13th Tosca Fri 19th Orfeo & Majnun Sat 20th Orfeo & Majnun Thu 25th La Traviata Sat 27th La Traviata NOVEMBER Fri 9th Gillian & Friends Wed 14th Belt il-Bniedem: Swar Fri 16th The Misadventures of Peer Gynt Sat 17th The Misadventures of Peer Gynt Sat 24th MPO Valletta 2018 Tour – Malta Tue 27th MPO Valletta 2018 Tour – Philadelphia Thu 29th MPO Valletta 2018 Tour – North Bethesda DECEMBER Sat 1st MPO Valletta 2018 Tour – New York Sun 2nd Motets and Madrigals Wed 5th MPO Valletta 2018 Tour – Moscow Fri 7th MPO Valletta 2018 Tour – St Petersburg Fri 14th Aranjuez Sat 15th Joseph Calleja Winter Concert Sat 22nd MCC Dance Showcase Thu 27th MYO Christmas Concert JANUARY TBC President’s New Year’s Concert Fri 11th Winter Serenades Fri 11th Għall-Bejgħ Album Launch Sat 12th Għall-Bejgħ Album Launch Tue 15th Inspired By Baroque Sat 26th The Romantic Symphony

FEBRUARY Sat 2nd Premieres Fri 8th Mozart’s Great Mass Sat 16th Beauty and the Beast Sat 23th Birds in Music MARCH Mon 4th Wed 6th Fri 8th Sun 10th Sat 16th Fri 22nd Sat 23rd

Così Fan Tutte Così Fan Tutte Così Fan Tutte Così Fan Tutte Mahler’s Fifth Music of Mystery & Magic Music of Mystery & Magic

APRIL Sat 6th Sat 13th Sat 27th Tue 30th

Manon Lescaut Sacred Utterances A Spring Symphony MYO at the MIMF

MAY Sat 4th Wed 8th Fri 10th Sat 18th Sat 25th Fri 31st

MPO at the MIMF MPO at the MIMF MPO at the MIMF The Armed Man La RemembranÇa Brahms & Dvořák

JUNE Wed 12th VIAF Opening Concert Thu 20th St John’s Day Concert Fri 28th MPO/MYO Joint Concert JULY Sat 6th MIAF Closing Concert Mon 15th VIAF Closing Concert TBC Classics Under the Stars AUGUST Sat 24th Joseph Calleja Concert

All information is correct at the time of print, but circumstances may change and the MPO reserves the right to make changes accordingly. For the latest updates and information, please check our website.


WELCOME With this booklet, we hope to guide you through our new concert season packed with exciting events. The following pages showcase all the events the MPO will be performing in throughout the coming concert season, featuring our own concert productions as well as the many third-party events we’re involved in. Put together, these events make for a concert season which will see us tackle pretty much anything an orchestra may be required for. There’s no shortage of symphonic and chamber concerts, certainly, but we’ll also be taking part in opera productions, concerts of a lighter nature and events organised especially for children (and the young at heart). With this in mind, we’re categorising our events in this booklet by using the following symbols:

Our MPO membership scheme – which we’ve improved this year – offers generous discounts on the concerts we produce, as well as other benefits such as access to rehearsals. More information on our membership scheme may be found on page 46. The Malta Youth Orchestra’s main concerts during the coming season are also featured in this booklet. Most of the MYO’s concerts are free, and the MPO itself gives a number of free concerts each season, though you may need to reserve your seat in advance. MPO membership concerts, MYO concerts and free events are highlighted using the following icons:


OUR STORY We are celebrating our 50th birthday this year, but what is now the Malta Philharmonic Orchestra is the result of a centuries-old musical tradition. When the Knights took Malta in their possession, they fostered the development of a vibrant music scene, and while many musicians were brought from overseas, many Maltese ended up making a career out of music. But it was the subsequent British presence in Malta which, indirectly, led to the birth of Malta’s national orchestra. Malta soon became the base of the Mediterranean Fleet, one of the Royal Navy’s most prestigious commands, and many Maltese musicians ended up enlisting as bandsmen. Apart from their musical duties, bandsmen were also expected to cover support roles during battle stations, and during the Battle of Jutland in 1916, a number of Maltese bandsmen lost their lives when the HMS Defence and the HMS Black Prince were sunk. The Mediterranean Fleet’s Commanderin-Chief eventually also had his own

The C-in-C orchestra with Lord Mountbatten, Commander-in-Chief of the Mediterranean Fleet from 1952 to 1954.

orchestra, informally known as the “C-in-C” orchestra or the “banda talammirall.” It soon became the main home for Malta’s finest musicians; not least because of the salaries offered. It was always a small orchestra, and mostly performed popular contemporary songs, though its musicians were readily given permission to perform at the Royal Opera House’s opera productions. It arguably reached its zenith after the Second World War, but concurrent political developments sealed its fate. As the British Empire was dismantled, the Mediterranean Fleet was progressively downsized, and when its last assets moved to the North Atlantic in 1967, the C-in-C was no more. Britain ultimately agreed to continue paying musicians’ salaries for two more years, and the musicians found a new home at the Manoel Theatre. On 1 April, 1968, the Manoel Theatre Orchestra – today’s MPO – was born.

An early photo of the C-in-C orchestra, the forerunner of today’s MPO.

Our first conductor was the last conductor of the C-in-C, Joseph Sammut, and our first musicians were


the same ones he had led in the Royal Navy. But it was not a simple matter of picking up where the C-in-C had left off. The musicians were not initially wellreceived in their new home, and finding adequate rehearsal spaces was a challenge. Moreover, after years of playing mainly popular hits, the orchestra would now be tackling symphonic works it was not accustomed to. Persistence paid off, however, and the orchestra soon adapted to its new role. Sammut continued to direct the orchestra until his retirement in 1992; he was then succeeded by Michael Laus, who is presently the orchestra’s resident conductor.

Though the MTO was de facto Malta’s national orchestra since its inception, this was made official in September 1997, when it became an independent entity under the name National Orchestra of Malta, with Joseph Vella as our first resident conductor. John Galea took up the post in 1998 and a system of guest conductors was reintroduced between 2000 and 2003, before Michael Laus became music director in 2003. Independence encouraged us to expand our horizons, and led to our first overseas performances in 2001. We presently embark on at least one tour every concert season, among other international commitments.

Joseph Sammut conducting the Manoel Theatre Orchestra in its early days.

Our most recent tour saw us perform in leading venues across Germany and Austria, including the Berlin Philharmonie and Vienna’s Musikverein, and we’ve also performed in other European venues, including Brussels’ BOZAR and in a number of Italian cities. We’ve also toured in China, giving eight performances in a number of major cities, and we’ll be making our debut in the Americas in our upcoming tour, which will see us travel to the US and to Russia.


The MPO performing Elgar’s Enigma Variations in a recent concert at the Manoel.

But the National Orchestra of Malta remained a small, chamber-sized ensemble, reliant on collaborations with other European orchestras to be able to put up large-scale symphonic concerts on a number of occasions. This all changed in 2008, when the orchestra received the go-ahead to become a full-sized symphony orchestra, assuming its present name in the process. Our first performance as the MPO was on 12 January, 2008, in a concert marking Malta’s entry to the Eurozone. Brian Schembri served as principal conductor and artistic director between 2014 and 2017, and the orchestra regularly collaborates with international conductors including Michalis Economou,

Lawrence Renes, Wayne Marshall, Raoul Lay and Sergey Smbatyan. Becoming a philharmonic not only allowed us to tackle an increasingly ambitious repertoire, but has also ensured that the orchestra is busier than ever, averaging more than one performance a week. The increase in the orchestra’s size stretched our old rehearsal rooms to the limit, so in 2010 we found a new home in Robert Samut Hall, which also serves as a venue for chamber music concerts. It also served to highlight the difficulty faced by young Maltese musicians seeking to make a career out of music, as in the absence of a conservatory, aspiring musicians still had a wide gap to bridge to meet the demands of a professional orchestra. To address this,


the Malta Youth Orchestra was set up under the MPO’s wing. While it debuted in 2004, activity remained sporadic until it started rehearsing regularly in 2011: it now gives a number of concerts each year. Its most promising musicians can now benefit from a paid internship allowing them to devote themselves to music full-time, perform with the MPO and prepare for a career in music. Our educational initiatives also involve reaching out to the young through our performances, including our annual Family Fanfare concert. As part of our outreach efforts, we also make sure to give a number of free concerts each year, as well as concerts which aim to be more accessible to casual listeners. Half a century on, we still have many targets we wish to reach – some of them long-term – but we also have a lot of accomplishments to look back on.

A recent concert by the Malta Youth Orchestra.

And chief among these accomplishments has been the opportunity to share our love of music with countless people over the decades. May we get to do so for many more years to come.

Over 100 musicians on stage to perform Richard Strauss’ Ein Heldenleben in January 2018.


MPO MUSICIANS VIOLINS Marcelline Agius** Stephen Zammit* Reggie Clews Philipp Orlov Roberta Attard Matteo Colombo Stephen Debattista Rosanne Dimech Natalia Filipenko Fiona Giambra Agnieszka Kuźma Mario Micallef Inmaculada Muñoz Salgüero Valhmor Montfort Klara Nazaj Vincenzo Picone Riccardo Rossano Melanie Waite Emilia Wiśniewska VIOLAS Nadia Debono* Anthony Gilbert Savio Debono Matthew Fenech Aiveen Gallagher Mateusz Kuźma Ayako Omoto CELLOS Mario Psaila* Yaroslav Miklukho Frank Camilleri Peter Flanagan Ákos Kertész Lucie Kuchařová DOUBLE BASSES Gjorgji Cincievski* Michelle Scicluna Marco Agnetti Dion Xuereb

** orchestra leader * section principal

FLUTES Rebecca Hall* Fiorella Camilleri OBOES John McDonough* Chiara Telleri Jenny Melville CLARINETS Giuseppe Recchia* Daniele Galletto BASSOONS Giacomo Cella* Lampros-Ioannis Lapinas Maria Spiteri Zahra HORNS Etienne Cutajar* Manuele Catalano Marco Cola Bernardette Vella TRUMPETS Kevin Abela* Brendan Ball TROMBONES Roderick Bugeja* Jesmond Azzopardi Dennis Camilleri TUBA Chris Spiteri* TIMPANI Marios Mouzakitis* PERCUSSION Daniel Cauchi* HARP Britt Arend*


MPO BOARD, MANAGEMENT & ADMIN THE BOARD OF DIRECTORS Executive Chairman: Sigmund Mifsud Deputy Chairman: Ruth Micallef Directors: Mark Attard Montalto, Marthese Azzopardi, Rita Cutajar, Alexei Galea Cavallazzi, Tiffany Farrugia, Elizabeth Cassar, Anton Aquilina Secretary to the Board: Jean Killick

MANAGEMENT TEAM Director – Finance and Administration: Reuben Sammut Director – Operations: Michael Aquilina Development & Marketing Manager: Maria Blanco Resident Conductor: Michael Laus Assistant Conductor: Riccardo Bianchi

ADMINISTRATIVE TEAM Administrative Assistant: Sarah De Bono Marketing Coordinator: John Cordina Media Coordinator: Joe Julian Farrugia Operations Coordinator: Frank Camilleri Librarian: Matthew Fenech MPO Chorus Administrator: Helena Ferro Services Officer: Tony Mizzi Booking Officer: Florence Aquilina

MALTA YOUTH ORCHESTRA Project Manager: Chris Spiteri Administrative Assistant: Karl Borg Artistic Programme Developers: Maria Conrad, José García Gutiérrez


MALTA YOUTH ORCHESTRA The Malta Youth Orchestra has grown from strength to strength, and the 2017/18 concert season was arguably the most notable season to date. The past season was the first in which the MYO had its own dedicated admin team, making it possible for the young orchestra to set more ambitious targets for itself. Through the MPO Academy, no less than 7 MYO musicians received paid internships, through which they could perform regularly with the MPO and dedicate themselves to music full time. A further 3 musicians received scholarships. The MYO also enjoyed its first-ever international collaboration with the

Jugendorchester Stattegg (JOS), a youth orchestra based in the Austrian region of Styria. The JOS was hosted in Malta during Easter, and the two orchestras joined forces to give two concerts at the Salesian Theatre in Sliema, in which they performed a two-hour programme spanning different genres and featured music by Maltese and Austrian composers, as well as some arrangements penned for the occasion. 26 MYO string musicians travelled to Austria in July, hosted by the families of their Austrian counterparts. Once more, intensive rehearsals and cultural excursions paved the way for two concerts, one in Graz’s Minorittensaal


and the second at the Lasserhöf in Stattegg, under the direction of the MYO’s resident conductor Riccardo Bianchi and JOS founder Karl Vorraber. The MYO’s brass section travelled to Spain for a week of intensive training at the Brass Academy Alicante. The visit coincided with the Summer Brass Festival organised by the academy, and the musicians not only had the opportunity to attend a concert every evening, but also took part in one of the festival’s closing concerts, at Alicante’s Con-Catedral de San Nicolás. Travel was also on the cards for the MYO’s flautists, who went to the James Galway Academy in Switzerland for masterclasses and to attend the Galway Flute Festival. And six MYO musicians were invited to join the Stoneleigh Youth Orchestra under the direction of conductor Robert Hodge, who has worked with the MYO on a number of occasions.

with this season’s project presenting a special adaptation of Henrik Ibsen’s play Peer Gynt, with the orchestra playing the famous incidental music Edvard Grieg penned for the play. MYO musicians will also be entertaining the crowds in Notte Bianca and the Three Palaces festival. Another annual tradition for the MYO is its Christmas concert, which will this year see the orchestra team up with another youth ensemble – the jazz orchestra BBB Jnr – for a concert of Christmas-themed swing, jazz and pop numbers.

The 2018/19 season promises to build on the achievements of the previous one, and kicks off with the second edition of the MYO Summer Camp, under the direction of renowned Singaporean conductor Darrell Ang and which culminates in an open-air concert at the entrance of Valletta. The MYO will maintain its annual appointment with the Żigużajg Festival,

The MYO will also prepare a concert for Easter, but this time round, this will mark its first participation in the Malta International Music Festival. Together with piano prodigy Laetitia Amodio, the MYO will be debuting in a festival that has hosted world-renowned musicians such as Maxim Vengerov and Grigory Sokolov. Once more, the MYO will bring its season to a close in a joint concert with the Malta Philharmonic Orchestra, which will be under the direction of highlyacclaimed Hungarian conductor Gergely Madaras.


01 SEPTEMBER SATURDAY Malta International Conducting Masterclass & Competition

FINALISTS’ CONCERT

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart Symphony No. 41 “Jupiter,” K.551 Ludwig Van Beethoven Symphony No. 2 in D major, Op. 36 Johannes Brahms Symphony No. 2 in D major, Op. 73

The first edition of the MPO’s Malta International Conducting Masterclass and Competition, led by Michalis Economou, comes to a close with a concert led by the competition’s finalists, chosen by secret vote by the orchestra’s own musicians. The finalists will be conducting the MPO in a concert featuring three great classical symphonies – Mozart’s last, the Jupiter, as well as Beethoven and Brahms’ second symphonies – at Robert Samut Hall.

13 SEPTEMBER THURSDAY 15 SEPTEMBER SATURDAY

AIDA TJALLING WIJNSTRA Musical Director CORINA VAN EIJK Director Giuseppe Verdi Aida A collaboration between Europe’s two Capitals of Culture for 2018 – Valletta and Leeuwarden – brings a production of Verdi’s timeless Aida, featuring starcrossed lovers at a time of war in Ancient Egypt, with open air performances in both cities. Dutch opera company Opera Spanga presents a contemporary adaptation of an opera written as an appeal to peace, to highlight the destructive uselessness of hate, vengeance and war.

The competition’s winner will be invited to conduct the MPO in a concert in Malta at a later date.

8.00PM

7.30PM

ROBERT SAMUT HALL Floriana

PJAZZA TEATRU RJAL Valletta


15 SEPTEMBER SATURDAY

21 SEPTEMBER FRIDAY

ROCKESTRA

KUNCERT GĦAL JUM L-INDIPENDENZA

in aid of the Malta Community Chest Fund Foundation

PAWLU BORG BONACI Artistic Director SIGMUND MIFSUD Musical Director

The MPO’s annual foray into the world of rock, held in aid of the Malta Community Chest Fund Foundation, is now in its tenth edition, once more under the artistic direction of Pawlu Borg Bonaci and the musical direction of Sigmund Mifsud. This year’s edition of Rockestra will feature orchestral arrangements of music by AC/DC, Guns n’ Roses, Metallica, Pink Floyd, Queen and many more, with vocals handled by leading Maltese singers including Mikaela Attard, Matthew James Borg, Kenneth Calleja, Chris Grech and Konrad Pulè and, for the first time, a 100-strong children’s choir.

8.00PM MALTA FAIRS & CONVENTION CENTRE Ta’ Qali

presented in collaboration with Festivals Malta MICHAEL LAUS Conductor CLAIRE MASSA Mezzo Soprano

Joseph Vella Sinfonietta for Strings, Op. 36 Charles Camilleri Iconi di Donna (arr. by Albert Garzia) Antonín Dvořák Slavonic Dances Op. 72 (1-2) & Op. 46 (1-3, 8) Franz Liszt Hungarian Rhapsody No. 2, S.244/2 Michael Laus conducts the MPO in another edition of the Independence Day concert, which appropriately gives prominence to Maltese works and soloists. The orchestra opens with Joseph Vella’s Sinfonietta for Strings before being joined by mezzo soprano Claire Massa for Charles Camilleri’s song cycle Iconi di Donna, a musical setting of five Italian-language poems by Peter Serracino-Inglott. The second half of the concert features Dvořák’s Slavonic Dances and Liszt’s famous second Hungarian Rhapsodies. Both works highlight the folk musical traditions of the composers’ homelands during a time when these lands were constituent parts of a greater empire. 8.00PM SAN ANTON PALACE Attard


29 SEPTEMBER SATURDAY

3 OCTOBER WEDNESDAY

NOTES FROM VIENNA

CLIFF ZAMMIT STEVENS

season-opening concert

10th Anniversary Concert

MICHALIS ECONOMOU Conductor CAMILLA TILLING Soprano

PHILIP WALSH Conductor CLIFF ZAMMIT STEVENS Tenor IRA LOSCO Singer

Anton Webern Symphony, Op. 21 Richard Strauss Vier Letzte Lieder, Op. posth. Gustav Mahler Symphony No. 4 in G major The MPO officially opens its concert season with a programme featuring great works by three late Romantic composers for whom Vienna held a particular significance, directed by Michalis Economou. The concert opens with Webern’s Symphony, a notable example of the twelve-tone technique, before Swedish soprano Camilla Tilling joins the MPO for Richard Strauss’ Vier Letzte Lieder (Four Last Songs) By Mahler’s standards, the Fourth Symphony is short and written for a small orchestra, helping ensure it is the most performed of his symphonies. It is built around the song heard in the last movement, which presents a child’s naïve vision of heaven.

Cliff Zammit Stevens celebrates 10 years of annual concerts with his largest solo concert to date, teaming up once more with the MPO under the direction of Philip Walsh, who has worked closely with Cliff across his career. For this occasion, Cliff will be teaming up with Ira Losco in a concert which will feature great operatic arias, orchestral arrangements of popular hits as well as Xemx, a new song recorded by Cliff and Ira. The concert will also mark the launch of the Marcy Foundation, set up by Cliff in memory of his mother Marcelline.

8.00PM

8.00PM

TEATRU MANOEL Valletta

PJAZZA SAN ĠORĠ Valletta


CAMILLA TILLING Soprano Photo by Maria Ostlin

29 SEP


13 OCTOBER SATURDAY

TOSCA

a Teatru Aurora production

19 OCTOBER FRIDAY 20 OCTOBER SATURDAY

ORFEO & MAJNUN part of the Valletta 2018 cultural programme

COLIN ATTARD Conductor VIVIEN HEWITT Director Giacomo Puccini Tosca The Teatru Aurora presents a new production of Puccini’s Tosca under the direction of Irish stage director Vivien Hewitt. Set in Rome during the Napoleonic period, Tosca, an adaptation of a play by French dramatist Victorien Sardou, stands out for its dark themes - featuring depictions of torture, murder and suicide and one of the most legendary opera villains, the corrupt chief of police Scarpia – as well as some of Puccini’s finest arias.

BASSEM AKIKI Musical Director AIRAN BERG Director MARTINA WINKEL Co-Director/Librettist Howard Moody/Dick van der Harst/ Moneim Adwan Orfeo & Majnun Orfeo & Majnun is an interdisciplinary, participatory music-theatre project connecting two myths from different cultures, the Greek myth of Orpheus and Eurydice and the Middle Eastern legend of Layla and Majnun. A theatre of emotions about love, loss and longing and the power of music, Orfeo & Majnun uses multiple textures, including shadow puppet theatre, to express a new take on these well-known tales. The music-theatre performances at the Mediterranean Conference centre will be followed by a Parade in the Capital on 27 October in the streets of Valletta.

7.30PM

8.00PM

TEATRU AURORA Victoria

MEDITERRANEAN CONFERENCE CENTRE Valletta


25 OCTOBER THURSDAY 27 OCTOBER SATURDAY

LA TRAVIATA a Teatru Astra production

9 NOVEMBER FRIDAY

GILLIAN & FRIENDS

Giuseppe Verdi La Traviata

GILLIAN ZAMMIT Soprano GISÈLE GRIMA Piano AGNIESZKA KUŹMA Violin ÁKOS KÉRTESZ Cello

Alexandre Dumas the Younger’s 1852 play La Dame aux Camélias, a semiautobiographical work recounting a tragic love story between a courtesan and a young bourgeois, was such a runaway success on stage that Verdi set to adapt it to music within a year.

Alban Berg Sieben Frühe Lieder Robert Schumann Phantasiestücke, Op. 88 Dmitri Shostakovich Seven Romances on Poems of Alexander Blok, Op. 127

PHILIP WALSH Musical Director ENRICO STINCHELLI Director

Though its premiere was a fiasco, leaving Verdi reluctant to authorise subsequent productions, it has since become a staple of the operatic repertoire.

7.30PM TEATRU ASTRA Victoria

Soprano Gillian Zammit joins a piano trio featuring pianist Gisèle Grima, violinist Agnieszka Kuźma and cellist Ákos Kertész for a night of vocal chamber music, starting with Berg’s Sieben Frühe Lieder (seven early songs), with Schumann’s Phantasiestücke providing a beautiful instrumental interlude. The seven songs through which Shostakovich set poems by Alexander Blok to music each use different instrument configurations, starting with solo accompaniment and followed by duos, with the piano trio playing together only in the last song of the cycle. 8.00PM ROBERT SAMUT HALL Floriana


14 NOVEMBER WEDNESDAY Belt il-Bniedem

SWAR

Behind the Fortifications

ROBERT FERRER Conductor MICHAEL MOXHAM Director Reuben Pace Belt il-Bniedem: Swar The first-ever Maltese-language opera cycle, Belt il-Bniedem (City of Humanity) opens with Swar, featuring a libretto written by Ġorġ Peresso set to music by Reuben Pace. The opera trilogy is bound together by the concept of a siege, and Swar is itself set during the Great Siege of 1565. The second opera, Il-Blata Mġarrba, will be set during the Siege of Malta in the Second World War, while the third, L-Era tal-Wieħed jew Xejn, takes place in modern times and deals with conceptual sieges.

8.00PM MEDITERRANEAN CONFERENCE CENTRE Valletta

16 NOVEMBER FRIDAY 17 NOVEMBER SATURDAY

THE MISADVENTURES OF PEER GYNT

part of the ŻiguŻajg International Arts Festival for Children and Young People in collaboration with Valletta 2018 RICCARDO BIANCHI Conductor ANDRÉ AGIUS Artistic Director CHRIS DINGLI Script Edvard Grieg Peer Gynt Using his imagination, young farmer-boy Peer leaves his farm behind and ventures to faraway places in an epic adventure. Will he be back in time to continue farming as his mother told him to, or will his daydreams get the better of him? Norwegian playwright Henrik Ibsen had asked his compatriot Edvard Grieg to compose incidental music for Peer Gynt, and both drew on the traditions of their homeland for inspiration. Nearly 150 years later, the Malta Youth Orchestra will bring Grieg’s orchestration to life, with a script adapted from Ibsen’s play penned by Chris Dingli to present an unforgettable tale fit for all ages. 9:30, 11:30am (Friday schools’ performance) 5.30PM (Saturday public performance) TEATRU MANOEL Valletta


THE MISADVENTURES OF PEER GYNT

17

NOV


24 NOVEMBER SATURDAY

MPO VALLETTA 2018 INTERNATIONAL TOUR

presented in collaboration with the European Foundation for Support of Culture

MALTA CONCERT

THE TOUR

SERGEY SMBATYAN Conductor INGOLF WUNDER Piano

This season’s tour will mark the MPO’s first-ever appearance in the Americas, with three performances in the US, in Philadelphia, the Washington D.C. metro area and New York’s legendary Carnegie Hall It will be concluding its tour in Russia, where it will be performing as a full orchestra for the first time: (a number of its string musicians joined Russian musicians in a concert in November 2017). The MPO will be performing in two prestigious venues in Russia’s two largest cities: the Moscow Conservatory and St Petersburg’s Mariinsky Theatre.

Joseph Vella Rebbieħa, Op. 45 Alexey Shor Travel Notebook Dmitri Shostakovich Symphony No. 5 in D minor, Op. 47 This year’s tour concert will see the orchestra open with Rebbieħa, a symphonic poem written by the late Gozitan composer Joseph Vella, before being joined by Austrian pianist Ingolf Wunder for Alexey Shor’s Travel Notebook suite for piano and orchestra. Written months after his official denunciation, at the height of the Soviet Union’s Great Purge, Shostakovich’s Fifth Symphony famously ends with a cheerful finale that contrasts starkly with the tone of the rest of the work. Whether this is a faithful representation of the heroic ending the regime sought or a mocking satire is debated to this very day.

11.00AM MEDITERRANEAN CONFERENCE CENTRE Valletta

27 November

KIMMEL CENTER FOR THE PERFORMING ARTS, Philadelphia

29 November

THE MUSIC CENTER AT STRATHMORE, North Bethesda, Maryland

1 December

CARNEGIE HALL, New York

5 December

GRAND HALL, MOSCOW STATE TCHAIKOVSKY CONSERVATORY, Moscow

7 December

MARIINSKY THEATRE, Saint Petersburg


SERGEY SMBATYAN Conductor Photo by Joe Smith

24 NOV


2 DECEMBER SUNDAY

14 DECEMBER FRIDAY

MOTETS & MADRIGALS

ARANJUEZ

From Sacred to Profane

RICCARDO BIANCHI Choirmaster KORMALTA Giovanni Pierluigi da Palestrina Sicut Cervus Claudio Monteverdi Sfogava con le Stelle Felix Mendelssohn Die Nachtigall Anton Bruckner Christus factus est Edward Elgar/John Cameron Lux Aeterna

PABLO GONZÁLEZ Conductor CAÑIZARES Guitar Joaquín Turina Concierto de Aranjuez Joaquín Rodrigo Danzas Fantásticas, Op. 22 Antonín Dvořák Symphony No. 7 in D minor, Op. 70 The MPO teams up with Spanish conductor Pablo González and renowned flamenco guitarist Cañizares in a concert featuring two of the finest examples of Spanish classical music.

Set up on an ad hoc basis when a choir was needed for a performance of Beethoven’s 9th Symphony in May 2017, the success of that performance saw it become the MPO Chorus, responsible for all the MPO’s choral projects. This year, the choir is reborn as KorMalta, Malta’s first national choir, and its official launch will see it tackle some of the best examples of a cappella music across the centuries, performing in its entirety as well as in smaller chamber groups. The programme spans from the sacred works of de Victoria and Palestrina to the profane of Mendelssohn and Monteverdi, with the concert’s key piece being the Lux Aeterna set to the music of Elgar’s timeless Nimrod.

Rodrigo’s Concierto Aranjuez is one of the most notable examples of a guitar concerto, and its middle Adagio section is particularly well known. It earned him fame and even nobility – he was made Marquis of the Gardens of Aranjuez in 1991.

6.00PM

8.00PM

ST. PAUL’S PRO-CATHEDRAL Valletta

TEATRU MANOEL Valletta

The second half of the concert features Dvořák’s Seventh Symphony, through which he sought to express the political struggles of the Czechs.


15 DECEMBER SATURDAY BOV Joseph Calleja Foundation

WINTER CONCERT

14

DEC

DAVID CHAN Conductor JOSEPH CALLEJA Tenor Under the direction of David Chan, the concertmaster of New York’s prestigious Metropolitan Opera Orchestra, the MPO teams up with Joseph Calleja for the annual fundraising concert organised by the BOV Joseph Calleja Foundation, which will also feature a number of the foundation’s scholars.

CAÑIZARES Guitar Photo by Amancio Guillen

The foundation was set up to provide assistance to talented young persons in the field of the performing arts and to use the power of music to assist in the lives of vulnerable children.

15

DEC

8.00PM TEATRU MANOEL Valletta

JOSEPH CALLEJA Tenor © Decca


22 DECEMBER SATURDAY

27 DECEMBER THURSDAY

MCC DANCE SHOWCASE

MYO XMAS CLASSICS

a Mediterranean Conference Centre production

MICHAEL LAUS Conductor Christopher Muscat Mesogeios Philip Glass Runaway Horses George Gershwin Stairway to Paradise Gerónimo Giménez Intermedio from La Boda de Luis Alonso Samuel Barber Adagio for Strings

Ten of Malta’s dance companies team up to dance to an eclectic selection of music performed live by the MPO under the direction of its resident conductor Michael Laus, with the special participation of dancers from the worldrenowned Bolshoi Ballet. The repertoire will include works from Maltese composers – including a new work by Albert Garzia and a piece by Christopher Muscat commissioned by the MPO last year – excerpts from ballets and musical theatre as well as other great works of music fit to dance to.

ALEX BEZZINA Conductor BIG BAND BROTHERS JNR For this year’s edition of its annual Christmas concert, the Malta Youth Orchestra, will team up with another youth ensemble, the jazz orchestra Big Band Brothers Jnr. The two ensembles will be playing a selection of Christmas-themed swing jazz and pop numbers, including original music composed by Alex Bezzina. The MPO’s principal percussionist Daniel Cauchi, who is also the founder and leader of the Big Band Brothers, will be singing vocal standards during the concert, joined by a number of other singers.

8.00PM

8.00PM

MEDITERRANEAN CONFERENCE CENTRE Valletta

PJAZZA KASTILJA Valletta


JANUARY (DATE TBC)

THE PRESIDENT’S NEW YEAR’S CONCERT presented in collaboration with Festivals Malta

SERGEY SMBATYAN Conductor CLARE GHIGO Mezzo Soprano

The Malta Philharmonic Orchestra greets the arrival of 2019 with the President’s New Year’s Concert, held in aid of the Malta Community Chest Fund Foundation. Under the direction of Sergey Smbatyan, the MPO will be performing music fit for the occasion, including works by Strauss, Tchaikovsky, Bernstein and Anderson, as well arias sung by mezzo-soprano Clare Ghigo.

11 JANUARY FRIDAY 12 JANUARY SATURDAY

GĦALL-BEJGĦ Album Launch

AURELIO BELLI Conductor CORAZÓN Singer MARC GALEA Guitar JAMES MICALLEF Bass Guitar JONATHAN SPITERI Piano ROBERT SPITERI Drums

Musicians from the Malta Philharmonic Orchestra will be teaming up with a rhythm section for a concert marking the launch of Għall-Bejgħ, Corazón’s new album of original songs in Maltese. The MPO had also been involved in the recording of the 13-track concept album, unified by underlying thematics in its lyrics, melodies and harmony. The concert, held in collaboration with the Maltese Department at the University of Malta’s Faculty of Arts, will be directed by Aurelio Belli, who also handled all orchestral arrangements in the album.

8.00PM VENUE TBC

SIR TEMI ZAMMIT HALL, UNIVERSITY OF MALTA Msida


11 JANUARY FRIDAY

15 JANUARY TUESDAY

WINTER SERENADES

INSPIRED BY BAROQUE

a Valletta International Baroque Festival production

MICHALIS ECONOMOU Conductor Antonín Dvořák Serenade for Wind Instruments, Op. 44 Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky Serenade for Strings in C major, Op. 48 The term “serenade” originally referred to a musical greeting performed in honour of someone – the image of a lover singing outside their beloved’s window is particularly enduring – but by the classical era, it also came to describe light, tuneful works for instrumental ensembles. Dvořák and Tchaikovsky’s works were written within two years of each other in the 1880s, but each seeks to evoke the mood of an earlier time, and both can count Mozart, himself the author of some of the most notable examples of the genre, as an inspiration.

MICHALIS ECONOMOU Conductor Richard Strauss Divertimento for Chamber Orchestra after keyboard pieces by Couperin, Op. 86 Anton Webern Passacaglia for Orchestra, Op. 1 Dimitri Mitropoulos/Henry Purcell Prelude and Death of Dido Michalis Economou Concerto Grosso Dimitri Mitropoulos/ Johann Sebastian Bach Prelude and Fugue in E minor The MPO’s annual appearance at the Valletta International Baroque Festival, directed by Michalis Economou, features works inspired by the Baroque Era. The orchestra will be performing Strauss’ Divertimento based on keyboard pieces by Couperin, Webern’s Passacaglia, a composition by the conductor himself, and Mitropoulos’ reworking of two Baroque masterpieces, by Purcell and Bach.

7.30PM

7.30PM

THE GRAND BALLROOM, PHOENICIA HOTEL Valletta

TEATRU MANOEL Valletta


MICHALIS ECONOMOU Conductor Photo by Evie Moussoura

11

JAN


LAWRENCE RENES Conductor Photo by Marco Borggreve

26 JAN


26 JANUARY SATURDAY

02 FEBRUARY SATURDAY

THE ROMANTIC SYMPHONY

PREMIERES

LAWRENCE RENES Conductor EMMA BELL Soprano

MIRAN VAUPOTIĆ Conductor FIORELLA CAMILLERI Piccolo

Richard Wagner Wesendonck Lieder, WWV 91 Anton Bruckner Symphony No. 4 in E-flat major “Romantic”

Leonard Bernstein Overture to Candide Joseph Vella Concerto for Piccolo, Strings and Timpani, Op. 114 Christopher Muscat Bahr al-Mawt Symphony Gregory W. Brown Harmonies of Opposites

Listening to Wagner’s music inspired Bruckner, then a church musician in a provincial monastery, to start writing symphonies, although ironically, Wagner himself only completed one symphony in his lifetime. Bruckner’s fame, on the other hand, largely rests on his symphonies, and under the direction of Dutch-Maltese conductor Lawrence Renes, the MPO will be performing his fourth, the only one to which he attached a title. The orchestra will also be joined by British soprano Emma Bell for a performance of Wagner’s Wesendonck lieder, a musical setting of five poems by Mathilde Wesendonck, a friend – and possible lover – of the German composer.

American & Maltese

Under the direction of Miran Vaupotić, the Malta Philharmonic Orchestra will be premiering two works in a night of Maltese and American music. After opening with the famous overture to Bernstein’s operetta Candide, the orchestra’s own piccolo player Fiorella Camilleri takes on a solo role for a performance of Joseph Vella’s Piccolo Concerto.The orchestra will then tackle two newly-commissioned works. Christopher Muscat’s work is inspired by the tragic deaths of would-be asylum seekers crossing the Mediterranean, while Gregory Brown’s own work is inspired by the prints of Victor Pasmore, the British abstract artist who had made Malta his home.

8.00PM

8.00PM

MEDITERRANEAN CONFERENCE CENTRE Valletta

TEATRU MANOEL Valletta


08 FEBRUARY FRIDAY

16 FEBRUARY SATURDAY

MOZART’S GREAT MASS

Disney in Concert

BEAUTY AND THE BEAST

Live-to-Film PETER MANNING Conductor RICCARDO BIANCHI Choirmaster KOR MALTA FRANCESCA LOMBARDI MAZZULLI Soprano CLAIRE MASSA Mezzo-Soprano NICHOLAS MULROY Tenor ALBERT BUTTIGIEG Bass Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart Great Mass in C minor, K. 427 The Great Mass is the penultimate musical setting of the mass penned by Mozart, and like its only successor – the Requiem – it was left incomplete by the composer, missing the concluding Agnus Dei section in its entirety. But the parts that were put to paper showcase Mozart at his finest and most ambitious. Written after his wife Constanze’s recovery from a serious illness, the work’s admirers include none other than Pope Francis, who said that the Et incarnatus est passage from the Credo section is “matchless: it lifts you to God.”

KEVIN ABELA Conductor KOR MALTA Alan Menken Musical score for Beauty and the Beast In this 2017 film, Disney’s animated classic takes on a new form, with a widened mythology and an all-star ensemble cast that includes Emma Watson and Dan Stevens as the eponymous characters with Luke Evans, Kevin Kline, Josh Gad, Ewan McGregor and many more. As the full-length live action film unfolds on the big screen, the critically acclaimed musical score composed by Alan Menken will be performed live by the MPO under the direction of Kevin Abela, in a unique family-friendly, symphonic cinema event.

7.30PM

8.00PM

METROPOLITAN CATHEDRAL OF ST PAUL Mdina

MALTA FAIRS AND CONVENTIONS CENTRE Ta’ Qali


BEAUTY AND THE BEAST Disney Presentation licensed by Disney Concerts © All rights reserved

16 FEB


MICHAEL LAUS Conductor Photo by Gilbert Naudi

23 FEB


23 FEBRUARY SATURDAY

BIRDS IN MUSIC MICHAEL LAUS Conductor JOANNE CAMILLERI Organ George Frideric Handel Organ Concerto in F major “The Cuckoo and the Nightingale” Ottorino Respighi Gli Uccelli Joseph Haydn Symphony No. 83 in G minor “La poule” Michael Laus directs the MPO in a concert featuring works inspired by the most musical of creatures in the animal world. Joanne Camilleri joins the orchestra for a performance of Handel’s Organ Concerto in F major, nicknamed “the cuckoo and the nightingale” for the birdsong motifs present in its allegro movement. Respighi drew on music from Baroque era composers for his Gli Uccelli, but each movement in his suite also seeks to transcribe birdsong as well as other bird actions into music. Haydn’s 83rd symphony earned the nickname “la poule” because of a jerky rhythm in the first movement, evoking the clucking of a hen.

4 MARCH MONDAY 6 MARCH WEDNESDAY 8 MARCH FRIDAY 10 MARCH SUNDAY

COSÌ FAN TUTTE a Teatru Manoel production

PHILIP WALSH Musical Director JACK FURNESS Director Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart Così Fan Tutte, K.588

Following its productions of Le Nozze di Figaro and Don Giovanni, the Teatru Manoel concludes the brilliant opera trilogy resulting from the collaboration between Mozart and the Italian librettist with its production of Così Fan Tutte. Telling the tale of two officers who disguise themselves and attempt to seduce each other’s fiancée to find out whether they would remain faithful, the opera was initially well-received, but subsequently rarely performed due to changing sensibilities leading to it being perceived as too risqué and immoral. Only by the mid-20th century did it regain its rightful place in the standard operatic repertoire.

7.30PM

7.30PM

ROBERT SAMUT HALL Floriana

TEATRU MANOEL Valletta


16 MARCH SATURDAY

MAHLER’S FIFTH MICHALIS ECONOMOU Conductor AGATA ZAJĄC Assistant Conductor GUY BRAUNSTEIN Violin Richard Wagner Overture to Rienzi Johannes Brahms Violin Concerto in D major, Op. 77 Gustav Mahler Symphony No. 5 Michalis Economou directs the MPO for a night of great music from the late romantic period, with the renowned Israeli violinist Guy Braunstein joining the orchestra for a performance of Brahms’ sole violin concerto. Brahms wrote the concerto for his friend and close collaborator Joseph Joachim, who provided constant advice the composer during its composition. Starting with a funeral march and ending with a cheerful finale, Mahler’s Fifth Symphony stands out for its vast emotional range as well as its famous fourth movement, the intimate Adagietto that may well be the composer’s most well-known work.

8.00PM MEDITERRANEAN CONFERENCE CENTRE Valletta

22 MARCH FRIDAY 23 MARCH SATURDAY MPO Family Fanfare

MUSIC OF MYSTERY & MAGIC ROBERT HODGE Conductor Camille Saint-Saëns Danse Macabre Modest Mussorgsky Night on Bald Mountain Igor Stravinsky The Firebird (selection) Bernard Herrmann Psycho (selection from the soundtrack) John Williams Jaws (selection from the soundtrack) Mysteries and scary stories fascinate children and adults alike, and in this year’s edition of the annual Family Fanfare concert, the MPO will be exploring a dark musical world in an interactive concert under the direction of Robert Hodge. Featuring great classical works and iconic soundtracks written to evoke a sense of mystery, magic and fear, such as the Night on Bald Mountain made famous through Disney’s Fantasia and John Williams’ brilliant musical depiction of an approaching shark for Jaws, this interactive concert will help highlight just how strongly the right piece of music can make us feel. 10.00, 11.30AM (Friday Schools’ Performance) 5.00PM (Saturday Families’ Performance) TEATRU MANOEL Valletta


GUY BRAUNSTEIN Violin © Guy Braunstein

16

MAR


6 APRIL SATURDAY

13 APRIL SATURDAY

MANON LESCAUT

SACRED UTTERANCES

a Gaulitana Festival production

COLIN ATTARD Musical Director Giacomo Puccini Manon Lescaut Jules Massenet had produced his own successful opera, Manon, based on a controversial 18th century novel by Abbé Prévost featuring a young impoverished noble and his courtesan lover in France and in Louisiana only a few years before Puccini set out to do the same, but the Italian composer convinced his publisher to go ahead with the project, stating that “a woman like Manon can have more than one lover.” It proved to be the composer’s first great operatic success, and will be the highlight of the 13th edition of Gaulitana: A Festival of Music, with soprano Miriam Gauci in the lead role.

MICHELLE CASTELLETTI Concept/Conductor RICCARDO BIANCHI Choir Master KORMALTA Krzysztof Penderecki Agnus Dei (from Polskie Requiem) Henryk Górecki Totus Tuus, Op. 60 Arvo Pärt Magnificat Samuel Barber Adagio for Strings Ola Gjeilo O Magnum Mysterium The MPO marks the start of Holy Week with Sacred Utterances, a journey of light and mystery through music in the beautifully atmospheric Robert Samut Hall.An MPO chamber orchestra under the direction of Michelle Castelletti teams up with KorMalta to perform instrumental and choral music by Penderecki, Górecki, Pärt, Barber and Gjeilo in an immersive multidisciplinary and sensory experience as we make our way from darkness to light.

7.30PM

6.00PM

TEATRU AURORA Victoria

ROBERT SAMUT HALL Floriana


27 APRIL SATURDAY

A SPRING SYMPHONY MICHAEL LAUS Conductor PIETRO DE MARIA Piano Johannes Brahms Piano Concerto No. 1 in D minor, Op. 15 Johann Sebastian Bach/ Anton Webern Ricercar a 6 from the Musical Offering, BWV 1079 Robert Schumann Symphony No. 1 in B-flat major “Spring”, Op. 38

Schumann initially composed exclusively for the piano, but wrote his first symphony on the encouragement of his wife Clara, a few months after their marriage, and claimed it was inspired by his “spring of love.” The Schumanns encouraged Brahms as he set out to establish himself as a musician, and his First Piano Concerto was the first orchestral work of his to receive acclaim from the public, in spite of a cold reception in its first two performances. Webern’s orchestration of Bach’s Ricercar is notable for its Klangfarbenmelodie technique, through which musical lines are split between instruments to add colour and texture. 8.00PM TEATRU MANOEL Valletta

PIETRO DE MARIA Piano Photo by Leonardo Ferri

27 APR


30 APRIL-10 MAY

18 MAY SATURDAY

MALTA INTERNATIONAL MUSIC FESTIVAL

THE ARMED MAN

presented in collaboration with the European Foundation for Support of Culture The Malta Philharmonic Orchestra maintains its collaboration with the European Foundation for Support of Culture for the 2019 edition of the Malta International Music Festival, the second edition to be co-organised by the MPO. As in previous years, the festival will feature near-daily symphonic and chamber music concerts, with special appearances by some of the leading names in classical music. Last year’s edition alone featured Maxim Vengerov, Grigory Sokolov, Andreas Ottensamer, Aiman Mussakhajayeva and Salvatore Accardo. The MPO will itself be performing in three concerts, on 4 and 8 May, as well as the festival’s closer on 10 May. This edition of the festival will also feature the Malta Youth Orchestra in its first-ever appearance at the festival, in a concert on the festival’s opening night which will also feature young Maltese pianist Laetitia Amodio. 30 April

MYO IN CONCERT

A Mass for Peace

MICHAEL LAUS Conductor RICCARDO BIANCHI Choirmaster KORMALTA FRANCESCA AQUILINA Soprano CLARE GHIGO Alto DAVID LEE Tenor MIGUEL ROSALES Bass Karl Jenkins The Armed Man, A Mass for Peace

Commissioned by the Royal Armouries museum for its millennium celebrations, Karl Jenkins’ The Armed Man is a musical setting of the Catholic Mass which also incorporates other religious and historical sources, including the Islamic call to prayer sung by a muezzin. Put together, these elements create a work which charts a descent into war and all the horror that it brings, as the opening martial themes make way for darker, mournful ones. But the work ends on a hopeful note, auguring for a future in which war and sorrow are overcome.

4 May/8 May/10 May MPO IN CONCERT

8.00PM

8.00PM

MEDITERRANEAN CONFERENCE CENTRE Valletta

MEDITERRANEAN CONFERENCE CENTRE Valletta


THE ARMED MAN A Mass for Peace

18

MAY


25 MAY SATURDAY

31 MAY FRIDAY

LA REMEMBRANÇA

BRAHMS & DVOŘÁK

PACO VAROCH Artistic Director Thomas Greeting The Nightingale Jean-Philippe Rameau Le Rappel des Oiseaux/La Poule Antonio Vivaldi Flute Concerto No. 3 “Il Gardellino,” RV 428 Flute Concerto No. 2 “La Notte,” RV 439 Louis-Claude Daquin Le Coucou (from Pièces de Clavecin) Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart Symphony No. 41 “Jupiter,” K. 551 Founded in 2016, La RemembranÇa is formed by soloists and chamber musicians from around the world who enjoy working within an independent and flexible formation. Under the artistic direction of acclaimed flautist Paco Varoch, the ensemble performs a wide repertoire ranging from early baroque to contemporary works. With the participation of a number of MPO musicians, the ensemble will be performing a selection of English, French and Italian baroque works which before culminating in Mozart’s jubilant Jupiter Symphony, arranged for this chamber formation.

MICHALIS ECONOMOU Conductor ENRICO DINDO Cello Antonín Dvořák Cello Concerto in B minor, Op. 104 Johannes Brahms Symphony No. 2 in D major, Op. 73 When Dvořák, then practically unknown, submitted 15 works for a competition, Brahms was so moved that he became his friend and mentor, and was instrumental in ensuring that the world paid notice to the Czech composer. Dvořák’s Cello Concerto, which will be performed by the acclaimed Italian cellist Enrico Dindo, is one of the greatest examples of the genre, and Brahms had observed that he would have tried writing one himself had he known such an achievement was possible. Under the direction of Michalis Economou, the MPO will also be playing Brahms’ beautiful Second Symphony and Ligeti’s Ramifications, written for a string ensemble split into two groups using slightly different pitches, creating a remarkable dissonant effect.

8.00PM

8.00PM

ROBERT SAMUT HALL Floriana

TEATRU MANOEL Valletta


ENRICO DINDO Cello Photo by Adriano Heitmann

31

MAY


12 JUNE WEDNESDAY Victoria International Arts Festival

OPENING CONCERT MATTHIAS JANZ Conductor SYMPHONISCHER CHOR HAMBURG LAUDATE PUERI CHOIR Felix Mendelssohn Die erste Walpurgisnacht, Op. 60 Carl Orff Carmina Burana The 2019 edition of the Victoria International Arts Festival will see the MPO joined by two choirs and talented soloists from Malta and beyond for an epic concert featuring two great German cantatas. Mendelssohn’s Die erste Walpurgisnacht is a musical setting of a poem by Goethe telling of Druids attempting to continue practicing their traditions in the face of growing oppression from Christian rulers.

20 JUNE THURSDAY

ST JOHN’S DAY CONCERT

presented by the Maltese Association of the Sovereign Military Order of Malta MICHAEL LAUS Conductor MIRIAM GAUCI Soprano GOLDBERG ENSEMBLE MALTA

Under the direction of Michael Laus, the MPO will be performing a selection of sacred choral music primarily from the Baroque era, with vocal duties handled by Goldberg Ensemble Malta and soprano Miriam Gauci for the Maltese Association of the Sovereign Military Order of Malta’s St John’s Day celebrations. This year’s edition will feature cantatas by J.S. Bach as well as sacred choral works by di Lasso, Vivaldi and Mozart.

Orff’s Carmina Burana is based on 24 poems sourced from the eponymous mediaeval collection, discovered in a Benedictine monastery in Bavaria in 1803. Most poems are in Latin, but some are in old German and French dialects.

8.00PM

7.30PM

TEATRU ASTRA Victoria

ST JOHN’S CO-CATHEDRAL Valletta


28 JUNE FRIDAY

MPO-MYO JOINT CONCERT season-closing concert

GERGELY MADARAS Conductor In what has become an annual tradition, the Malta Philharmonic Orchestra and the Malta Youth Orchestra join forces for a spectacular joint concert, which will this year be under the direction of young Hungarian conductor Gergely Madaras.

Over 100 musicians will be on stage for an open-air concert in Valletta’s Pjazza Teatru Rjal, which is the highlight of the MYO’s concert season and which officially brings both orchestras’ season to a close. 9.00PM PJAZZA TEATRU RJAL Valletta

GERGELY MADARAS Conductor Photo by Balázs Böröcz

28 JUN


6 JULY SATURDAY

15 JULY MONDAY

Malta International Arts Festival

Victoria International Arts Festival

PAVEL ŠNAJDR Conductor BEIBEI WANG Percussionist

PHILIP WALSH Conductor

The MPO’s annual appointment with the Malta International Arts Festival will see it perform a symphonic concert under the direction of Czech conductor Pavel Šnajdr. The concert’s highlight will be Tan Dun’s Water Concerto, written for water percussion and orchestra and featuring percussionist Beibei Wang in the lead role.

Under the direction of Philip Walsh, the MPO will be bringing the 22nd edition of the Victoria International Arts Festival to a close with a night of symphonic music at the historic Basilica of St George.

WATER CONCERTO

CLOSING CONCERT

9.00PM

8.00PM

PJAZZA TEATRU RJAL Valletta

ST GEORGE BASILICA Victoria

JULY (DATE TBC)

24 AUGUST SATURDAY

CLASSICS UNDER THE STARS

JOSEPH CALLEJA annual summer concert

A selection of light classical pieces and popular arias take centre stage in Classics Under the Stars, the Malta Philharmonic Orchestra’s annual free open-air concert in July. The beautiful grounds of the 17th century Girgenti Palace, originally built as the summer residence of the Inquisitor, help create a unique setting for this event.

The MPO brings its concert season to a close through its annual appointment with Maltese tenor Joseph Calleja at the Granaries.

8.00PM

8.30PM

GIRGENTI PALACE Siġġiewi

THE GRANARIES Floriana

The 2019 edition will see two great tenors converge in Floriana, as Andrea Bocelli will be returning to Malta as Calleja’s special guest.


WHAT TO EXPECT FAQ We’re aware that some of you may find the prospect of coming to a classical music concert rather daunting, but as a general rule, all you need to do is relax and enjoy the music. We’re happy to answer any questions you might have if you contact us on Facebook or via email, but in the meantime, here’s the answer to some of the most common questions we receive…

IS THERE A DRESS CODE?

Whenever we organise a concert, the only dress code we set is for the musicians on stage. There may be exceptions to this rule when third parties are involved, but these are few and far between. You’re obviously free to dress up if you wish, but casual wear is also perfectly acceptable. Please come as you feel comfortable.

WHEN SHOULD I CLAP?

When to clap is a source of endless debate in classical music circles! The tradition is to clap at the end of a piece of music, as opposed to after each movement. Your programme can help give an indication, but since the distinction between movements is not always clear, you may want to keep an eye on the conductor or simply wait for the rest of the audience to start clapping before joining in. Audiences do clap between movements from time to time, and as far as we’re concerned, that is perfectly fine, as long as our musicians’ performance is not disrupted. Our musicians are happy to hear the audience express its appreciation for their efforts.

CAN MY CHILDREN COME?

Yes! While we organise a number of concerts – including our annual Family Fanfare concert – with the young in mind, children are welcome to all our concerts, and discounted rates apply.

WHEN SHOULD I SHOW UP?

We recommend arriving 30 minutes before the start.

WHAT HAPPENS IF I’M LATE?

Ushers will allow you to your seat during a suitable break in the programme, such as the end of a movement, to avoid disturbing other audience members. If your friends are late, you can leave their tickets at the box office so that they can collect them when they arrive.

WHERE DO I PARK?

We’re well aware that parking is a particular problem when we organise concerts at the Mediterranean Conference Centre, and with this in mind, we always organise a free shuttle service from near the MCP Car Park in Floriana to the MCC.

CAN I BUY TICKETS AT THE DOOR?

While it’s always best to book early, tickets will be available at the door as long as the event is not sold out. Since the Mediterranean Conference Centre seats 1,400 people, tickets will be available more often than not, but the Teatru Manoel fills more easily, and our own venue, Robert Samut Hall, even more so.

ARE THERE ANY DISCOUNTS?

MPO members enjoy 50% discounts on concerts organised by MPO. Additional discounts are made available for senior citizens (aged 60 and up) students and children aged under 18. Do keep in mind that different discount policies may apply for third-party events featuring the MPO, such as opera productions.

DO YOU SELL PROGRAMMES?

Programmes for our concerts are typically provided free of charge, or against a small donation.

WILL THERE BE AN INTERVAL?

Most of our concerts have intervals of around 20 minutes, but some concerts will have no interval at all. Any intervals will be clearly indicated in your programme.


BOOKING YOUR SEAT Booking methods for our performances vary, depending on the organisers, the venue and the event itself. Online booking is available in most cases, and if this is the case, the booking site can be found through the event listing on our website. Booking for most MPO-organised events takes place through showshappening.com, but events at the Manoel are handled through its own website. Physical tickets can also usually be purchased through the venues’ box office. Contact details relevant to the main venues we perform in may be found below.

MEDITERRANEAN CONFERENCE CENTRE Triq l-Isptar, Valletta VLT1645 www.mcc.com.mt (+356) 2559 5750/1 bookings@mcc.com.mt

TEATRU MANOEL 115, Old Theatre Street, Valletta VLT1426 www.teatrumanoel.com.mt (+356) 2124 6389 bookings@teatrumanoel.com.mt

Ticket prices vary depending on the event, venue and organisers. MPO membership scheme discounts apply on all concerts organised by the MPO, as well as concession prices for students, children and seniors. Third-party may apply different policies for their events, though similar concessions are generally in place. Do keep in mind that booking may also be required for free concerts.

ROBERT SAMUT HALL Triq Sarria, Floriana www.showshappening.com (bookings) events@maltaorchestra.com

PJAZZA TEATRU RJAL

Connect with us on social media to receive the latest updates about the orchestra.

Casa Cassar, Triq il-Vitorja, Valletta www.pjazzateatrurjal.com (+356) 2247 8100 contact@pjazzateatrurjal.com

For all other information, please do not hesitate to contact us directly.

TEATRU ASTRA

1, Triq John Lopez, Floriana, Malta www.maltaorchestra.com (+356) 2124 4473 marketing@maltaorchestra.com

9, Republic Street, Victoria, Gozo www.teatruastra.org.mt +356 2155 0985 bookings@teatruastra.org.mt

TEATRU AURORA 100, Republic Street, Victoria, Gozo www.teatruaurora.com (+356) 2156 2974 teatruaurora@leone.org.mt

MALTA PHILHARMONIC ORCHESTRA

Artists, programmes and dates are correct at the time of going to print. MPO reserves the right to change them if necessary, as do third-party organisers. For the latest updates, please visit our website.


THE MPO MEMBERSHIP SCHEME This season, our membership scheme is more accessible than ever before, offering generous discounts on the many concerts organised by the MPO each season, in addition to free access to open rehearsals and other benefits. And to reward our members’ support, those who attend 6 membership scheme concerts during our 2018/19 season are entitled to a free student or loyalty card for our 2019/20 season, which can be upgraded to a gold or platinum card at cost.

MPO STUDENT CARD: €20 • €5 special price for all MPO membership scheme concerts • free access to open rehearsals • reserved tickets for selected MPO concerts • bring a guest – 2 free tickets to an MPO symphonic concert of your choice MPO LOYALTY CARD: €50 • 50% discount on all MPO membership scheme concerts • free access to open rehearsals • reserved tickets for selected MPO concerts • bring a guest – 2 free tickets to an MPO symphonic concert of your choice MPO GOLD CARD: €100 • reserved ticket to Classics Under the Stars 2019 at Girgenti Palace • free ticket to Malta leg of MPO tour concert • 50% discount on all MPO membership scheme concerts • free access to open rehearsals • reserved tickets for selected MPO concerts • bring a guest – 2 free tickets to an MPO symphonic concert of your choice

MPO PLATINUM CARD: €160 • reserved ticket to Classics Under the Stars 2019 at Girgenti Palace • invitation to VIP reception at select MPO events • free ticket to Malta leg of MPO tour concert • 50% discount on all MPO membership scheme concerts • free access to open rehearsals • reserved tickets for selected MPO concerts • bring a guest – 2 free tickets to an MPO symphonic concert of your choice MPO FAMILY CARD: €100 • valid for two adults and any number of dependent children under 18 • free tickets to MPO Family Fanfare concert (in spring 2019) • 50% discount on all MPO membership scheme concerts (adults) • €5 special price for all MPO membership scheme concerts (children) • free access to open rehearsals • reserved tickets for select concerts

Do look out for the MPO Membership Icon throughout this booklet. To join our membership scheme, apply online through www.maltaorchestra.com or send us an email on marketing@maltaorchestra.com.


MPO INDIVIDUAL AND CORPORATE PATRONAGE MPO Patrons are first and foremost individuals who love great music and want to share the MPO’s vision of bringing the best quality music to the greatest amount of people. Our Patrons play a vital role in supporting our education and outreach programmes in the local community, enhance the continuous professional development of our musicians, as well as sustain the breadth and depth of our work. To initiate a discussion on how you may offer your support, please contact us on maria.blanco@maltaorchestra.com

Photo by Viktor Vella


THANK YOU We are grateful for the support of the following cultural entities, corporate sponsors and individual supporters, who help us reach further and touch more lives than we ever could on our own.

MPO PARTNERS

MPO CORPORATE SPONSORS

BAND AID MUSIC

MPO BENEFACTORS

MPO PATRONS

Michel Friocourt Betsy Dunne Allan & Teri Wolpowitz

Patrick Xuereb Kobus & Lynne Smith Gregory Martin


SEASON CALENDAR SEPTEMBER Sat 1st Finalists’ Concert (Conducting Masterclass) Sun 2nd MYO Summer Camp Showcase Thu 13th Aida Sat 15th Aida Sat 15th Rockestra Fri 21st Kunċert għall-Jum l-Indipendenza Sat 29th Notes from Vienna OCTOBER Wed 3rd Cliff Zammit Stevens in Concert Sat 13th Tosca Fri 19th Orfeo & Majnun Sat 20th Orfeo & Majnun Thu 25th La Traviata Sat 27th La Traviata NOVEMBER Fri 9th Gillian & Friends Wed 14th Belt il-Bniedem: Swar Fri 16th The Misadventures of Peer Gynt Sat 17th The Misadventures of Peer Gynt Sat 24th MPO Valletta 2018 Tour – Malta Tue 27th MPO Valletta 2018 Tour – Philadelphia Thu 29th MPO Valletta 2018 Tour – North Bethesda DECEMBER Sat 1st MPO Valletta 2018 Tour – New York Sun 2nd Motets and Madrigals Wed 5th MPO Valletta 2018 Tour – Moscow Fri 7th MPO Valletta 2018 Tour – St Petersburg Fri 14th Aranjuez Sat 15th Joseph Calleja Winter Concert Sat 22nd MCC Dance Showcase Thu 27th MYO Christmas Concert JANUARY TBC President’s New Year’s Concert Fri 11th Winter Serenades Fri 11th Għall-Bejgħ Album Launch Sat 12th Għall-Bejgħ Album Launch Tue 15th Inspired By Baroque Sat 26th The Romantic Symphony

FEBRUARY Sat 2nd Premieres Fri 8th Mozart’s Great Mass Sat 16th Beauty and the Beast Sat 23th Birds in Music MARCH Mon 4th Wed 6th Fri 8th Sun 10th Sat 16th Fri 22nd Sat 23rd

Così Fan Tutte Così Fan Tutte Così Fan Tutte Così Fan Tutte Mahler’s Fifth Music of Mystery & Magic Music of Mystery & Magic

APRIL Sat 6th Sat 13th Sat 27th Tue 30th

Manon Lescaut Sacred Utterances A Spring Symphony MYO at the MIMF

MAY Sat 4th Wed 8th Fri 10th Sat 18th Sat 25th Fri 31st

MPO at the MIMF MPO at the MIMF MPO at the MIMF The Armed Man La RemembranÇa Brahms & Dvořák

JUNE Wed 12th VIAF Opening Concert Thu 20th St John’s Day Concert Fri 28th MPO/MYO Joint Concert JULY Sat 6th MIAF Closing Concert Mon 15th VIAF Closing Concert TBC Classics Under the Stars AUGUST Sat 24th Joseph Calleja Concert

All information is correct at the time of print, but circumstances may change and the MPO reserves the right to make changes accordingly. For the latest updates and information, please check our website.


Profile for Malta Philharmonic Orchestra

2018-2019 Concert Season  

The official programme of the Malta Philharmonic Orchestra's 2018-2019 concert season.

2018-2019 Concert Season  

The official programme of the Malta Philharmonic Orchestra's 2018-2019 concert season.

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