Fourth Edition of Malta International Organ Festival In Full Swing

1st December 2017

The festival, which started on the 21st November and will end on the 7th December, consists of 14 concerts that are being held in cathedrals, churches, basilicas and chapels in Malta, and another four in churches and cathedrals in Gozo.

The fourth edition of the Malta International Organ Festival is in full swing with a total of 18 concerts being held in Malta and Gozo, and two masterclasses by world renowned professors.

The festival, which started on the 21st November and will end on the 7th December, consists of 14 concerts that are being held in cathedrals, churches, basilicas and chapels in Malta, and another four in churches and cathedrals in Gozo. Festival organiser and artistic director Dr Joseph Lia said that some of the world’s most prominent international organists will be performing during the festival, such as Andres Uibo, Marco D’Avola, Giuliana Maccaroni and Wayne Marshall. The festival will also be a platform to younger artists who have recently won international competitions like Zita Nautaryill, and to Maltese organists, offering them both a prestigious performing platform and also free masterclasses to improve their technique.

Dr Lia added that this year, during one of the events, Wayne Marshall will be improvising music to the 1922 silent film – Nosferatu, a Symphony of Horror. This concert will be the first of its kind in Malta, as while showing F.W. Murnau’s German impressionist film, Wayne Marshall will improvise on the organ at the Anglican Cathedral in Valletta to create a symphony of horror using clashing harmonies and combining several registers to create a musical dramatic effect to complement the film. 

Another highlight during this year’s festival will be an organ and voice recital by Maltese organist Hugo Agius Muscat and baritone Joseph Lia, to inaugurate the restoration of an 18th Century positive organ that was found recently, after being lost for several years. This organ which was restored by Robert Buhagiar with support from Eden Leisure Group, can now be found in Our Lady of Victories church in Valletta, which was the first church to be built in our beloved capital city. Another interesting concert will be a Sunday teatime concert for four hands, and four feet, featuring Italian Belcanto opera melodies played by two organists coming from Rossini’s city – Pesaro. 

The concerts being held in Balluta, Siggiewi, St Julian’s, Balzan, Birkirkara and Mosta in Malta, and Xewkija, Citadella and Fontana in Gozo, will include the participation of several musicians, singers and choirs, and will be combining local and foreign talent, showcasing Maltese heritage and the power of the organ used as a solo instrument, as an accompanist, and as part of an ensemble.

The festival will reach a climax with its final concert on 7th December at the St Augustine Parish Church in Valletta, featuring works for organ solo and organ and orchestra.  The Valletta Chamber Orchestra, which has now become the resident orchestra of this festival, will be conducted by the Italian conductor Riccardo Bianchi.  This concert will feature solo organ works by Bach, Telemann’s Trumpet Concerto in D, Handel’s Organ Concerto in A, and Mozart’s Church Sonatas.

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Friday 1st December
Nosferatu, a Symphony of Horror - Organ Improvisations over the 1922 Silent Horror Film by F.W. Murnau
Wayne Marshall (UK) - Organ
St Paul's Anglican Pro-Cathedral, Valletta - 19.30
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Saturday 2nd December
Solo Organ Concert - The French Legacy
Maurice Clerc (France) - Organ
St. Augustine Parish Church , Valletta - 20.00
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Sunday 3rd December
All'Opera on four hands (and feet) - Teatime Concert
Giuliana Maccaroni (Italy) & Martino Pòrcile (Italy) - Organ
St Paul's Anglican Pro-Cathedral, Valletta - 17.00
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Sunday 3rd December
Solo Organ Concert
Diego Cannizzaro (Sicily) - Organ
Sacred Heart of Jesus Parish Church, Fontana, Gozo - 19.00
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Monday 4th December
Solo Organ Concert - XIX Century Italy
Diego Cannizzaro (Sicily) - Organ
St Mary's Parish Church (Rotunda), Mosta - 19.15 (Free)
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Tuesday 5th December
Launch of the newly restored 18th Century Positivo Organ - Organ & Voice Recital
Hugo Agius Muscat (Malta) - Organ & Joseph Lia (Malta) - Baritone
Our Lady of Victories Church, Valletta - 19.00
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Wednesday 6th December
Totally Baroque
Daniel Zaretsky (Russia) - Organ
Annunciation Parish Church, Balzan - 19.15
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Thursday 7th December
Grand Finale - Organ & Orchestra
Marco d'Avola (Sicily) - Organ, Riccardo Bianchi (Italy) - Conductor & the Valletta Chamber Orchestra
St. Augustine Parish Church, Valletta - 20.00


FROM LIFE & ART

4th December 2017

It has now been five years since VIBE was founded and this will be its first Christmas performance.

FROM LIFE & ART

21st November 2017

“We all love a good story, and we want to tell stories with our music that can truthfully represent our generation, and inspire them to seize the day.”