INTERNATIONAL SPRING ORCHESTRA FESTIVAL
The International Spring Orchestra Festival will be marking its decade-long success on the 1st April, commencing nine days of high-quality classical music performances, featuring acclaimed international and Maltese artists.
This year’s line-up will include renowned artists such as Mro Brian Schembri and soprano Claire Debono, as well as established international musicians such as the winner of the renowned Liszt competition, Jean Dubé, German conductor Hans-Peter Hoffman and South Korean violinist Minha Park.
There will be a total of fifteen concerts featuring soloists, chamber ensembles and orchestras playing a variety of pieces – from classical repertoire to more eclectic 20th and 21st century works. All this will be performed within Malta’s finest venues, namely the Manoel Theatre, the National Museum of Archeology, San Anton Palace, St James Centre for Creativity, Pjazza Teatru Rjal, Plazzo Pereira and the Mediterranean Conference Centre.
This year, concerts will be preceded by a 25 minute talk about the pieces being performed. Discussions will continue informally after the performances accompanied by food and drink.
A number of master classes are also being organised to give local musicians the opportunity to learn from international masters. The Festival has teamed up with Education+ to bring the highly-regarded percussionists which from the Hop Trio and a distinguished soprano who will be visiting once a month to work with two selected colleges. With the help of their teachers, the local musicians will transform their experience into a piece to be performed at Pjazza Teatru Rjal.
The Festival’s opening concert at the Manoel Theatre will present an exciting programme featuring the world-touring European Union Chamber Orchestra and its esteemed conductor Hans-Peter Hofmann, soprano Miriam Cauchi and violinist Minha Park, who will bring to life pieces by Gustav Holst, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, Joseph Vella, and Benjamin Britten.
A second concert by the European Union Chamber Orchestra will be presented on the 2nd April, starring Miriam Cauchi and pianist Charlene Farrugia with works by Benjamin Britten, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, Joseph Vella, and Joseph Haydn.
The Manoel Theatre will be hosting French pianist Jean Dubé on the 3rd April with a piano recital featuring works by Bach/Busoni, Schumann, Blumenfeld, Liszt, Cras, Rautavaara and Visvikis. 14-year old Maltese international first-prize winner Laetitia Amodio will also perform on the 5th April at the San Anton Presidential Palace, featuring works by Beethoven, Liszt, and Debussy.
On the 4th April at the National Museum of Archeology, the Auris String Quartet will give a performance of Haydn, Beethoven, Shostakovich and Popovic’s string quartets.
Marseille’s enfant terrible of electronic music, Philippe Petit, will be giving his rendition of Mahler’s Titan Symphony No.1 on the 6th April at St James Centre for Creativity.
On the 7th April, the spotlight will turn to the Italo-Maltese Camilleri-Lucini duo’s eclectic flute and guitar recital at Casa Pereira, featuring works by Thomas, Granados, Ibert and Piazzolla.
The 8th April will offer the public a spectacle by Ritmi-KA – a group of 50 students from the St Ġorġ Preca and St Benedict colleges who have since January been coached by the Hop Trio.
Daily concerts of The Rising Stars series will be held at 12.30pm from the 4th till the 9th April at St James Centre for Creativity’s Music Room.
The Festival will wrap up with a concert at the Mediterranean Conference Centre featuring the Malta Philharmonic Orchestra under the baton of Mro Brian Schembri, pianist Lucia Micallef, soprano Claire Debono and the New Choral Singers, who will perform pieces from the repertoire of Roland Conil, Ludwig Van Beethoven. There will also be another world premier of Karl Fiorini’s Of gods and dogs.
All evening performances will commence at 8pm and matinees at 12.30pm. Ticket prices range from €5 to €30 and are available from the theatres’ respective booking offices. The organisers are offering the possibility to purchase block tickets for the whole Festival for €100, with free admission to children aged 15 and under, and a 50% discount to students and senior citizens.
For more information, visit the ISO Festival website.