The sixth edition of the Valletta International Baroque Festival will fill two weeks of January with gorgeous music spread over 26 events in 14 different locations across Malta. This year’s festival will feature a number of internationally acclaimed stars from the Baroque music world. Mahan Esfahani, the harpsicord legend, will return this year to delight us with his music together with La Folia Barockorchester, while The Ghislieri choir and consort will be performing two concerts, one in St John’s Co-Cathedral, and another at The Mdina Cathedral.
The prestigious event is produced and managed by Teatru Manoel, but this year it will venture outside Valletta to other impressive locations, such as the Metropolitan Cathedral and The Aula Capitulare in Mdina, Verdala Palace, and The Malta Maritime Museum in Vittoriosa. The festival will kick off at Teatru Manoel on the 13th January with Vivaldi’s The Four Seasons. Shunske Sato on the violin will share the limelight with Concerto Koln, who will stage another performance on the second day of the festival, performing Bach and Italy. Other international guests include Concerto Romano, Scholars and Gentlemen, Collegium Orpheus, Het Collectief and the Abchordis Ensemble.
Baroque moods… painting by Antoine de Favray, 1769
As for local stars, the festival will feature music from the Archives of the Cathedral Museum, performed by the Valletta International Baroque Ensemble on the 21st January. VIBE will also perform in the Monteverdi Vespers at the Church of St.Catherine in Żejtun, under the direction of Marco Mencoboni. Other local performers include guitarist Simon Schembri, and Sandro Zerafa and friends, where Baroque will meet Jazz at the Malta Maritime Museum. Children will be able to enjoy jazz specifically for them at the Baroque Jazz for Children event on the 21st January.
The Malta Philharmonic Orchestra, conducted by Riccardo Bianchi, will perform music by Grieg, Tansman, Gravina and Villa-Lobos.
Messa Due Cori, composed by Maltese priest Benigno Zerafa, will be performed as appropriately fit at the Metropolitan Cathedral in Mdina, where Zerafa served as Maestro di Cappella between 1744 and 1786. On Sunday 14th January, the Studio Theatre will host the Baroque Treasure Hunt.