Victoria International Arts Festival 18th edition opens on Wednesday

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Victoria International Arts Festival 18th edition opens on WednesdayThis coming Wednesday, the much awaited 18th Edition of the Victoria International Arts Festival, has its opening concert featuring the Malta Philharmonic Orchestra and guests.

The Festival is the longest-running artistic activity on the Maltese islands, spanning five weeks of uninterrupted, high-powered musical activity, with no fewer than 33 concerts, and concludes on the 14th of July.

The Festival occurs at a period which heralds the summer months, and brings to Gozo over 600 musicians and their accompanists to spend time on the island.

Prof. Mro Joseph Vella, the Festival’s artistic director, has announced that this year 17 different countries will be represented, to include Malta and Gozo, with musicians coming over from nearby Sicily to far-flung South Korea and Australia. Concerts, which in the majority are of a classical nature, include soloists, duos/trios/quartets, chamber ensembles of varying combinations, big bands, choirs, and full symphony orchestras.

Both the opening concert on Wednesday, the 10th of June and the closing one on Monday, the 13th of July, will see the participation of the Malta Philharmonic Orchestra under the direction of Joseph Vella.

Over 150 composers will be performed during the Festival, to include works specifically commissioned to be premiered during the Festival period.

A special feature is the inclusion of a 5-day mini-Festival of Baroque music within the larger framework.

The Inaugural Orchestral Concert on Wednesday, the 10th of June, will feature Pierre Louis Attard (violin)/Britt Arend (harp)/Miriam Cauchi (soprano)/Malta Philharmonic Orchestra (leader: Marcelline Agius)/Joseph Vella (conductor) – Malta/Belgium, and will be held at St George’s Basilica, in Victoria, starting at 8.00pm.

Britt will be interpreting Debussy’s Danse sacrée et danse profane L. 103, while Pierre Louis will be giving one of two world premieres for the evening, namely, Joseph Vella’s Ode to a Resurrected Violin op. 137.

The other world premiere promises to be a most exciting one, in that Malta’s leading soprano Miriam Cauchi will be singing Vella’s new Song Cycle entitled Dust on the Path op. 138, set to the wonderful poems of Alistair Chalmers.

The programme for the opening concert will be as follows:

Debussy (1862 – 1918) Danse sacrée et danse profane L. 103 Harp: Britt Arend

Vella (b. 1942) Ode to a Resurrected Violin op. 137 (World Premiere) Violin:Pierre Louis Attard

Dust on the Path (Song Cycle) op. 138 (Poems: Alistair Chalmers) (World Premiere)

Soprano: Miriam Cauchi

Hindemith (1895 – 1963) Mathis der Maler Angelic Concert; Entombment; The Temptation of Saint Anthony.

The full programme of the Victoria International Arts Festival 2015 is available here.

As per the programme, All concerts and events are free of charge. Unless otherwise indicated, they start at 8.00pm.

The concert on Friday 12th June starts at 7.30pm. The Art exhibition by Mark Sagona will be inaugurated at 8.30pm. It will run daily at Il-Hagar, Heart of Gozo Museum, between Saturday 13th June till Sunday 19th July at Il-Hagar, Heart of Gozo Museum, from 9.00am till 5.00pm.

The Jewellery exhibition by OPALIA will be inaugurated at 8.30pm. The exhibition will run daily at Il-Hagar, Heart of Gozo Museum, between Saturday 11tj July and 19tj July from 9.00am-5.00pm.

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