The Malta Independent 25 June 2017, Sunday

Malta Philharmonic celebrates successful season with Roman-themed gala concert

Monday, 19 June 2017, 14:44 Last update: about 5 days ago

The Malta Philharmonic Orchestra is marking the conclusion of its 2016/17 season with a distinctly Roman-themed gala concert on Saturday, 24 June.

The orchestra's workload has increased significantly in recent years, and this season was no exception, with the orchestra averaging more than one performance a week.

While it organises numerous concerts on its own, as Malta's only professional orchestra, the MPO is also an automatic choice for opera productions and other classical music performances.

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It has also helped raise funds for various charities with concerts in aid of the Malta Community Chest Fund, Fondazzjoni Qalb it-Tfal and the Appoġġ Children's Fund.

But while its commitments in Malta may keep it sufficiently busy, the orchestra still finds the time to perform overseas.

This year, it performed Beethoven's Missa Solemnis in Rome - in the papal basilica built over St Paul's burial place - joined tenor Joseph Calleja for the Malta EU Presidency opening concert in Brussels and performed Beethoven's Eroica Symphony in two Austrian concert halls, including Vienna's legendary Musikverein, where it earned a standing ovation.

The season will be formally brought to a close on 24th June with Carnaval Romain, a Roman-themed concert which will see the orchestra perform under the direction of its principal conductor, Brian Schembri.

The concert features three works inspired by Rome, including Hector Berlioz' Carnaval Romain overture, Aram Khachaturian's Spartacus Suite and Ottorino Respighi's Pines of Rome, a symphonic poem which depicts pine trees in four locations across Rome, including along the ancient Appian Way and the Villa Borghese gardens.

But the concert will also see the orchestra joined by one of the youngest soloists it has ever collaborated with, 12-year-old piano prodigy Dmitry Ishkhanov, who was the youngest-ever participant in the Eurovision Young Musicians competition when he represented Malta last year.

Together with the orchestra, Ishkhanov will be performing Dmitry Kabalevsky's Third Piano Concerto, which was subtitled Youth and appropriately dedicated to young musicians.

Booking is now open, and tickets for the concert may be purchased through showshappening.com.

While the concert marks the end of the MPO's 2017/18 season, the orchestra will nevertheless keep itself busy with a number of summer concerts.

It features prominently in this year's edition of the Malta International Arts Festival, with no less than three concerts, including the closing concert on the 15th of July. It will also perform in the closing concert of the Victoria Arts Festival on the 10th of the month.


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