The Malta Independent 11 December 2018, Tuesday

Unified in music - interview with composer and conductor Bruno Santori

Sunday, 25 February 2018, 09:00 Last update: about 11 months ago

Renowned Italian composer and conductor Bruno Santori talks to The Malta independent on Sunday about establishing the Mediterranean Orchestra, the power of music in general and how it can unify audiences and cultures

How long have you been a member of the Mediterranean Tourism Foundation?

I’ve been part of the Mediterranean Tourism Foundation (MTF) for about a year and, thanks to this opportunity, I’m learning what support music can give to tourism, which is then itself instrumental in achieving the ultimate goal of peace in the Mediterranean.

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Cultural exchanges in this sense lead peoples and nations to get to know each other better and therefore to interact through a common interest, well-being and sharing.

 

Can you describe your contribution to the Foundation?

My contribution is building it day by day through my role as Ambassador of Tourism and Culture of Malta, promoting this wonderful nation that has bestowed upon me this prestigious honorary title that allows me to represent the great potential of this country and its people in the best way possible. Large events will soon be launched that will promote Malta’s important role in the Mediterranean – including in music – which will be an important part of those cultural exchanges to which I referred.

What will your role be?

My role is really in music and I won’t move far from this because I consider music as an opportunity for dialogue and cultural and lifestyle exchanges. So the doors are open every day and I will use the opportunities that are presented to me to show the right way to get the best – for both Malta and for the Mediterranean area in general – in which this beautiful and strategic nation plays an important – even fundamental – role.

 

MTF Secretary General Andrew Agius Muscat believes that music is a vehicle for peace. Do you agree?

Andrew Agius Muscat is my mentor in this sense. He believes in music and in me and it is essential that I do not fail to fulfil his expectations.

For years I have played a fundamental and strategic role for Italian music, for the San Remo Festival and beyond. My experience in managing music as a symbol and identity of a people has become part of my daily life and I have great trust in the important role played by the Secretary-General of the Malta Hotels and Restaurants Association in how it is being played and the Forum is a demonstration this.

With this approach, which has long been the choice of Andrew Agius Muscat, Malta is playing a fundamental role in exchanges with other Mediterranean countries and beyond. I realise that his work must certainly be supported by all of us because we believe in Malta and think that it will soon be a place for cultural exchanges between the many peoples of the Mediterranean. This goes far beyond the economic interests that can be derived from it, with its theme being stable and lasting peace.

 

The MTF is built on three pillars: discussion, education and events. How will these intertwine with the Malta Philharmonic Orchestra?

Discussion is the seed, education will be the land in which it will grow and the deeper the roots are, the more luxuriant and longer-lasting its foliage will be.

The Malta Philharmonic Orchestra is an institution that we will support. For us the collaboration with this orchestra is fundamental, so much so that we have immediately started a dialogue and an important and constant relationship with his highest representative, Sigmund Mifsud, who immediately understood that there can never be antagonism between the two musical realities but only absolute opportunities for both.

The Mediterranean Orchestra will draw musicians and orchestra professors from the Maltese Philharmonic Orchestra where possible and the artistic and cultural exchange will be very intense and collaborative. On the other hand, this new institution will take care of all the music that is outside the classical music scene, which is the one in which the Malta Philharmonic has been working for a long time, achieving great results.

The aim of the Mediterranean Orchestra is to investigate all the music of the Mediterranean and include it in the programme, generating a cultural exchange that will provide fertile ground for the musical identity about which we are talking.

 

What kind of concerts will the Mediterranean Orchestra give and what events are you organising for the coming months? Will there be seminars for future students? The Mediterranean has no musical identity – is this something that can be created?

Everything can be created, but never out of nowhere. You must always start with what you have and, fortunately, Malta already has a lot in this respect. The formative part will be the backbone for our programme: without this it will not be possible to implement the strategy of cultural exchange that is the main objective behind building this new musical identity that we will share with all the Mediterranean’s countries.

However, we must not in any way isolate ourselves with this project, but rather create a common action area for anyone who wishes to participate in it. The Mediterranean belongs to everyone – not only its inhabitants but also to anyone who believes in and wants to participate in this unifying project. As we all know, peace is a common good that should be shared. It is very important, not to say fundamental, for everyone. Just as it is our duty to know what is happening in the rest of the world, it is logical to believe that everyone will be interested in participating in our project and want to contribute to its success.

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