The Malta Independent 21 May 2022, Saturday

Malta Arts Festival geared up and ready to go

Malta Independent Sunday, 6 July 2014, 13:42 Last update: about 9 years ago

The Malta Arts Festival is geared up and ready to go on 14 July.

Preparations for Malta’s largest arts festival, now in its ninth edition, have been ongoing for months. From stage hands to promotion and from artistic direction to performers, the festival mobilises large sections of the country’s cultural and artistic sector.

Artists from Croatia, the UK, Spain, the Netherlands, Czech Republic, South Africa and Russia will join Maltese artists in a festival with 18 performances and a separate programme of workshops and master classes. Running from 14 July to 2 August, some of these events will be held in the Mediterranean Conference Centre, Pjazza Teatru Rjal and the newly-restored Fort St Elmo.

“Whether you want to be charmed by contemporary duets in an open-air theatre, weep at Lear’s agony or be moved by a circus which blends poetry and humour, this year’s Malta Arts Festival promises to bring all that and more. And now it’s only a few days away,” the organisers said.

This year’s programme will see an increased emphasis on dance, interdisciplinary events which span genres and a film festival under the stars. The programme was put together by an artistic committee composed of four arts practitioners: British-Malaysian dancer and choreographer Mavin Khoo, composer Ruben Zahra, theatre director and actor Toni Attard and Malta Philharmonic Orchestra chair Sigmund Mifsud, all working under the direction of Arts Council Malta chair Albert Marshall.

The emerging artist provides an opportunity for young artists to perform their work as part of the festival showcase. This year, the series will present an interdisciplinary showcase of music and literature, with concerts by percussionist Luke Baldacchino on 16 July and violinist Nadine Galea accompanied by pianist Riyad Nicolas on 25 July. The evenings will also include Maltese poetry readings in collaboration with Il-Kunsill Nazzjonali tal-Ktieb. Both events will be held at Auberge de Castille and are free.

"Workshops and masterclasses are another important strand running through the festival. If you fancy learning more about the theme of risk; exploring the relationship between singing and silence; or focusing on the elements of rhythm and storytelling through dance, then the festival’s workshops programme – running alongside the main programme - provides unique opportunities to work with established artists on these themes. Some of these artists - such as Rob Tannion from Organización Efímera and Markus Stockhausen - are also taking part in the main festival programme," the organisers said. 

The festival will come to a close on 2 August with the closing concert, which will feature the Malta Philharmonic Orchestra under the direction of Mro Brian Schembri. The programme includes Elgar’s cello concerto in E minor, Op. 85 featuring cellist Alexander Kniazev and Petrouchka by Igor Stravinsky. The concert – which will be held at the Mediterranean Conference Centre - will also premier a new work by Maltese composer Karl Fiorini. Fêtes meaning “feasts” is a commemoratory work in honour of Malta's 50th anniversary of independence, commissioned by Dr. and Mrs. David Griscti. "The piece is an energetic and joyous one-movement work displaying the different forces of the orchestra," the organisers added.

The Malta Arts Festival is organised by Arts Council Malta under the Ministry for Justice, Culture and Local Government.

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