The Malta Independent 16 May 2021, Sunday

Maestro Joseph Vella, giant of local music, dies aged 76

Monday, 26 February 2018, 06:54 Last update: about 4 years ago

Professor Joseph Vella, considered as a giant in the local music field, passed away on Sunday aged 76.

Born in Victoria, Vella studied at St Michael’s Training College from where he graduated as a teacher. He studied music with his father, composition with Franco Donatoni and conducting with Franco Ferrara. Later he pursued his musical studies in Durham.

In 1994, he was appointed associated professor in music studies at the University of Malta.


His impressive portfolio included 110 major works, including five symphonies and seven concertos.

His works have been performed all over Europe, Canada, USA and Japan.

For several years he was director of the Malta Choral Society and formed his own Akkademja Chorus.

Since 1970 Vella was the musical director of the Astra Opera Theatre and band master of the La Stella Band Club in Gozo and Count Roger Band Club of Rabat.

He was the first resident director of the Malta Philharmonic Orchestra.

Source: Dictionary of Maltese Biographies - Michael J. Schiavone.

Gozo Minister Justyne Caruana, in a statement, described him as a musical icon.

She said that MRO Vella will be remembered for his love, dedication and his music, and that he was one of the best Maltese musical composers.




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