Speaking to the Stars

April 24, 2018
Speaking to the Stars

This morning’s meeting with the Press was honoured by the presence of violinist Maxim Vengerov, one of the top violinists in today’s music world.  Alan Chircop introduced Mr Vengerov and spoke about the great expectations of Malta’s music public for the concert. The following day Mr Vengerov would be performing Tchaikovsky's Violin Concerto, one of the iconic works of the violin repertoire.

A short video feature presented Mr Vengerov in a piano/violin recital and as a soloist playing with the orchestra conducted by Sergey Smbatyan who will also be conducting tomorrow’s concert.

Alan Chircop asked Mr Vengerov who has travelled all over the world to big cities what it felt like to be in Malta for the first time, Malta being by comparison so small. Mr Vengerov said that he was very happy to be in Malta. He was impressed by the programme of the Festival and he felt that the best way to express his joy at being here and taking part in the Festival is through his music.

Tchaikovsky's Concerto presents great difficulties to the violinist. Asked about his reaction to this Mr Vengerov said that most of the times a composer does not think whether the music he is writing is suitable for the particular instrument. What he cares about is expressing his emotions. It is  then up to the performer to express what the composer said in his music through his performance. Mr Vengerov considers the violin to be an extension of his body and he will do his best to communicate the feelings and thoughts of the composer through his music. Asked which concerto is his favourite the violinist said that this was a difficult choice because the range of beautiful works is so wide, but pressed to name one he said he would like to perform Khachaturian’s Violin Concerto which he considers to be the greatest music ever written for the violin. He hopes to have the opportunity to do so with the orchestra under Smbatyan.

Expressing his opinion about the music of Alexey Shor he said that he very much liked the feeling of nostalgia that it evokes.  In fact when he was asked to choose a piece by Shor for the concert his choice fell upon a Barcarolle. At the time he happened to be spending two weeks in Shanghai where he was premiering a work by a Chinese composer and for two weeks he felt very lonely. This piece really expressed his feelings in that particular moment of time.  He agreed with what all other artists seem to have said in the course of these meetings that Shor gives the opportunity to the soloist to express his feelings.

Apart from being professional partners Mr Vengerov and Mr Smbatyan are also close friends. Asked whether this made any difference to the performance Mr Smbatyan said that he was very happy to be sharing the feeling of friendship between them with his orchestra and all the players feel very excited about performing with such a great master.

Like so many eminent soloists Maxim Vengerov has turned his attention to conducting and he is currently in the final year of his conducting course with Yuri Simonov at the Ippolitov-Ivanov Institute. He sees a strong tie between playing the violin and conducting. When he first took up conducting his mentor told him that the baton is to conducting what the bow is to playing the violin – a means to express the feeling of the music. His conducting also affects his performance as a violinist. He first performed the Tchaikovsky Violin Concerto when he was thirteen years old. When he went back to it after having conducted the composer’s Symphonie Pathetique he found that his interpretation had changed. It changed again after he conducted the composer’s opera Eugene Onegin.

Asked about whether he would like to conduct opera Vengerov said that a conductor’s is a full-time job and the jobs of the conductor of a symphony orchestra and that of the conductor of opera are  two different ones.  Besides, his heavy work schedule made it impossible for him to learn the scores of so many operas. Having said that, however, he was very happy to have had the opportunity to conduct excerpts from Eugene Onegin as part of his conducting course, and that experience is very dear to him.

Pianist Nareh Arghamanyan who is here to perform two concerts of Armenian and Maltese music respectively as part of the programme of Armenian Cultural Days in Malta was asked whether she found any similarity between the music of Armenian and that of Maltese composers. She replied that both Armenian and Maltese music are characterised by a wide range of styles. Composers in both countries write in their own musical language. In Maltese music she has also  found many wonderful melodies that are similar to Armenian folk music. She particularly likes the music of Alexey Shor who, in spite of being a contemporary composer, uses melody to express moods.

Rounding up  the conference, Alan Chircop, artistic director of the European Foundation for the Support of Culture and of the Festival, thanked the artists for their presence and reminded the audience of the evening’s concert by soprano Lyuba Kazarnovskaya.

 

Diversifying My Repertoire - all about love

April 23, 2018

Alan Chircop opened the day’s proceedings by welcoming those present and introducing the artists who were with him on the podium: soprano Ljuba Kazarnovskaya and the members of the» Harmony» quintet who would be accompanying her during the concert the following day as well as pianist Nareh Arghamanyan, who will present present a program, dedicated to Tigran Mansuryan.

 A short video presentation showing the soprano on stage during an open-air gig possibly showed why she ...


Continue reading...
 

HUSH – a thrilling new musical at the Manoel Theatre

March 8, 2018

Teatru Manoel’s education programme TOI TOI, in collaboration with the Valletta 2018 Foundation, is presenting an original musical; written and directed by Denise Mulholland, with music and lyrics by Luke Saydon and performed by Teatru Manoel Youth Theatre from the 17th to 19th March 2018 at the Manoel Theatre.

 

HUSH is a story which will appeal to all ages (from 8+). It is a modern fairy tale about finding your voice when nobody seems to be listening.


Gus Nightingale is a little boy from a m...


Continue reading...
 

Unique concert of Mozart’s Sacred Music

March 1, 2018

As part of this season’s Teatru Manoel BOV Opera Week, Teatru Manoel presents a concert by Maltese soprano Miriam Gauci with the Goldberg Ensemble conducted by Michael Laus on 10th March at 7.30pm at St. Augustine’s Church, Valletta.  

 

The programme includes Church Sonatas K67, K328, K336, Quere superna K143, Tantum ergo K142, Agnus Dei from Coronation Mass K317, Offertorium pro festo Stii Ioanni Baptistae, K72, Te Deum K141, Miserere K85 and Ave verum corpus K618.

 

Mozart’s sacred music...


Continue reading...
 

Malta wins 2018 Destination Award for Diving

February 19, 2018

During this year’s edition of the international trade fair, BOOT, a leading trade event for water sport activities which took place at the end of January in Dusseldorf, Germany, Malta was presented with the destination award for scuba diving.

 

Taucher.net, the largest German speaking online portal for divers, participated for the first time in this ceremony and presented the award to the Maltese Islands as the tourism destination of the year 2018. Armin Süss, editor in c...


Continue reading...
 

Carnival activities in Valletta this Saturday and Sunday

February 15, 2018

Festivals Malta together with the Organisational Carnival Committee would like to notify the general public that the Carnival activities will be held during next weekend. The Children’s Carnival will take place on Saturday 17 February at 9:30am in St George’s Square, Valletta. The tickets cost €5, with a limited number of VIP tickets costing €10. Soon after, another activity will take place at 3:30pm, which includes dances and a float defile. The tickets cost €7 and...


Continue reading...
 

Contemporary Inside 2018 | 16 February – 9 March 2018 (Art Exhibition)

February 14, 2018

1.     GENERAL DESCRIPTION

Xrar is an artistic project developed by ĠF Abela Junior College and Troupe 18:45 under the curation of Dr Trevor Borg.  The project is divided in two parts: Contemporary Inside 2018 Exhibition and a Visual Arts Expo for Young Artists at the Junior College campus.  The project is supported by the Premju tal-President għall-Kreattività 2017.

 

Xrar, Maltese for sparks, is the working title of this visual art project. Within the artistic spheres ...


Continue reading...
 

Malta M&IT supplement wins Silver Award

November 29, 2017

The Malta Tourism Authority has won the silver award in the Best Brochure Category (Print & Digital) at the Meetings Industry Marketing Awards (MIMA) 2017, which took place recently at The Park Plaza Westminster Hotel in London. The other finalists for the Best Brochure category were Bath’s Historic Venues, Cape Town International Convention Centre, Quebec City Convention Centre and Villiers.

Conventions Malta, MTA’s conference division, entered into a collaboration with ...


Continue reading...
 

14th Edition of the Malta Military Tattoo

October 9, 2017

The Malta Military Tattoo will be held on the 14th and 15th of October 2017 at the Malta Fairs and Conventions Centre (MFCC) in Ta' Qali.

During a press conference held in St George’s Square in Valletta, the organizers explained that The Malta Military Tattoo is a yearly event that features military bands and other elements which come together to provide a spectacular show for audiences of all ages. The event is a gathering of international and local military bands, making...


Continue reading...
 

Popular Italian TV Programme Filmed in Malta

July 5, 2017

The Maltese Islands will be featured on various episodes of the popular programme ‘Melaverde’ broadcast on Canale 5 every Sunday. Now in its 20th season, ‘Melaverde’ attracts an average audience of 2 million viewers and a share of 13.5%.

 

A production crew from the programme, led by co-presenter Ellen Hidding was in Malta to film 3 separate episodes, all of which will be aired in September 2017. The episodes are titled 'La Perla del Mediterraneo' (the Pearl of the...


Continue reading...