MUSIC+ Free Gozo mini-festival opens later this month

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MUSIC+ Free Gozo mini-festival opens later this monthThis year the Classique Foundation of Gozo is embarking on a new project, with the first edition of a mini-festival – MUSIC+ with a programme of events to be held between late September and November.

The mini-festival programme will include recitals from local and international artists, master classes in different instruments, workshops for Primary school students and talks, with a conference will bring the festival to a close.

A recital by Edlira Shkurti (violin) and Erga Halilaj (piano) from Albania, will get MUSIC+ underway, on Friday, the 28th of September.

Shkurti is a member of the RTSH Orchestra of Tirana, Albania whereas Halilaj, apart from being a member of the RTSH Orchestra, is also a visiting professor at the University of Arts of Tirana.

To follow will be three further recitals: on Saturday, the 29th of September, featuring up-and-coming Gozitan pianist Francis James Camilleri; and another on Sunday, the 30th, which will feature Laura Magistrelli (clarinet) and Marina Degl’Innocenti (piano) from Italy – Magistrelli is professor of clarinet at the Conservatorio Giuseppe Verdi of Milan.

The last of the three recitals will be held on Sunday, the 28th of October, featuring trumpeter Brendan Ball, trumpet player with the Malta Philharmonic Orchestra, and pianist Elaine Mercieca.

Ball and Mercieca will perform the world premiere of Alan Cassar’s Deconstructed Images, as well as excerpts from some of the well-known classics.

All these recitals will start at 7.30pm and take place at the Exhibition Hall, Ministry for Gozo, St Francis Square. The organisers said that they will also all feature music by Maltese composers.

Laura Magistrelli, Edlira Shkurti and Erga Halilaj, will give master classes in clarinet, violin, and piano respectively. These will be held at the Gozo Visual and Performing Arts School, Xewkija, on Saturday, the 29th of September, starting at 9.00am.

As part of the mini-festival, selected Primary School children will also have the opportunity to attend two workshops – OPERA 4 KIDS.These workshops will be conducted by Ms. Sarah Spiteri, on Thursday, the 4th of October.

Then on Friday, the 5th of October, at the Exhibition Hall, Ministry for Gozo, starting at 7.30pm, Dr Abraham Borg will deliver a talk, Opera in Malta: a brief overview.

MUSIC+ mini-festival will be brought to a close with a conference: The Future of Opera in the Maltese Islands with the participation of representatives from all opera house in the islands.

It will be moderated by Dr Paul Xuereb and addressed by Ms. Cecilia Xuereb and internationally renowned soprano Miriam Gauci.

The conference will be held on Friday, the 9th of November, at the Circolo Gozitano premises, Victoria, starting at 7.30pm. This conference will be held in Maltese and attendance is by registration.

All events are free of charge.

The Classique Foundation is a non-profit cultural organisation in Gozo, with the main objective of promoting culture by organising musical concerts from time to time.

MUSIC+ has been supported by the Ministry for Gozo NGO Assistance Scheme, a funding programme for Voluntary Organisations on the Island of Gozo.

For more details and information please contact: – 7970 3288 / 9948 7341.

Photographs: From top left – Laura Magistrelli and Marina Degl’Innocenti; Edlira Shkurti; Erga Halilaj and Brendan Ball

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