Dear Members and Friends,
The 24th Edition of the Bir Miftuђ International Music Festival
Din l-Art Ħelwa is pleased to announce the revival of the Bir Miftuђ International Music Festival which had to lie dormant during the pandemic. So, with the euphoria of spring, the church of Santa Maria ta’ Bir Miftuђ will once again resonate with melodious and uplifting music. The medieval and awesome aura of the venue enhances the beauty of the eclectic repertoires and the exceptional performances executed by high-calibre international and national artists, procured for Din l-Art Ħelwa by our very generous sponsors. Thanks to the benevolence and whole-hearted support of our sponsors, this year’s edition of the festival guarantees the high standards that have been consistent throughout the years.
The festival this year comprises three concerts:
1st Concert – Saturday 20th May at 7.30 p.m. – A Violoncello, Violin and Mezzo-Soprano Performance featuring Julie Sévilla-Fraysee – Violoncello, Anja Gerter – Violin and Mezzo-Soprano Clare Ghigo
2nd Concert – Saturday 10th June at 7.30 p.m. – A Violoncello and Piano Performance
featuring the Karlsruhe Conzert Duo comprised of Reinhard Armleder – Cello and Dagmar Hartmann – piano.
3rd Concert – Friday 16th June at 8.00 p.m. – Septem Sacramenta: Rare Sacred Music by Liszt by the choir Cappella Sanctae Catharinae.
Din l-Art Ħelwa is truly grateful to its sponsors and conveys its appreciation and sincere thanks to:
- The Embassy of France – the Ambassador H.E. Madame Agnès von der Mühll, the Cultural Counsellor – M. Reynaud Lallement
- The Alliance Française de Malte-Méditerranée – the Director Mme Isabelle Colin, the President M. Stephane Croce and Vice-Treasurer M. David Vallée
- The Embassy of the Federal Republic of Germany – the Ambassador H.E. Mr Walter Haβmann and the Cultural Counsellor Mr Elmar Kohlhofer for generously co-sponsoring the first concert and for their dedicated support
- The German-Maltese Circle – the President Ing. Arthur Ciantar and the Goethe Institute for fully sponsoring this concert and for their unfailing collaboration
- NECTAR LIMITED for their participation and for their handsome contribution towards the sponsoring of this Concert
Further information and details about the concerts are below. Bookings can be made by clicking HERE against a donation of €25 per person including refreshments after the performances in the church grounds. Block tickets are also available for 3 concerts and refreshments against a donation of €65 per person and for 2 concerts and refreshments against a donation of €45 per person.
The church of Santa Maria ta’ Bir Miftuђ is located outside the Malta International Airport near the roundabout to Gudja.
We appeal to all lovers of music and the heritage to join us at the festival, which as usual will prove to be a special and memorable treat. You will also be giving your tangible and valid support to Din l-Art Ħelwa’s worthy cause of safeguarding the cultural and natural heritage of our Islands.
Cettina Caruana Curran
Events Co-ordinator / Hon. Life Council Member
21st April, 2023
The 24th Edition of the Bir Miftuђ International Music Festival
1st Concert- Saturday 20th May at 7.30 pm – A VIOLONCELLO, VIOLIN AND MEZZO-SOPRANO PERFORMANCE featuring
Julie Sévilla Fraysee – Violoncello, Anja Gerter – Violin and Mezzo-Soprano Clare Ghigo. The trio will regale the audience with delightful works by J.S. Bach, Telemann, Handel, Cassado’, Bacewicz, Dancla, Mozart and Haydn.
This concert is sponsored by the Embassy of France / The Alliance Française de Malte-Méditerranée and the Embassy of the Federal Republic of Germany.
JULIE SÉVILLA FRAYSEE – Violoncello
The voice of Julie’s cello travels to all shores, genres and eras, thus spreading classical excellence as well as French elegance and modernity. Her career is studded with prestigious awards, scholarships and performances. Impassioned by chamber music, she has given performances with some of the most distinguished classical artists in world renowned venues. She is a member of the Orchestre de l’Opéra de Paris and the artistic director of the humanitarian association CoCreate Humanity.
Last year Julie had captivated the audience with her world-class performance at St John’s Cavalier, so she is back by general request.
ANJA GERTER – Violin
Anja Gerter started taking violin lessons at the age of three and continued her studies at the Karlsruhe University, Germany, under the tutelage of renowned professors. She is the recipient of several impressive awards and scholarships and has also won many important national and international competitions. She has performed with the Ulm Symphony Orchestra and with many prominent musicians. Anja is concert master of the Berlin Film Orchestra, with whom she has toured China. She is also the first violin with the quartet ‘La Finesse’.
CLARE GHIGO – Mezzo-Soprano
Clare Ghigo is a highly accomplished mezzo-soprano with an impressive operatic repertoire, including arias from Puccini, Mozart, Humperdinck, Monteverdi, Bizet and Rossini. Her repertoire also covers contemporary pieces by renowned composers such as Schoenberg, Morton Feldman and Karl Fiorini. Clare has given recitals in various cities around the world including San Francisco, London, Paris, Berlin, Bethlehem and Luxemburg. She has participated in several operatic competitions and has been recognised with numerous awards and accolades. She has had the privilege of working with world renowned singers such as Joseph Calleja, Bryn Terfel, Montserrat Caballé and Daniela Dossi. She forms part of the English National Opera Choir and is an EMOA and a Solti Accademia del Bel Canto scholar.
2nd Concert – Saturday 10th June at 8.00 p.m. – VIOLONCELLO AND VIOLIN PERFORMANCE
The KARLSRUHE CONCERT DUO comprised of Reinhard Armleder – Cello and Dagmar Hartmann – Piano
The Duo will delight the audience with fascinating works by Beethoven, Liszt, Dvorak, Brahms and Chopin.
This concert is sponsored by the German-Maltese Circle and the Goethe Institute.
The Karlsruhe Conzert Duo was founded in 1999 by cellist REINHARD ARMLEDER and pianist DAGMAR HARTMANN and has since established itself as an exceptional duo that is in high demand both in Germany and in many other countries. In fact, the Duo has performed in more then seventy countries across the five continents and has enjoyed successes in several concert series and prestigious festivals. It has regularly been lauded and highly acclaimed for fascinating its audiences by the depth of its interpretations, its brilliant technique and its imaginative choice of programmes. A quote from one of their critiques reads ”It is rare to find a duo with such a fortunate and intense combination of a kindred musicality, affinity and interaction with their instruments”.
3rd Concert – Friday 16th June at 8.00pm – Septem Sacramenta by CAPPELLA SANCTAE CATHARINAE
Cappella Sanctae Catharinae was founded in 2009 as an all-male choir specialising in Renaissance and Early Baroque polyphonic music. Over the years the choir has firmly established itself and has given many prestigious performances to select audiences. In December 2012, the choir took part in a concert of Early Music with internationally renowned soprano Dame Emma Kirkby and in January 2013 participated in the first edition of the Valletta International Baroque Festival. In 2015, the choir collaborated with the early music ensemble Ludus Venti and presented a programme to commemorate the 450th Anniversary of the Great Siege of Malta. A year later, it performed a programme of sacred music to commemorate the foundation of Valletta. The choir participated in the project Music in Malta from Prehistory to Vinyl organised by Fondazzjoni Patrimonju Malti.
Cappella Sanctae Catharinae celebrated its 10th anniversary by singing in various renowned churches in Rome, including the Papal Basilica Santa Maria Maggiore. The choir is committed towards preserving and promoting intangible heritage and is currently engaged in a project to preserve old Maltese carols. It collaborates with other organisations such as Din l-Art Ħelwa and the National Archives Foundation to help restore heritage and bring it back to life through music.
Cappella Sanctae Catharinae will be presenting a programme of rarely performed works by Franz Liszt. It is probably the first time that these works are being performed in Malta. The central work of the programme is the unique and awe-inspiring Septem Sacramenta. This impressive work comprises seven pieces, all stunningly beautiful and uplifting.
The programme also includes three other works by Liszt. The first two are poetic sacred lieder titled J’ai perdu ma force and Le Crucifix. The final work is an alluring solo motet Sanctae Caecilia. This piece is one of Liszt final works dedicated to the patron saint of musicians and so very befitting to bring this concert and the Bir Miftuђ International Music Festival to a gratifying end.
More information will follow.