International Baroque Festival returns for third edition

Beginning on the 10 January, 21 events will be held over two weeks in various venues

The Manoel Theatre will play host to the Baroque Festival Ball, at the end of the festival
The Manoel Theatre will play host to the Baroque Festival Ball, at the end of the festival

The third edition of the Valletta International Baroque Festival 2015 will be held next month. The Festival builds on the success of the first two and starts on 10 January, with 21 events over 15 days in seven venues.

The success of the Baroque Festival on the international cultural stage is evidenced by the growing interest from tour operators who are bringing in more overseas visitors specifically for this event. It is advisable to book early for 2015 Festival as some events are already close to being sold out.

The 2015 Festival is dedicated to the memory of Maltese composer Geronimo Abos, as 2015 is the tercentennial anniversary of his birth. His music will be performed by Die Kölner Akademie, Passacaglia Ensemble (which features some of the UK’s leading period instrument players) and the Valletta International Baroque Ensemble. 

The Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment returns to perform the glorious Bach Passion according to St John in St. John’s Co-Cathedral which will be offset by Michelangelo Falvetti’s magnificent “Il Diluvio Universale”, performed by the Cappella Mediterranea under the baton of Leonardo Garcia Alarcon at St. Publius Church in Floriana, a new addition to the list of venues for 2015.

The Malta Philharmonic Orchestra, conducted by Peter Stark, will present an innovative programme of 20th century works inspired by the baroque, which include a flute concerto by Lukas Foss performed by the Orchestra’s own flautist Rebecca Hall.

The Festival programme also includes music ranging from baroque piano transcriptions of music by Bach, Handel and Gluck performed by Dmytro Sukhovienko to sacred and profane baroque music from the Americas performed by Ensemble Villancico and Handel concert arias presented by Robert King conducting The King’s Consort and countertenor Iestyn Davies.

Bach features strongly in this Festival; his Cello suites are performed by the world-renowned Sigiswald Kuijken who will play on that rare instrument a violoncello da spalla and his Goldberg Variations by local pianist Joanne Camilleri. The European Union Baroque Ensemble will perform music by Handel and his London friends and the Festival’s resident ensemble, the Valletta International Baroque Ensemble (VIBE) will perform at two concerts.

The Festival also includes events specifically for children and culminates with the Baroque Festival Ball which will be held in Teatru Manoel on Saturday 24 January. 

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