Jeune Orchestre Atlantique to perform in Malta

A touring symphony orchestra is a rare occasion and a highlight on the local cultural calendar. Yet what makes French orchestra Jeune Orchestre Atlantique even more special is that they are touring with a music programme of works by Maltese composer Nicolò Isouard.

On Sunday 22nd July, University of Malta celebrates the 20th anniversary of its summer festival 'Evenings on Campus' with a spectacular concert by Jeune Orchestre Atlantique from France. The first part of the programme will feature overtures and arias from the operas Médecin Turc (1803) and Les Rendez Vous Bourgeois (1807) by Nicolò Isouard conducted by Mro. Catherine Puig.

This concert is a wonderful opportunity to discover some of our own music heritage. Classical music by a Maltese composer, born in Żebbuġ in 1775, composed 42 operas and was very famous in Napoleon's Paris where he died in 1818. In fact the bust of Nicolò Isouard is on one of the facades of both the Théâtre se l'Opéra and the Palais Garnier in Paris.

Jeune Orchestre Atlantique specialises in the interpretation of classical music on period instruments portraying a historically authentic orchestral sonority. This orchestra offers the opportunity to young musicians towards the end of their higher education to interpret classical and romantic repertoires on period instruments through a training programme that is unique in Europe.

To fulfil this objective the orchestra has undertaken the acquisition of historical instruments: a considerable number of historical bows, timpani, a full range of romantic instruments and classical wind instruments.

The second half of the concert presents Symphony No. 9 in C major by Franz Schubert known as 'The Great' conducted by Mro. Jos van Immerseel. Originally called The Great C major, the subtitle is usually taken as a reference to the symphony's majesty. In 1838, ten years after Schubert's death, Robert Schumann discovered this symphony stacked at the house of Schubert's brother. At Schuman's request, Mendelssohn conducted the work's premiere in Leipzig on the 21st of March 1839. Schumann declared that there had been nothing like this since that last of Beethoven's symphonies. The craftsmanship of this symphony is formidable. Though Romantic in temper, it is in some respects the last great Classical symphony.

This remarkable concert has been funded with the support of the European Commission as part of the Culture Programme: "EUR TEXT".  The project features the partnership of four organisations from four different European countries: Abbaye aux Dames de Saintes (France); Soundscapes - Malta Association for Contemporary Music (Malta); Strzemiński Academy of Art Łódź (Poland); Janáček Academy of Music and Performing Arts in Brno (Czech Republic).

The "EUR TEXT" programme includes several high-profile cultural events in France, Malta, Poland and the Czech Republic over a 24 month period, from the summer of 2012 till the summer of 2014. The Maltese associate partners participating in "EUR TEXT" include: the University of Malta, Teatru Manoel with the International Valletta Baroque Music Festival and the MCAST Institute of Art and Design. The co-funding for "EUR TEXT" is supported by The Malta Arts Fund and Cultural Contact Point - Malta.

The concert 'Isouard | Schubert - The Great' will be held on Sunday the 22nd of July 8.30pm at Atriju Vassalli, University of Malta, Msida. Tickets at €8, available at the door or from: Communications & Alumni Relations Office on campus, Rm 133, Administration Bldg or by email: [email protected] by phone: 2340 2043/2142 or via sms: 79843480. For more information visit wesites: and