Two great dreams come true | Gjorgji Cincievski

DENISE AZZOPARDI speaks to Gjorgji Cincievski, principal double bass player with the Malta Philharmonic Orchestra and one of the soloists for the MPO Soloists Gala Concert taking place on June 18. She is delighted to hear how two of this musician’s great wishes will come to fruition thanks to this very concert

Gjorgji Cincievski, principal double bass player with the Malta Philharmonic Orchestra
Gjorgji Cincievski, principal double bass player with the Malta Philharmonic Orchestra

How has the MPO’s vision of giving its musicians a platform to develop as soloists helped you to grow as a musician and performer over the past season?

The MPO’s vision this year has helped us as performers to build our self-confidence when performing solo accompanied by an orchestra, and it has also given us more visibility in the local music scene.

Can you pinpoint the striking elements in the Divertimento Concertante in which you feature as soloist?

This concerto has become one of the most famous and popular double bass concertos of the 20th century. This work offers a reminder of the instrument’s extraordinary vast range of pitch as it covers almost four octaves. It is a four-movement concerto filled with all the main characteristics of Nino Rota’s music – a high level of virtuosity, expressiveness, and humour. In this work of his, Rota takes us on a journey in which the hero, the double-bass, performs a cheerful burlesque march in the second movement, before taking on a more lyrical role in the third movement.
The finale opens with a sprightly tune that inspires the double-bass to challenge the woodwind in agility, but also in terms of high-pitched brilliance.

For which compositions is Nino Rota best known?

Nino Rota is best known today as a composer of film music – and he probably always will be – with scores for films such as Fellini’s La Strada, La Dolce Vita and 8 ½, Visconti’s The Leopard, and Coppola’s most famous: The Godfather. 
However, Rota also composed dozens of piano pieces, all kinds of chamber and orchestral music, numerous choral works, and no fewer than eleven operas and five ballets. Rota’s concert music is every bit as tuneful and entertaining as his many film scores, and the Divertimento Concertante bears testimony to this.

How are you preparing for your performance as soloist in this concert?

My preparations for this concert are in full swing and I have been working daily on a number of details that the music has to offer. Coincidentally, I also performed this same concerto in China last April.

What is your personal attachment to the pieces that form part of the programme?

It’s always been a great dream of mine to perform Rota’s Divertimento Concertante with full symphony orchestra. It is a concerto that is challenging for both the performer and the orchestra, so it’s not so easily acceptable by many orchestras to perform. 

The most special aspect of this concert, in my opinion, is the fact that it will be conducted by Mro Brian Schembri, whose work I greatly admire due to his musicianship and his meticulous approach to details. As a matter of fact, immediately after the first concert I took part in that was conducted Mro Schembri, I approached him and expressed my wish to play this very concerto in a concert conducted by him. He smiled, replying that there would be an opportunity in the future. Now the opportunity has arrived, and I can’t wait to actualise it! 

The MPO Soloists Gala Concert, comprising a one-hour-and-thirty-minute programme (excluding interval), will take place at the Mediterranean Conference Centre in Valletta on June 18 at 19:30. Tickets at €10, €20, €30. For tickets email [email protected] or phone 2559 5750. For more information, visit