Malta International Music Festival


26 April — 10 May 2020

Valletta • Floriana

Symphonic Revelations

Malta Philharmonic Orchestra

Rustem Abyazovconductor(Tatarstan/Russia)

Victor Julien-Laferrièrecello(France)

Mediterranean Conference Centre

Rustem Abyazov


The creator, permanent artistic director and chief conductor of the Kazan chamber orchestra La Primavera. He graduated the Moscow State Conservatoire, the specialty was "violin" (the class of Prof. Irina Bochkova), and also the Kazan State Conservatoire, the specialty was "composition". In 1983-86 he was the soloist of the Tatar State Philharmonia, in 1986-96 he worked as a Director and an artistic director of the special music school-lyceum of the Kazan State Conservatoire. In 1989 Rustem Abyazov founded a chamber orchestra La Primavera, which within the shortest period became one of the most exciting musical groups of Russia.

He is an honored artist of the Republic of Tatarstan and the Russian Federation, a national artist of the Republic of Tatarstan, a laureate of the State Prize of the Republic of Tatarstan in the field of literature and art, named after Gabdulla Tukay. In 2002 the Russian national newspaper "Musical review" named Rustem Abyazov the "Conductor of the Year".

Rustem Abyazov performs much as a violinist. He plays in various ensembles. He has toured in Russia and abroad – Hungary, Germany, Sweden, France, Greece, Tunisia, Spain, China, Turkey, Switzerland, the UK, South Korea, Israel and others.

He is a member of music festivals, including "Stars of  White Nights" (Saint Petersburg), "Europe - Asia" (Kazan), "Christmas musical meetings in North Palmyra", "Moscow Autumn", the Music festival at the Royal Palace (Sweden) Les Classiques de Villars (Switzerland), the Music festival "Hibla Gerzmava invites" (Abkhazia) and others.

Rustem Abyazov combines successfully performing activities and a composer’s gift. Many of his works have gained popularity, and are often performed in concerts, recorded for radio and television. He pays much attention to update and expand the repertoire of string orchestras.

Comments in mass media

"Rustem Abyazov’s solo of the violin was truly wonderful. Mr. Abyazov performed passionately, with inspiration, creating a subtle magic canvas. The sound was clear and amazingly transparent".
"Evening Kazan" (Kazan)

"Abyazov took a full advantage of the sound of his powerful instrument and impressed with an amazing variety of tones: a warm, resonant sound in low registers opposed gentle, crystal clear sounds of tops".
Giessener Allgemeine (Germany)

"The concert fantasy on Gershwin's opera "Porgy and Bess", performed at the end of the program, showed Rustem Abyazov as a magician, whose instrument mastered all kinds of violin technique".
Giessener Anzelger (Germany)

"... Under inspirational management of the active, accurate in details conductor Abyazov, we heard a nice, very subtle, often a bit sentimental, but fresh, pleasantly tinged music - with an abundance of sound colors, rhythmic vitality and changeable dynamics ...".
Hallandsposten (Sweden)

"The festival, named after Abyazov, once again demonstrated the highest rating of the musician in the creative life of the republic: four nights in a row, his concerts-portraits - in fact, gathered full house. Rustem Abyazov and his orchestra have their listeners, many of which, owing to him, have become frequenters of the concert halls. So today, the musician can afford many things, including holding successfully the festival, named after him."
"Musical Review" (Moscow)

Victor Julien-Laferrière


1st Prize winner of the Queen Elisabeth Competition 2017 in Brussels, as part of the first edition dedicated to cello, Victor Julien-Laferrière also won the 1st Prize and two special prizes at the 2012 Prague Spring International Competition. In 2018, he was awarded the Victoire de la Musique in France as “Best Instrumental Solo”. Victor Julien-Laferrière began the cello with René Benedetti, then studied successively with Roland Pidoux at the Paris Conservatoire, Heinrich Schiff at the University of Vienna and Clemens Hagen at the Mozarteum in Salzburg. At the same time, he took part from 2005 to 2011 at Seiji Ozawa International Music Academy Switzerland.

In 2018 and 2019, Victor Julien-Laferrière is the guest of the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra/Valery Gergiev, Orchestre National de France/Emmanuel Krivine, RTÉ Orchestra Dublin/Nathalie Stutzmann, Orchestre du Capitole de Toulouse/Tugan Sokhiev, Orchestre National de Belgique/Maxim Emelyanychev, Orchestre National d’Ile de France/James Feddeck, Brussels Philharmonic Orchestra/Jiri Rozen/Stéphane Denève, Nordwestdeutsche Philharmonie/Yves Abel, Orchestre de Chambre de Paris/David Reiland, Orchestre de Chambre de Lausanne/Joshua Weilerstein, I Pomeriggi Musicali de Milan/Yusuke Kumehara, Ural Philharmonic/Dmitri Liss, Netherlands Philharmonic Orchestra/Alexander Joel, Orquesta Sinfónica Nacional de Colombia/Olivier Grangean, Orchestre National de Montpellier/Michele Gamba, Orchestre National de Lille/Jean-Claude Casadessus.

In recital and chamber music, he is the guest of the Concertgebouw Amsterdam, Philharmonie de Paris, CelloBiennale in Amsterdam, Chapelle Musicale Reine Elisabeth, Essen Philharmonie, Théâtre des Champs-Elysées, Louisiana Museum in Copenhague, KKL of Lucerne, Tonhalle of Zurich, Auditorium du Louvre, Palais des Beaux-Arts in Brussels, Phillips Collection in Washington, Fondation Louis Vuitton, festivals of Prague Spring, MecklenburgVorpommern, Kuhmo, Gstaad, Copenhagen Summer Festival, Klavier Festival Ruhr, Rheingau Musik Festival, Folles Journées de Nantes et Tokyo, Ester festivals of Deauville and Aix-en-Provence…

He also receives many recording awards, including the Diapason d’or of the year 2017 for his sonata album with the pianist Adam Laloum. In January 2019, Victor Julien-Laferrière releases a new album devoted to Schubert with the Trio Les Esprits (Sony Music). His next release is planned for the Automn 2019 with the pianist Jonas Vitaud for the label Alpha Classics.

Malta Philharmonic Orchestra

For half a century, the Malta Philharmonic Orchestra has been Malta’s leading musical ensemble. The orchestra was founded in April 1968, when musicians from the defunct “C-in-C” Orchestra of the Malta-based British Mediterranean Fleet regrouped as the Manoel Theatre Orchestra. It continued to serve as the theatre’s resident orchestra until September 1997, when it became an independent orchestra, taking up National Orchestra of Malta as its name. The orchestra became the MPO in 2008 when it expanded into a full-size symphony orchestra, bringing together the best of Maltese talent and musicians from Europe and beyond.

Joseph Sammut, the C-in-C’s last conductor, was the orchestra’s first conductor, remaining at the helm until 1992. Since then, the orchestra has also been under the direction of Joseph Vella, Michael Laus, and Brian Schembri.

This season, the MPO has appointed Raoul Lay as its Artistic Director, together with Sergey Smbatyan as Principal Conductor and Michael Laus as Resident Conductor. The MPO also works with local and international guest conductors and soloists including Lawrence Renes, Michalis Economou, Guy Braunstein and Enrico Dindo.

 As Malta’s only professional orchestra, the MPO averages more than one performance a week including symphonic concerts, opera productions in Malta and Gozo, community outreach and educational initiatives, as well as various concerts of a lighter nature.

The orchestra has performed in leading venues across the globe, including in the USA, Russia, Germany, Austria, China, Italy, and Belgium. Presently it embarks on at least one international tour each concert season.

The MPO is a keen exponent of Maltese composers, regularly performing their works in Malta and overseas, as well as frequently premiering and commissioning new compositions.

Through the MPO Academy and the Malta Youth Orchestra, which itself regularly gives concerts around Malta, the MPO is also responsible for the training and professional development of the next generation of Maltese musicians.


Rashid Kalimullin

Symphonic Revelations

Alexey Shor

Musical Pilgrimage
for cello and orchestra

Soloist: Victor Julien-Laferrière cello

Farid Yarullin

Fragments from
the ballet "Shurale"
(concert version by Rustem Abyazov)

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