15 APRIL - 1 MAY 2018



Joint concert of Armenian State Symphony Orchestra and Malta Philharmonic Orchestra

Sergey Smbatyan Conductor

Venue: St. George’s Square




This concert will be

webcast live on

"Voltaire has famously said that “nothing is so well known as the Siege of Malta”. Indeed it is hard to think of another example that rivals it in terms of sheer heroism in overcoming overwhelming odds, and in term of it’s long term impact on the fate of the European Civilization. This cycle does not attempt to do justice to the horrors and glory of the The Great Siege but rather to present a few romanticized images related to it."

— Alexey Shor

Sergey Smbatyan Conductor

Armenian State Symphony Orchestra

Malta Philharmonic Orchestra

The Maltese islands have always had a very important role in the Mediterranean Sea, due to the islands’ strategic positioning between Europe and Africa. In fact, this has been one of the most important factors which contributed to the islands’ rich history. This includes one of the most historical battles, The Great Siege of Malta, which took place 453 years ago in 1565.

Throughout history, Malta has been considered an important piece of land to possess. In fact, in 1530, Malta was offered to the Knights of St John by the Holy Roman Emperor Charles V in order to defend his Empire in Western Europe from Turkish attacks coming from Eastern Europe. The Knights, led by Grand Master La Valette, were under constant threat from the Turks, and a few years later, in May 1565, an Ottoman fleet of 40,000 men arrived in Malta – this marked the start of The Great Siege.

The Knights were heavily outnumbered by the Turks, who started by attacking Fort St Elmo. The Knights held onto the fort for four weeks, which is far longer than the Turks had anticipated. However, after the loss of around 8000 men, including their commander Dragut, the Turks managed to take the fort. The battles did not stop there, as the Turks then went on to try and attack Fort St Angelo, right at the centre of the Grand Harbour, however the Knights managed to defend the fort and so the Ottoman Empire failed to overrun the fort.

The intense conflicts carried on throughout the summer of 1565, when the Ottomans released the headless corpses of the Knights across the Grand Harbour, and in return the Knights were ordered to execute the Ottoman prisoners and use their heads as cannonballs against their compatriots. Finally, in September 1565, Don Garcia’s fleet arrived in Malta with 8,000 men to help defend the Knights. This caused the Ottomans to lose thousands more men, which led to the end of The Great Siege on 8 September 1565, the day now known as "Victory Day".



Aram Khachaturian

pieces from Spartacus Suites

Alexey Shor

"Images from the Great Siege"
symphonic cycle for two orchestras  (The World Premiere)

Tickets & Info

Tel.: +356 77727222

Tel.: +356 2559 5750

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VLT 1173 Republic of Malta.

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