Malta International Music Festival



15 June - 13 July 2022


Istanbul State Symphony Orchestra

Valid Ağayevconductor(Azerbaijan)

Vadym Kholodenkopiano(Ukraine)

St Julian’s
Hilton, Grand Masters suite



Born in 1983, Conductor Valid Ağayev is originally from Baku, Azerbaijan.   Valid Ağayev attended a specialized music school, and then studied violin at the State Music  Academy in Baku and earned a Bachelor of Music cum laude in 2006. In 2008, he  achieved Master of Music also with honours. During his studies as a violinist in Azerbaijan,  Valid Ağayev took the opportunity to take master classes with world famous musicians, as M. Rostropovich, D. Sitkovetsky and M. Vengerov. From 2004 to 2010, Valid Ağayev was  a leading violinist and a soloist of the "Gara Garayev" Azerbaijan State Chamber Orchestra.  As part of this activity, he led concert tours to Germany, France, USA, Japan, South Korea,  Italy, Poland, Turkey, Sweden, Belgium, Russia and Ukraine.   From 2012 to 2017 Valid Ağayev studied conducting at the High School of Music and Dance  in Cologne; first with Professor Michael Luig and later on with Professor Alexander Rumpf.   Since January 2014 until July 2020, Valid Ağayev has been working as a Conductor and  Artistic Director of the Attendorn Chamber Orchestra. In this capacity, on numerous occasions  he attracted exceptional soloists such as Oleksiy Semenenko (2nd prize Queen Elisabeth  Competition 2015), Koryun Asatryan (Echo-prize 2005), Gerhard Vielhaber, Shengzhi Guo...  

At the end of 2016, he successfully passed his final conducting exam with honours. As part of  his studies, he regularly led the Philharmonic Südwestfalen in Cologne and other cities in  Germany.  

Since 2017, Valid Ağayev has been invited regularly as a guest conductor to different types of  concerts with the Orquesta Clásica Santa Cecilia. In April 2017, he flew to Madrid on short  notice to perform with the orchestra for the first time, and then later in May to perform at the  scene of Auditorio Nacional de Música.  

In November 2017 he shared the stage with the Orpheus Public Award winner, pianist Nikolai  Tokarev (Orpheum Public Award 2006) and the Ukrainian National Symphony Orchestra in  Kiel.  

In December 2019, Mr. Ağayev worked very successfully with the Azerbaijan State Chamber  Orchestra and then he went to Kazakhstan to work with the world famous violinist Shlomo Mintz and "Academy of Soloists of Kazakhstan" in Nur-Sultan.  

Valid Ağayev also successfully performed with the Collegium Musicum Orchestra in Lviv,  Ukraine, as well as visited Minsk to lead the Amadeus Project Orchestra. 

Since 01.01.2021 Mr. Ağayev works as Associate Professor in Çukurova State Conservatory  in Adana, Turkey and continues to perform as a guest conductor in Europe and Asia. 



Vadym Kholodenko is fast building a reputation as one of the most musically dynamic and technically gifted young pianists, praised in his performance with the Philadelphia Orchestra “for his absorbing melodic shading [and] glittering passage work” (Philadelphia Enquirer). Winner of the 2013 Cliburn Competition, Kholodenko captivated audiences and critics alike with the Fort Worth Symphony Orchestra immediately appointing him their first Artist in Partnership for a period of three years. His latest solo disc on Harmonia Mundi, works by Scriabin won a prestigious Diapason d’Or de l’année. Previous awards include First Prizes at both the Schubert Piano Competition, Dortmund (2011) and Sendai Piano Competition (2010). Kholodenko has collaborated with distinguished conductors including Valery Gergiev, Leonard Slatkin, Vladimir Fedoseyev, Kirill Karabits, Miguel Harth-Bedoya, Paul Daniel, Pinchas Zukerman, Yuri Bashmet, Vladimir Spivakov, Ion Marin and Kazuki Yamada. In 2013 he held a residency at the Mariinsky Concert Hall where Valery Gergiev named him Artist of the Month and recently requested him for concerto performances and recordings in Paris, Luxembourg and St Petersburg.

In North America Kholodenko has performed with the Philadelphia Orchestra, Atlanta Symphony, Indianapolis Symphony, Rochester Philharmonic and San Diego Symphony Orchestras, and toured with the Staatskapelle Weimar under Kirill Karabits. He has given recitals throughout the United States including in New York, Washington and Boston and at the Aspen Music Festival.

His 2017 London debut with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra resulted in an immediate re-invitation whilst elsewhere in Europe he has recently worked with the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra, Orchestre National Bordeaux Aquitane, Orchestre Philharmonique de Luxembourg, Malmö Symphony Orchestra, Norwegian Radio Orchestra, Copenhagen Philharmonic, Prague Symphony Orchestra, RTVE Symphony Orchestra in Madrid and Orquesta Nacional de España. He has recently given solo recitals at the Vienna Konzerthaus, Wigmore Hall and LSO St Lukes in London, Liszt Academy Budapest, Radio France in Paris, Lucerne and at the SWR Schwetzignen Festspiele, La Roque d’Anthéron and Chopin Festival in Warsaw. A committed chamber musician he enjoys performing at the Spectrum Concerts series in Berlin and has collaborated with Vadim Repin, Clara-Jumi Kang, Alena Baeva, Maxim Rysanov and cellist Alexander Buzlov.

Kholodenko is a regular visitor to Japan and has performed with the Japan Philharmonic and Tokyo Metropolitan Symphony Orchestras and last season toured the country with the Prague Radio Symphony Orchestra. He has performed with the Malaysian Philharmonic, Sydney Symphony Orchestra and given recitals throughout Japan as well as in Beijing and Singapore.

Highlights of the 2019/20 season include performances with the Royal Scottish National Orchestra/Søndergård, NCPA Orchestra/Chung, RTE National Symphony Orchestra of Ireland, Bournemouth Symphony/Ion Marin and Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra/Louis Langrée whilst in recital he opens the inaugural Jacques Samuel Piano Series and performs in New York, Bilbao, Lucerne, Paris and Moscow.
Kholodenko’s recordings for Harmonia Mundi include the Grieg Piano Concerto and Saint-Saëns Piano Concerto No 2 which was awarded Editor’s Choice in Gramophone “a truly outstanding recording” and the complete cycle of Prokofiev Piano Concertos. His most recent release, solo works by Scriabin received a Diapason d’Or de l’année whilst future plans include solo discs of works by Tchaikovsky and Prokofiev. For Arthaus he recorded Prokofiev Piano Concerto No 5 with the Mariinsky Theatre conducted by Valery Gergiev, released on DVD.

Vadym Kholodenko was born in Kiev, Ukraine and gave his first concerts at the age of 13 in the USA, China, Hungary and Croatia. He studied at the Moscow State Conservatoire under renowned teacher, Professor Vera Gornostaeva.

Istanbul State Symphony Orchestra

A Brief History of Istanbul State Symphony Orchestra (İstanbul Devlet Senfoni Orkestrası – İDSO) Western Classical Music made its permanent place in Turkish culture in the first half of the 19th century. As a result of the reforms of Sultan Mahmud II, the Imperial Band “Musika-yı Humayun”, was founded and served as the country's most important music institution in Istanbul until the establishment of the Republic in 1923.

After this institution moved to Ankara in 1924 and became the Presidential Symphony Orchestra, the “Istanbul City Orchestra” was founded in 1945 under the leadership of Composer and Conductor Cemal Reşid Rey.

In 1972, the Istanbul City Orchestra was affiliated to the Ministry of Culture and Tourism with a brand-new name, “Istanbul State Symphony Orchestra”.

IDSO performed a rich number of works composed by Turkish Composers home and abroad, besides the Orchestra made successful tours regularly around the globe.

Leading Turkish Conductors such as Naci Özgüç, Erol Erdinç and Ender Sakpınar were amongst who served as Chief Conductor in IDSO.  Since November 2021, Hasan Niyazi Tura, an imminent composer and conductor, appointed as Acting Chief Conductor.


Coming soon...

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