Malta International Music Festival

2021

GENIUS STRADIVARI

15 June - 11 July 2022

15
June
8pm
GENIUS STRADIVARI

Malta Philharmonic Orchestra

Sergey Smbatyan(Armenia)

Fumiaki Miuraviolin(Japan)

Valletta
Mediterranean Conference Centre


Sergey Smbatyan

Extending far beyond his native Armenia, Sergey Smbatyan’s renown and prolific musical career feed on his inexorable vision to make the world a better place through music, culture and spiritual enrichment of people. Sergey Smbatyan’s robust endeavors have earned an array of achievements for the Armenian State Symphony Orchestra, of which he is the Founder, Artistic Director, and Principal Conductor, as well as the Malta Philharmonic Orchestra, which he has been leading as the Principal Conductor since September, 2019. Born to a family of musicians, Sergey’s journey in the world of classical music started with violin studies first with his grandmother Tatiana Hayrapetyan, followed by the classes with violinists Bagrat Vardanyan, Zakhar Bron and Yuri Davtyan. A graduate of Yerevan Komitas State Conservatory and Moscow Tchaikovsky Conservatory, Smbatyan also graduated from the Royal Academy of Music in London in 2012. He also holds a Ph.D. in Fine Arts from the Institute of Arts, a division of the Armenian National Academy of Sciences.

The conservatory undergraduate Sergey Smbatyan lay the foundation of the future Armenian State Symphony Orchestra in 2005, assembling like-minded young fellows into a youth orchestra that would champion classical music in Armenia and promote Armenian musical heritage worldwide. The future achievements awaiting the orchestra along its journey proved the visceral faith of its founder to be an infallible foresight. Throughout the 2020 concert tour with the renowned violin virtuoso and the orchestra’s artist-in-residence Maxim Vengerov brilliant performances were hosted on reputable stages around Europe - Berliner Philharmonie, Vienna's Musikverein, London's Barbican Center,  Prague's Dvorak Hall, Salzburg's Grosses Festspielhaus, Moscow's Zaryadye Concert Hall and elsewhere.

Sergey Smbatyan also holds a rich record of conducting experience with foreign orchestras, including, among many others, the Moscow Symphony Orchestra, the National Philharmonic Orchestra of Russia, the London Symphony Orchestra, the Dresden Philharmonic Orchestra, the Mariinsky Theatre Orchestra, the Berlin Symphony Orchestra, the Latvian National Symphony Orchestra, the Jerusalem Symphony Orchestra. A significant highlight in his international conducting career was the 2019 invitation he received to lead the Malta Philharmonic Orchestra as its Principal Conductor. Prior to this commitment too, the collaboration with the MPO had long been harvesting remarkable success throughout the MPO’s concert tours across the world - from Vienna’s Musikverein to New York’s Carnegie Hall.

Among Sergey Smbatyan’s most cherished and sustainable legacies of are his self-founded 4 music festivals (Armenian Composing Art Festival, Khachaturian International Festival, “Armenia” International Music Festival and “Contemporary Classics” Composers’ Festival), as well as the introduction of “Conducting” category in the annual Khachaturian International Competition, which is a member of the prestigious World Federation of International Musical Competitions (WFIMC). Other valuable enterprises include 5 exclusive orchestras formed in the framework of significant events, 7 special musical projects and concert series and 7 educational projects, the most massive and impactful of the letter being “DasA” (literally- “ClassA), launched in 2018. Targeting high school students in Armenia, this project’s mission focuses on the popularization of classical music and positive transformation in the young generation’s attitude towards classical music.

By virtue of his relentless and creative outlooks, Smbatyan always pursues new dimensions for innovative artistry and embarks on novel initiatives in the Armenian cultural context. In the framework of the “WCIT 2019”, the largest IT Congress for innovators and entrepreneurs hosted in 2019 by Armenia, an orchestra of 100 musicians from fifteen countries assembled under the Smbatyan’s baton to play the first ever AI real-time-composed music at the opening ceremony of the event as a symbolic demonstration of the ever-growing prospect of dialogue between traditional classical music performance and the technological advancements of the new era.

In 2015, Sergey Smbatyan received the title of Chevalier of the “Order of Arts and Letters”, awarded by the Minister of Culture and Communication of France. In 2017, the honorary title of “Worker in Arts of Armenia” was conferred on him for the great merit in rearing of creative generation. In 2019, a documentary was released by Mezzo TV, featuring Sergey Smbatyan and the history of the Armenian State Symphony Orchestra. Extending far beyond his native Armenia, Sergey Smbatyan’s renown and prolific musical career feed on his inexorable vision to make the world a better place through music, culture and spiritual enrichment of people. Sergey Smbatyan’s robust endeavors have earned an array of achievements for the Armenian State Symphony Orchestra, of which he is the Founder, Artistic Director, and Principal Conductor, as well as the Malta Philharmonic Orchestra, which he has been leading as the Principal Conductor since September, 2019. Born to a family of musicians, Sergey’s journey in the world of classical music started with violin studies first with his grandmother Tatiana Hayrapetyan, followed by the classes with violinists Bagrat Vardanyan, Zakhar Bron and Yuri Davtyan. A graduate of Yerevan Komitas State Conservatory and Moscow Tchaikovsky Conservatory, Smbatyan also graduated from the Royal Academy of Music in London in 2012. He also holds a Ph.D. in Fine Arts from the Institute of Arts, a division of the Armenian National Academy of Sciences. The conservatory undergraduate Sergey Smbatyan lay the foundation of the future Armenian State Symphony Orchestra in 2005, assembling like-minded young fellows into a youth orchestra that would champion classical music in Armenia and promote Armenian musical heritage worldwide. The future achievements awaiting the orchestra along its journey proved the visceral faith of its founder to be an infallible foresight. Throughout the 2020 concert tour with the renowned violin virtuoso and the orchestra’s artist-in-residence Maxim Vengerov brilliant performances were hosted on reputable stages around Europe - Berliner Philharmonie, Vienna's Musikverein, London's Barbican Center, Prague's Dvorak Hall, Salzburg's Grosses Festspielhaus, Moscow's Zaryadye Concert Hall and elsewhere. Sergey Smbatyan also holds a rich record of conducting experience with foreign orchestras, including, among many others, the Moscow Symphony Orchestra, the National Philharmonic Orchestra of Russia, the London Symphony Orchestra, the Dresden Philharmonic Orchestra, the Mariinsky Theatre Orchestra, the Berlin Symphony Orchestra, the Latvian National Symphony Orchestra, the Jerusalem Symphony Orchestra. A significant highlight in his international conducting career was the 2019 invitation he received to lead the Malta Philharmonic Orchestra as its Principal Conductor. Prior to this commitment too, the collaboration with the MPO had long been harvesting remarkable success throughout the MPO’s concert tours across the world - from Vienna’s Musikverein to New York’s Carnegie Hall. Among Sergey Smbatyan’s most cherished and sustainable legacies of are his self-founded 4 music festivals (Armenian Composing Art Festival, Khachaturian International Festival, “Armenia” International Music Festival and “Contemporary Classics” Composers’ Festival), as well as the introduction of “Conducting” category in the annual Khachaturian International Competition, which is a member of the prestigious World Federation of International Musical Competitions (WFIMC). Other valuable enterprises include 5 exclusive orchestras formed in the framework of significant events, 7 special musical projects and concert series and 7 educational projects, the most massive and impactful of the letter being “DasA” (literally- “ClassA), launched in 2018. Targeting high school students in Armenia, this project’s mission focuses on the popularization of classical music and positive transformation in the young generation’s attitude towards classical music. By virtue of his relentless and creative outlooks, Smbatyan always pursues new dimensions for innovative artistry and embarks on novel initiatives in the Armenian cultural context. In the framework of the “WCIT 2019”, the largest IT Congress for innovators and entrepreneurs hosted in 2019 by Armenia, an orchestra of 100 musicians from fifteen countries assembled under the Smbatyan’s baton to play the first ever AI real-time-composed music at the opening ceremony of the event as a symbolic demonstration of the ever-growing prospect of dialogue between traditional classical music performance and the technological advancements of the new era. In 2015, Sergey Smbatyan received the title of Chevalier of the “Order of Arts and Letters”, awarded by the Minister of Culture and Communication of France. In 2017, the honorary title of “Worker in Arts of Armenia” was conferred on him for the great merit in rearing of creative generation. In 2019, a documentary was released by Mezzo TV, featuring Sergey Smbatyan and the history of the Armenian State Symphony Orchestra.


“The conductor led the orchestra with an uncommon attention to detail, skillfully guiding the musicians through the whole performance. His hands were clear and precise; this was a performance of great dignity and nobility. A highly successful and passionate performance!”.

Hessisch Niedersächsische Allgemeine

Fumiaki Miura

Violin

Since aged 16, Fumiaki is mentored and guided by Pinchas Zukerman. In 2009 he was awarded First Prize at the prestigious Joseph Joachim Hannover International Violin Competition.  Highlights of the 2021/2022 season include his debut at the Orquesta Nacional de España (OCNE), concerts with the Orquesta Sinfónica de Navarra, Mariinsky Theatre Symphony Orchestra, Jerusalem Symphony Orchestra, Orquestra Simfònica de Barcelona alongside Pinchas Zukerman, as well as a tour around Europe with pianist Varvara. He will be artist in residence with three concerts in the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra of London

Miura has performed with orchestras including Los Angeles Philharmonic, NDR Radiophilharmonie Hannover, NDR Sinfonieorchester Hamburg, Radio-Sinfonieorchester Stuttgart des SWR, Prague Philharmonia, Mariinsky Theatre, Orchestre de Chambre Lausanne, Warsaw Philharmonic, NHK Symphony Orchestra, Orchestre National du Capitole de Toulouse, BBC Royal Scottish National Orchestra, Gothenburg Symphony Orchestra, Düsseldorf Symphoniker, hr-Sinfonieorchester. Fumiaki Miura plays under the baton of conductors such as Valery Gergiev, Gustavo Dudamel, Pinchas Zukerman, Krzysztof Penderecki, Vladimir Fedoseyev, Andrés Orozco-Estrada, Kazushi Ono, Jakub Hrůša, Vasily Petrenko, Josep Pons, Santtu-Matias Rouvali and Tatsuya Shimono.

Miura has collaborated with Yuri Bashmet, Itamar Golan, Sunwook Kim, Mischa Maisky, Maria João Pires, Lawrence Power, Julian Rachlin, Torleif Thedéen or Nobuyuki Tsujii.

Fumiaki Miura plays a 1704 Stradivarius named “ex Viotti” kindly loaned by the Munetsugu Foundation.

Malta Philharmonic Orchestra

For half a century, the Malta Philharmonic Orchestra (MPO) has been Malta’s foremost musical institution.  The orchestra was founded in April 1968, when musicians from the defunct “Commander-in-Chief” (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 the name National Orchestra of Malta. The orchestra became the MPO in 2008 when it expanded into a full-size symphony orchestra, bringing together musicians from Malta, 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, John Galea, Michael Laus, and Brian Schembri. In 2019, the MPO has appointed Sergey Smbatyan as Principal Conductor, joining Resident Conductor Michael Laus as part of the orchestra’s Artistic Team. The MPO also works with local and international guest artists including Lawrence Renes, Diana Damrau, José Cura, Mikhail Pletnev, Gil Shaham, Joseph Calleja, Gautier Capuçon, Daniel Lozakovich and Enrico Dindo.

 

As Malta’s leading musical ensemble, 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. During the past seasons, the MPO embarked on a Digital Transformation reaching over 32 million people worldwide through its Online Programme in 2021.

The orchestra has performed in leading venues across the globe, including in the United States, Russia, Dubai, Germany, Austria, China, Italy, and Belgium, and presently 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 regularly give concerts across Malta, the MPO is also responsible for the training and professional development of the next generation of Maltese musicians.

Programme

Alexey Shor

Phantasms

I) Dance of the Graces
II) Elegy
III) Flight of a Falcon

Camille Saint-Saëns

Introduction 
and Rondo Capriccioso

Aram Khachaturian

Excerpts from Spartacus Ballet Suites No. 1 and No. 2

I) Introduction and Dance of the Nymphs
II) Adagio of Aegina and Harmodius
III) Scene and Dance with Crotalums
IV) Variation of Aegina and Bacchanalia
V) Adagio Spartacus and Phrygia
VI) Dance of Gaditanae and Victory of Spartacus

16 June • ITALIAN EVENING IN FLORIANA →