From ancient times, the rise of the Pleiades constellation in spring was thought to be a favourable omen for the beginning of navigation. Similarly, a constellation of classical music stars in Valletta will mark the beginning of a season of summer festivals across the Mediterranean.
The 6th Malta International Music Festival will take place in Valletta from the 15th of April to the 1st of May 2018. This year, the festival has attracted a significant number of the world's most famous musicians: the incredible superstar violinist Maxim Vengerov, the Berliner Philharmoniker solo-clarinetist Andreas Ottensamer, the most celebrated Italian violinist of his generation Salvatore Accardo, the breathtaking pianist Nikolai Lugansky, and Ray Chen, who is among the most compelling young violinists of today.
The famous Russian opera singer Lyuba Kazarnovskaya will not only put on a concert, but will also recount the events of the festival in detail in an exclusive programming of the medici.tv channel. Legendary pianist Grigori Sokolov will take part in the festival for the second time in a row with a recital.
Also, the winners at the final stage out of eleven international piano competitors will be known, for a first prize of 100,000 Euro and a prize fund of 200,000 Euro. The series began in July 201 7 and since then has been taking place in 11 cities located across the Eurasian continent.
The 115th anniversary of the great Armenian composer Aram Khachaturian will also be celebrated with an exuberant symphony concert featuring celebrities and a large-scale exposition. Meanwhile, the fans of the most popular and loved Russian composer Sergei Rachmaninov can celebrate his 145th anniversary at the concert of the great pianist Nikolai Lugansky.
Moreover, many celebrities are expected to feature the festival, including stars of classical music, composers, leaders of famous festivals and publishing houses. "MUSIC, LIKE LIFE ITSELF...", the title of one of the concerts within the festival, will be devoted to the works of the outstanding Georgian composer Giya Kancheli who will attend the whole duration of the festival.
World class orchestras and chamber ensembles like Armenian State Symphony Orchestra and Malta Philharmonic Orchestra will participate in the festival by conductors Sergey Smbatyan, Dmitry Sitkovetsky, Sergei Stadler and Tigran Akhnazarian.
The festival highly emphasizes contemporary composers, especially the pieces by the contemporary Maltese composer Alexey Shor. Among a number of works, his symphonic cycle for two orchestras Images from the Great Siege will be premiered. The composer has dedicated his work to one of the most significant and famous historical events in the history of Malta: the unsuccessful attempt by the Ottoman Empire to invade the island in 1565, then held by the Maltese Knights.
Some of the young, rising stars in the field will appear in the festival: once again, the winner of the Tchaikovsky Competition, cellist Narek Hakhnazaryan, and, for the first time, the winner of the Queen Elisabeth Competition, the pianist Denis Kozhukhin.
The symphonic concerts and events of the festival will take place at the Mediterranean Conference Centre, which is situated in one of the oldest European buildings Sacra Infermeria. The chamber concerts will be held in the Robert Sammut Hall, one of the unique Maltese architectural structures of the 19th century.