Fondazzjoni Paulus Musical Director conducting the 2018 concert.
Recipient of first prizes in the Joyce Dixey Competition (UK) in 2000, the Jaume Dotras Serrabella Polyphonic Composition Competition (Spain) in 2006 and the APS Bank Composition Competition (Malta) in 2012, Christopher Muscat has been described by the local press as "a young composer of outstanding talent" (The Sunday Times) and the "stark originality" (The Malta Independent) of his works has earned him an ever increasing reputation. His works have been performed in many important music centres in Italy, England, Spain, Finland, Czech Republic, Slovakia, Poland, Russia, Belgium, Germany (including a performance at the prestigious Philharmonie in Berlin), Tunisia, China and the United States of America.
As conductor, his "clear conducting style" (It-Torċa), "high quality conducting" and "accomplished conducting technique" (The Sunday Times) have received constant public and critical praise. Since his professional conducting debut in 2000, Muscat has collaborated very closely with the Malta Philharmonic Orchestra and the Malta Youth Orchestra and has also guest conducted other local and international orchestras and ensembles. Muscat is a widely regarded as the leading authority on the great Maltese romantic composer Paolino Vassallo having been largely responsible for the composer’s revival in 2006. Moreover he has premiered numerous works by contemporary composers and also recorded for television as well as for the international label GegaNEW.
Over the years Muscat has worked and collaborated closely with various internationally-acclaimed artistes such as the Medici String Quartet, Quatuor CoryFeye, Leipzig Sinfonietta, Virtuosi di Praga, Matus Jakabcic (jazz guitar), David Campbell (clarinet), Giuseppe Nova (flute), Miriam Gauci (soprano), Gianluca Libertucci (organ), conductors Leos Svarovsky, Robert Sund and Ben Parry, composers Karl Jenkins, Marco Frisina and Vytautas Miskinis, the Choir of Clare College Cambridge, the National Youth Chamber Choir of Great Britain and the Coro Sinfonico di Milano Giuseppe Verdi.
Christopher Muscat is also very much active in the field of sacred music. Besides his role as Music Director of the Jubilate Deo Choir, Muscat has worked with various other choirs and has also conducted numerous special occasions at St John's Co-Cathedral and Mdina Metropolitan Cathedral in Malta as well as Westminster Cathedral in London and St. Peter’s Basilica in the Vatican. Through his pioneering work with the Cappella Gregoriana Jubilate Deo Muscat is at the forefront of a movement that aims to revive the art of plainchant singing in the Maltese islands.
As founding conductor of VOCALISE (a voluntary organisation aiming at providing training and opportunities for talented singers), Muscat has coached and conducted a number of productions, amongst these Purcell's Dido and Aeneas and Saint-Saëns' Christmas Oratorio, entirely made up of young Maltese singers. For many years he was also the chorus master for operas held at the Teatru Manoel (Malta's national theatre). In Janaury 2017 he has been appointed Music Director of Fondazzjoni Paulus, a foundation whose main interest is the promotion of sacred music.
Christopher Muscat holds a Bachelor of Arts (Honours) degree in music studies from the University of Malta as well as a Master of Music degree (with distinction) from the University of Surrey where he studied with Sebastian Forbes (composition and choral conducting), Steve Goss (composition) and Nicholas Conran (orchestral conducting). Muscat has taught music at the University of Malta and teaches sacred music at the Archbishop's Seminary. Since 2011 he has occupied the posts of Artistic Director and Chairman of the Malta International Choir Festival and is regularly invited to judge international vocal, instrumental and composition competitions.
This year has been a very busy year for our Music Director Christopher Muscat. Besides the premiere of his Cantata L-X ta' Frar 1928 in this year's annual concert, 2017 also saw the premiere of two other major works: SONATA FOR WINDS (for wind quintet) premiered on April 14 in Brussels and MESOGEIOS (for traditional folk instruments and orchestra) premiered on June 29 by the Malta Philharmonic Orchestra. Another highlight was a special concert dedicated entirely to Muscat's chamber works for piano and strings that was held at the Passionkirche in Berlin on 4 December.
Hermann Farrugia Frantz (June 2011 - June 2013)