Valletta Baroque Festival in Malta

The eighth edition of the Valletta Baroque Festival is taking place from the 10 – 25 January 2020. The festival will feature some of the best international and local artists of Baroque music at concerts that will take place in prestigious venues such as the historical Teatru Manoel and St John’s Co-Cathedral.

The festival will feature top-notch artists, from Malta and abroad, performing wonderful music from Monteverdi to Bach. Just like last year, the festival will explore beautiful baroque settings outside Valletta including the Verdala Palace and the beautiful San Filippu ta’ Aggira Parish Church of Żebbuġ, bringing baroque music into the places for which it was composed.

This year’s festival is predominately secular with concertos from all over Europe.

Artistic Director Kenneth Zammit Tabona highlighted that especially close to his heart are the Neapolitan concertos, which inspired Maltese composers who went to study with Francesco Durante in the 18th century.

This is what aptly describes the spirit of the 2020 festival: a celebration of European culture from the music commissioned by the Infanta Isabella Clara Eugenia – regent of the Spanish Netherlands – to the 20th century masterpieces that were ‘Inspired by Baroque’; a commemoration of the apogee of what historian Arthur Bryant indelibly christened ‘The Age of Elegance’.

La Grande Chapelle will perform music written for Isabella Clara Eugenia on 22 January in the mesmerising setting of S. John’s Co-Cathedral, along with the Clarinet version of the Goldberg Variations by Dimitry Askhenhazy. The reworked versions of original and transcribed music from Bach by Teodoro Bau and Andrea Buccarella will be performed on 16 January.

Not to be missed are the Bach concertos by the young renowned French Ensemble Dynastie (23 January) and the Sacred Vivaldi concert by La Serenissima at St Paul’s Church in Rabat (11 January).

Other highlights this month are the opening concert at Teatru Manoel with the renowned orchestra Les Musiciens du Louvre and Vivica Geneaux directed by Thibault Noally performing music by Porpora and Handel (10 January); Pergolesi’s Stabat Mater at the Kuncizzjoni Immakulata (Parish Church) in Bormla by Abchordis Ensemble (18 January); and the concert dedicated to Neapolitan Cello Concertos performed by Catherine Jones on 16 January; or the Ensemble Barocco di Napoli with music by Vivaldi, Handel and Pergolesi (19 January).

Last but not least, the eighth edition will close in style with Bel canto from Naples by Simone Kermes and Amici Veneziani at Teatru Manoel.

You can follow the festival on: The complete programme is available on

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