Valletta International Baroque Festival 2015

Valletta, the city which we proud to call our capital city, is often described as a big open-air museum. It is a living experience of Baroque architecture, a monument donated by the Knights of St. John's four and a half centuries ago. The Baroque feel and structure is what truly defines Valletta, and it is really worthy of a celebration. 

This is where the Valletta International Baroque Festival is just that, a celebration of all that is Baroque. The festival is now in its fourth edition and will this year, like in the previous ones, incorporate "an eclectic variety of music including pianistic transcriptions and 20th Century orchestral music inspired by the baroque idiom." The festival will take place between the 16th and 30th January 2015, and besides the beautiful Baroque music, visitors can also look forward to seeing the finest Baroque buildings come to life. 

Some of the venues that will host the concerts are the following: 

Manoel Theatre 
1. Manoel Theatre: built in 1732 by the Grand Master Manoel de Vilhena, Teatru Manoel is one of the oldest working theatres in Europe and is today considered to be Malta's National Theatre.

2. Ta' Giezu Church: the church of the Friars Minor was designed by Gerolamo Cassar and built on land granted to them in 1571. Numerous grandmasters contributed lavishly towards the embellishment of the church which now hosts various works of art including the impressive Miraculous Crucifix and the 1600 titular painting of the Visitation of Our Lady to St. Elizabeth by Sicilian artist Antonio Catalano. 

3. St. Paul's Anglican Cathedral Independence Square: commissioned by the Dowager Queen Adelaide and built on the site of Auberge d'Allemagne, the cathedral was designed by William Scamp. Its spire is over 60 metres tall and is considered to be one of Valletta's major landmarks.
The Grand Master's Palace

4.The Grand Master's Palace: built in 1571, this edifice currently hosts the President's office and Malta's Parliament House. This Palace is also famous for its splendid Council Chamber and the Armoury, one of the largest collections of its kind in the world.  

5. St. Nicholas (All Souls) Church: this church was built in 1569 by the Greek Catholics as the Byzantine Rite parish church. In 1639 Parish Priest Papas Giovanni Metaxi conceded its use to the Sodality of the Holy Souls which rebuilt the church. In fact the Church is commonly known by this name nowadays.

6. The Jesuits Church: built on architect Francesco Bonamici's plan as the church of the old University of Malta between 1592 and 1600, this edifice is considered as one of the finest Baroque examples. The titular picture is Mattia Preti's Liberation of St. Peter.

St. John's Co-Cathedral
7. St. John's Co-Cathedral:  this splendid co-cathedral was built between 1573 and 1577 during the reign of Gran Master Jean de la Cassiere.  A baroque work of art in its architecture and sculptures, this church boasts some of the most beautiful works of art by Mattia Preti and Carvaggio.  Amongst the precious works of art is The Beheading of St John – the only singed Caravaggio in the world still hanging in its place of commission.

8. Bibliotheca (National Library of Malta): founded 1766 during the reign of Grandmaster of Emmanuel de Rohan, the National Library of Malta, often known as the Bibliotheca, is a reference library in Old Treasury Street, and is housed in a white stone 18th century building with a pillared portico. 

9. Casino Maltese: built and utilised as the Treasury of the Knights of St. John, today the exclusive Casino Maltese is a truly outstanding venue with a history of noble visitors. During the rule of the Order of St. John, the premises had been used as the House of the National Treasurer. During the early days of British rule the premises housed the Chief Secretary's Office, Government Treasury and during the late 1800s, the building was converted into "The Grand Hotel". The building was later modified for use by the Casino under the direction of the architect Nicola Buhagiar. 

Want to know more about the festival and the different concerts? Feel free to click here and drop us a line. 


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