Victoria International Arts Festival has been dubbed 'The Gozo Miracle', and the Festival that has caused "a quiet revolution" in Gozo and Malta. This year we are celebrating the 22nd uninterrupted edition. It is a five-week-long Festival that presents over 40 concerts (orchestral, chamber music of diverse formations, big bands, choirs, a Baroque week, and more); art exhibitions; master classes in 7 disciplines; community workshops with immigrants, and more. Each year, more than 18 countries worldwide are represented and 600 musicians/artists take part. All musical/cultural activities are free of charge.
More specifically, the opening concert this year will feature the Symphonischer Chor Hamburg who, together with the Laudate Pueri Choir of Victoria, Gozo, will perform Carl Orff's Carmina Burana and Mendelssohn's Die erste Walpurgisnacht. Joseph Vella's, the late Artistic Director of VIAF, 'Sounds of Celebration' op. 132 will also be performed. This concert will be held in one of the main theatres in Gozo, the Astra Theatre, and will be under the direction of Matthias Janz. This concert will be celebrating the 55th anniversary of German-Maltese diplomatic relations.
Consolidating the Festival's excellent tract record as Malta's leading chamber music Festival, the organisers have contracted world-class ensembles, ranging from duos to octets and even bigger formations, who will be performing works from the early Baroque to the contemporary. The Baroque Week, nestled half-way through the Festival, is an astonishingly popular series of concerts. This year, ensembles ranging from 8 to 10 musicians will be coming over to Gozo from France, Italy, Germany, and Norway. They will be performing on period instruments, and there are a couple of works which will be premiered during the Festival after having been discovered in Archives in Palermo.
The objectives of VIAF are cultural and educational, and in this regard it has set trends that have changed the cultural map of Malta. The Festival is also contributing extensively to cultural tourism on the islands.
Workshops with immigrants will once again take place -- this gives the organisers the opportunity to put into practice their firm belief in unity-in-diversity, allowing children and young people (ages 5 to 25) to mix, create, engage in innovative projects, and also learn to make music together. This incentive is extremely well-attended and is becoming more popular with each edition.
Jazz bands, big bands, and classical brass bands will also make their mark in open-air concerts all over Victoria. Choirs and choral ensembles will feature prominently, and the famed master classes will once again be held between June and September 2019.
"Victoria International Arts Festival is a Festival of incredible proportions, incredible variety, and above all incredible quality." (Claire Jackson, Rhinegold)