Resources > Malta Philharmonic Orchestra (MPO)
13 Apr 2018

Malta Philharmonic Orchestra (MPO)

The orchestra was founded in April 1968, when musicians from the defunct “C-in-C” orchestra of the Malta-based British Mediterranean Fleet regrouped as the Manoel Theatre Orchestra. It continued to serve as the theatre’s resident orchestra until September 1997, when it became an independent orchestra, taking up the name National Orchestra of Malta in the process.The Malta Philharmonic Orchestra (MPO) assumed its present name in 2008, when it was expanded into a full-size symphony orchestra bringing together the best of Maltese talent and musicians from Europe and beyond.

As Malta’s only professional orchestra, the MPO is in high demand, performing in over 70 concerts every year, including symphonic concerts, opera productions in Malta and Gozo, community outreach and educational programmes as well as various concerts of a lighter nature. Its busy schedule notwithstanding, the MPO has increasingly ventured beyond Malta’s shores in recent years, having undertaken its first overseas tour back in 2001. Since then, it has collaborated with numerous orchestras and opera companies and performed in leading venues across the globe, including in China, Italy, Germany, Austria and Belgium.

Over the years, the orchestra has performed with many renowned artists including Karl Jenkins, Joseph Calleja, Andrea Bocelli and Bryn Terfel, acclaimed conductors such as Michalis Economou, Peter Stark, Jean-Marc Burfin, Wayne Marshall and Philip Walsh, as well as pop stars including Claudio Baglioni, Suzanne Vega, Michael Bolton and Anastacia.

The MPO is a keen exponent of Maltese composers, regularly performing their works in Malta and abroad and premièring – as well as commissioning – new compositions.

It is also responsible for the orchestral training and professional development of the next generation of Maltese musicians, through the MPO Academy and the Malta Youth Orchestra, which itself regularly gives concerts across Malta. At the same time, it is actively involved in organising educational programmes for children, through workshops and special performances.

While it celebrates 50 years of music, the MPO remains intent on delivering quality orchestral music to the Maltese islands, all the time continuing to promote Malta’s musical heritage overseas.

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