MPO Academy – Taking musical education to the next level
20 young musicians will be embarking on furthering their musical education, as they become the first students of the MPO Academy.
In an official launch on 27 October, Malta Philharmonic Orchestra (MPO) CEO Sigmund Mifsud explained the significance of this step for the orchestra, as well as young musicians. “The MPO Academy will focus on specialised training of musicians, going beyond teaching an instrument, to the training of individuals to be skilled in orchestral playing. Our vision is to take music education to the next level.”
This was echoed by MPO Acting Chairperson Catherine Tabone who stated that such a development will be able to address the lacuna which is found in current local musical education, by going beyond soloist training. “The MPO is investing in the future of Maltese musicians through the launch of this Academy. This initiative will not only provide the possibility of specialising in orchestral training in Malta, but in time will also result in the increase of local musicians within the ranks of the MPO.”
Tutors will ensure students are offered the highest level of training. The ongoing support of the European Foundation for Support of Culture (EUFSC) will finance some of these roles, apart from the engagement of MPO Academy Director of Music, Dr. Peter Stark, who has built an extensive career conducting the world’s leading ensembles and is currently Professor of Conducting at the Royal College of Music and Rehearsal Director of the European Union Youth Orchestra.
“The MPO Academy represents all that we hold dear in our Foundation – giving young talented musicians the opportunity to experience first-class music education with some of the best pedagogues and musicians in the world,” says Konstantin Ishkhanov, President of the EUFSC, with the hopes that this will kickstart a new era for classical music in Malta.
Providing students easier access to furthering their studies and advancing into a musical career was a shared intention amongst involved entities. Minister for National Heritage, the Arts and Local Government Hon. José Herrera noted that since the quality of MPO musicians has reached a high level, it was becoming more difficult for Maltese musicians to become a part of the orchestra due to the gap in their training. This initiative was therefore ideal in keeping the orchestra’s standards up and seeing more local musicians join its ranks, furthering the orchestra’s position as a cultural ambassador.
With the Ministry for Education’s continued support of the MPO’s initiatives, including L-Investigaturi tal-Mużika, Hon. Justine Caruana marks the MPO Academy as a significant milestone. “This will be an exercise of excellence, not quantity. Nurturing talent and providing opportunity whilst keeping students’ full accomplishment at heart will help in reaching a holistic approach towards education.”
The MPO Academy is presented with the EUFSC as its main partner, being supported by the Ministry for Education and the Ministry Minister for National Heritage, the Arts and Local Government. More information may be found on www.maltaorchestra.com