Commemorating the Fourth Anniversary from Maestro Vella`s Demise

Maestro Joseph Vella passed away on February 25th, 2018. On the fourth anniversary of his demise, Family Vella is pleased to collaborate with the Malta Philharmonic Orchestra (MPO) in commemorating Maestro Vella at the Dubai Opera, Dubai. ‘Rebbieħa’, Opus 45, will be performed by MPO on the 18th February 2022 at their Concerto Gala (part of the Symphonic Middle East Festival 2022), under the baton of MPO`s Principal Conductor Sergey Smbatyan.

‘Rebbieħa’ – a 12-minute-long symphonic poem – is one of Vella`s most popular orchestral works. It has been performed widely: as part of MPO`s Valletta 2018 International Tour for instance, MPO performed ‘Rebbieħa’ in different venues across the US and Russia. These included the prestigious Verzian Hall, Kimmel Centre for the Performing Arts (Philadelphia); Carnegie Hall (New York); Grand Hall, Moscow State Tchaikovsky Conservatory (Moscow) and the Mariinsky Theatre (Saint Petersburg), venues where artists of international fame and calibre like Rubinstein, Horowitz and Caruso performed in past years.

This symphonic poem was defined by the New York Classical Review as “a dramatic overture with energy, imagination and an individual voice” positioning the composer “somewhere between Ralph Vaughan Williams and Shostakovich”. ‘Rebbieħa’ will now be performed in the Middle East too, four years after Mro. Vella`s passing.

Commemoration activities will also include three radio programmes, which will further highlight Maestro Vella`s talent and musical versatility. A selection of Maestro Vella`s band marches will be aired on Sunday 20th February at around 12.30pm (right after the news – with repetition at 10.00pm) on Radio NET FM within the popular programme “Marci u Bandalori“, which is produced and presented by Joseph Chetcuti. The programme can be streamed on

Maestro Vella will also be featured on ‘Ghandi Pjaćir Nipprezentalek’, a weekly musical programme presented by Peter Paul Ciantar, an established broadcaster and music teacher. During the programme on Tuesday 21st February (aired at 10.15pm on Radju Malta – 93.7FM), Mr. Ciantar will give insights into Mro. Vella`s career besides focusing on the ‘Concerto for Clarinet and Orchestra’ (Opus 121), which was premiered at the Manoel Theatre, Valletta in May 2011 (with Mro. Vella himself as conductor). The programme can be streamed on

On the eve of Mro. Vella`s anniversary, Albert G. Storace, a long-time family friend and established concert and opera reviewer, will be presenting an anniversary edition of his weekly classical music programme “Il-Kunćert”, dedicated to Mro. Vella. The programme will touch upon Mro. Vella`s pioneering musical research and considerable diversity of styles through works varying from the oratorio `Demm fuq Il-Verna` (Opus 49, premiered in 1990) to the string quartets `Piccolo Divertimento’ (Opus 2a, composed in 1963 but premiered in 1997) and ‘Segments No. 2’’ (Opus 94, premiered in 1999). It will be aired on Thursday 24th February from 22.15pm onwards, on Radju Malta (93.7FM), and streamed on

A sincere thank you to MPO, Messrs. Storace, Ciantar and Chetcuti for their kind collaboration in prominently featuring Mro. Vella`s works.