Major Digitisation Project Launched

In an official Press Conference held at St Paul’s Cathedral Mdina, Festivals Malta Director, Annabelle Stivala, announced the launch of a three-year project in collaboration with the Arts Council Malta, focused on the digitisation and revival of three masterpieces by the late Maestro Joseph Vella.

The project will see the engraving, digitization and archiving, of three of Mro. Vella’s more elaborate works, including two sung poems and the completion of his unfinished opera. When asked about the importance of such a project, Annabelle Stivala, indicated that through digitisation, these works can be preserved and enjoyed by future generations.

Ms Stivala continued that, “As part of our efforts to highlight Mro. Vella’s unique works, we will also be hosting a masterclass for University of Malta Music Studies students. This initiative will focus on both the theoretical and artistic aspects of the late composer’s music, creating a newfound interest and a deeper appreciation of these brilliant masterpieces.”

The Executive Chairman of Arts Council Malta, Albert Marshall commented that “As a national agency, we are committed to the preservation of Maltese national heritage. It is our duty to honour Maltese composers starting with works of the late Mro. Joseph Vella, in such a way of giving his work the importance and prominence it deserves.”

Festivals Malta will ensure that this project is realised successfully through collaboration with Mro. Vella’s family. Nicholas Vella, son to Mro. Vella, explained that some of his father’s original works are currently only available as handwritten manuscripts which, apart from being less accessible, can also be easily tarnished by time and use. This digitisation process will see experts converting the Maestro’s written scores into a digital format, in turn improving its readability and distribution, whilst facilitating its accessibility to the general public, lovers of history and the arts.

Hon. José Herrera Minister for National Heritage, the Arts and Local Government, concluded by showing his full support for the project, highlighting Maestro Vella`s artistic merits whilst also elaborating on a National Archives project which his Ministry will seek to implement over the coming years.

This launch event was also featured in local press, read more here.