The term classical music dates back to the 19th century, when it was used to group together music from previous eras as a sort of golden age. The eras covered by the term may have expanded in following years, but since then, classical music has suffered from the perception that it is entirely distinct from the popular music of the day, alienating many who may have felt that it is music meant for “others.”

Bridging this gap, including through the reimagining or reinvention of classical works, can prove invaluable in instilling people’s interest in what is also, ultimately, their musical heritage.

It is with this in mind that the Malta Philharmonic Orchestra – with a rock band in tow – will be embarking on a performance of Rockquiem, a rock reimagining of Mozart’s famous last work, the Requiem Mass he left unfinished at the time of his death, together with the MPO Chorus under the direction of Italian conductor and chorus master Riccardo Bianchi.

The concept may sound blasphemous, but Mozart was an archetypal rock star long before the term was thought up. He lived off his music and lavishly spent money as soon as he received it, even if this meant long periods of financial struggles; and was a lover of festivities and practical jokes. His untimely death at the peak of his creative abilities only helped cement this status.

This concert is supported by the Valletta 2018 Foundation.