‘The Artist As Hero’ is the chosen theme for the 5th edition of the Three Palaces Festival, which seeks “to shine a focus on the contribution of extraordinary musicians and composers,” said the festival’s artistic director for the second year running Peter Manning during a press conference launching this year’s edition of the festival.

The Three Palaces Festival will be taking place from the 3rd to the 12th of November 2017, and will once again see the participation of artists of exceptional talent from around the world. These renowned artists will perform within the beautiful setting of three of Malta’s historical Baroque palaces – San Anton Palace, Verdala Palace and the Grandmaster’s Palace – together with the National Museum of Archaeology in Valletta, a World Heritage city.  Built during the time of the Knights of St John, these magnificent buildings have hosted many dignitaries and have held many important functions throughout time.  Today, they will continue to play another important role – that of bringing people together to experience music of excellent quality as a community.

Andrew Von Oeyen, an American pianist who has performed in the best venues around the world, will open this year’s edition of the festival with a concert of music by great European composers such as Mozart, Brahms, Liszt and Wagner at the National Museum of Archaeology in Valletta.  The cello ensemble of the famous Vienna Philharmonic will perform on the second day. Young audiences will have their own special event:  Cretan singer and musician Kalia Lyraki and Scottish pipe player and an expert on prehistoric music Barnaby Brown, will present three morning concerts for school children at the Verdala Palace in Buskett.

The Castalian String Quartet, formed in 2011 and rapidly emerging as an exciting voice on the international chamber music scene will be performing on the 9th November at the Grandmaster’s Palace in Valletta, while Oxford’s world class vocal ensemble The Blenheim Singers will, through their singing at the National Museum of Archaeology, celebrate composers and writers who flourished during the reigns of Elizabeth I and Elizabeth II. Despite their young age, both violinist Benjamin Baker and Pianist Daniel Lebhardt have won prestigious prizes and established a strong international presence, performing in concert halls all over the world. During their concert at San Anton Palace, they will treat the audience to works by Britten, Paganini and Elgar.

These foreign artists will be joined by equally exceptional Maltese artists, namely Nico Darmanin – a Maltese, London-based tenor who will perform on the 5th November and Sandro Zerafa – one of the most active guitarists on the Paris jazz scene, who will perform with his jazz quartet on the 8th.  The rich and varied programme of this edition of the Three Palaces Festival will come to a close with the Laefer Saxaphone Quartet, specializing in contemporary classical repertoire and with the talented Gozitan saxophonist Philip Attard as one of its members.

More information about this year’s edition of the festival can be obtained from Arts Council Malta and from the festival’s website www.3palacesfestival.com, while tickets for all the concerts can be bought from the Manoel Theatre Box Office from the 14th September onwards.  Ticketing information can be obtained from Teatru Manoel on 2124 6389 or www.teatrumanoel.com.mt.