From November to December 2022, the Malta Philharmonic Orchestra (MPO) will conduct a tour of the UK, organised by the European Foundation for Support of Culture and IMG Studios. The tour will involve performances in eleven cities across both England and Scotland, and feature world-acclaimed violinist Maxim Vengerov and the celebrated Armenian conductor Sergey Smbatyan.
Following the MPO’s arrival in the UK on 22nd November, they will first perform at The Anvil in Basingstoke, before continuing north for a performance at Nottingham’s Royal Concert Hall. Further appearances include at Sheffield’s City Hall, Edinburgh’s Usher Hall, Perth’s City Hall and Manchester’s Bridgewater Hall. Other concerts are scheduled to take place at Cambridge’s Corn Exchange, Cheltenham’s Town Hall, Warwick’s Art Centre, ‘G Live’ in Guildford and London’s Cadogan Hall.
Universally hailed as one of the world’s finest musicians, and often referred to as the greatest living string player in the world today, Grammy award winner Maxim Vengerov also enjoys international acclaim as a conductor and is one of the most in-demand soloists. He has recorded for Melodia, Teldec and EMI, earning among others, Grammy and Gramophone artist of the year awards. In 2007 he followed in the footsteps of his mentors, the late Mstislav Rostropovich and Daniel Barenboim and turned his attention to conducting. Mr Vengerov has since conducted major orchestras around the world including the Montreal and Toronto Symphony Orchestras, and in 2010 was appointed the first chief conductor of the Gstaad Festival Orchestra. In 1997 Mr Vengerov became the first classical musician to be appointed International Goodwill Ambassador by UNICEF, which has enabled him to inspire children worldwide through music. Mr Vengerov has received numerous awards including Grammy Award for Best Instrumental Soloist Performance (with Orchestra) (2003), two Gramophone awards (1994, 1995), a Classical Brit Award (2004), five Edison Classical Music Awards (1995, 1996, 1998, 2003, 2004), two ECHO awards (1997, 2003) and a World Economic Forum Crystal award (2007) - honouring artists who have used their art to improve the state of the world. Mr Vengerov plays the ex-Kreutzer Stradivari (1727).
Sergey Smbatyan’s endeavours have earned an array of achievements for the Armenian State Symphony Orchestra, of which he is the Founder, Artistic Director, and Principal Conductor, as well as the Malta Philharmonic Orchestra which he has been directing as Principal Conductor since September, 2019. In 2015, Sergey Smbatyan received the title of Chevalier of the “Order of Arts and Letters”, awarded by the Minister of Culture and Communication of France, and in 2017 he received the honorary title of “Worker in Arts of Armenia” for his work introducing young people to classical music. In 2019 a documentary was released by Mezzo TV featuring Sergey Smbatyan and the history of the Armenian State Symphony Orchestra.
The MPO has performed in leading venues across the globe, including in the United States, Russia, Germany, Austria, China, Italy, and Belgium, and presently embarks on at least one international tour each concert season. It is a keen exponent of Maltese composers, regularly performing their works in Malta and overseas, as well as frequently premiering and commissioning new works. Through the MPO Academy and the Malta Youth Orchestra, which regularly give concerts across Malta, the MPO is also responsible for the training and professional development of the next generation of Maltese musicians.