240th Paganini Anniversary Festival, concert at Manoel Theatre in Malta

WhatsApp Image 2022-02-22 at 2.53.07 PMThe year 2022 represents a special year for classical music lovers all over the world since it marks a staggering number of anniversary dates for many seminal figures in the realm of classical
music, many of which are being celebrated in special events organised all throughout the year by the European Foundation for Support of Culture (EUFSC) in collaboration with a diverse number of organisations and institutions.

One such celebration shall be held between the 14th and 17th of March, with the Foundation, in partnership with the Italian Cultural Institute and the Embassy of Italy, organising and presenting a Paganini Festival
in honour of the 240th anniversary since the birth of the legendary Italian virtuoso violinist and composer Niccolò Paganini.

Born in Genoa in 1872, Paganini quickly made a name for himself in Italy and beyond, gaining a fearsome reputation as an unparalleled violinist and achieving sensational success in concert halls around the world.
Easily becoming the most celebrated violin virtuoso of his time, Paganini has continued to be venerated throughout the music-loving world thanks to both his revolutionary playing technique – which demanded
a wide use of harmonics and pizzicato effects, new methods of fingering and even of tuning, and which has now become one of the pillars of modern violin technique – as well as his original compositions, which have also profoundly influenced the evolution of violin technique in their own right.

Among the latter, it is perhaps his 24 Caprices for Solo Violin that are the most widely known and revered, with their imaginative and outrageous technical demands enchanting audiences, while frustrating students,
for more than 200 years. Presented in the form of études, each of the Caprices is designed to focus on and explore a different skill, with the collected pieces giving a wonderful glimpse into the genius of the man who
created them. In addition, Paganini has gone on to have an enormous impact on the realms of orchestral and piano music as well, while also influencing an incalculable number of artists and musicians who came after him, including Robert Schumann, Johannes Brahms, Sergey Rachmaninoff and most notably, Franz Liszt.

For the 240th anniversary celebrations the EUFSC, in tandem with its partners, will be holding two special concerts featuring music with a link to the famed violinist himself. Held in the Manoel Theatre in Valletta,
and the Italian Cultural Institute, the first of these shall be featuring the talents of the celebrated Italian pianist Giuliano Mazzoccante, the winner of the 40th International Piano Competition “Ar
cangelo Speranza”
in Taranto, recipient of the prestigious “Prix Venice” Award (1998) and “Paul Harris Fellow” Award, and Artistic Director of the “Cenacolo della Musica – International School’’, and Chieti Classica Music Festival.

The second, meanwhile, will see a performance by the young Italian violinist Giuseppe Gibboni, who has impressed audiences and critics worldwide, becoming the first Italian in 24 years to win first prize at the
prestigious Paganini Competition in 2021 at the tender age of 20, while also taking the awards for best performance of a Paganini concerto, best interpretation of a Paganini Caprice and the audience award.
These achievements enabled him to claim, among other things, the unique opportunity to perform on Paganini’s own famous violin, the 1743 Guarneri ’del Gesù’ ‘Il Cannone’.