Malta International Double Bass summer camp makes its mark
The double bass is becoming an increasingly popular instrument in Malta thanks to the annual Malta International Double Bass summer camp, organised by Prof. Gjorgji Cincievski and Ms Michelle Scicluna - principal and co-principal double bass players at the Malta Philharmonic Orchestra.
This event has made Malta a European landmark and internationally-recognised double bass learning destination with international students participating from Portugal, Poland, Italy and other European countries, as well as many local students. This years' edition was held between the 8th and the 10th of September.
Malta International Double Bass days included lessons, masterclasses, lectures and concerts held by Gjorgji Cincievski, Michelle Scicluna and internationally-acclaimed tutors, Prof.Miloslav Jelínek - professor at the Janáček Academy of Music and Performing Arts in Brno, Czech Republic and at the University of Ostrava , as well as Francesco Pierotti - one of the most versatile Italian double bass players whose repertoire and vast experience in music, range from classical music to jazz playing.
On 9 September, Prof. Francesco Pierotti was joined by leading Maltese jazz musicians Joe Debono on piano and Joseph Camilleri Jr. on drums who treated the audiences to a superb full-house jazz concert, that attracted both local and foreign jazz lovers.
The culmination of this weekend was the participants’ concert on the evening of the 10th of September where each and every participant had the opportunity to play in front of the audience at Robert Samut Hall in Floriana.
It was truly a historical moment as, for the first time, an 11year-old child performed on mini bass as a soloist. The “Frère Jacques” duet was performed by Daniel Salerno and Jacques Gruppetta – the youngest two participants and the first ones to play a double bass at a concert at that age in Malta.
The performance included a sextet of double bass students, quartet played by the tutors, as well as a Double Bass ensemble made out of 14 double basses of various sizes. There was also the opportunity to hear the premiere performance of Prof. Jelinek and Prof. Cincievski playing on the two newly-purchased Italian double basses by the Malta Philharmonic Orchestra.
The Malta Philharmonic Orchestra fully sponsored and supported the Malta International Double Bass days. This made it possible for the full weekend events, including evening concerts, to be free of charge for all participants and audiences. Students of all ages were encouraged and welcome to participate, irrespective of their level, giving even complete beginners the opportunity to attend and take lessons by such prominent double bass professionals. The event was supported by Pirastro Strings and Merlin Publishers.