Tricia Dawn Williams
Tricia Dawn Williams specialises in the performance of 20th century and contemporary music. She started her piano studies at the age of 6 with Rita Micallef. Since 1999 she has been under the guidance of Pawlu Grech. Her repertoire ranges from Béla Bartόk to today’s modern composers. She has performed works by Gjӧrgy Ligeti, Paul Hindemith, Ahmed Adnan Saygun, Henry Cowell, John Cage, Béla Bartόk, Giacinto Scelsi, Scott McAllister and others. Over the years Williams has organised and participated in several recitals collaborating with composers, commissioning and premiering their works in Malta and internationally. She is frequently invited to perform abroad, amongst others: the Béla Bartόk Memorial House in Budapest, the Festival International de Carthage in Tunisia and the John F. Kennedy Centre for the Performing Arts in Washington DC. In Malta she has performed in various festivals, amongst others: the Malta Arts Festival, Għanafest, the International Spring Orchestra Festival, Contemporary Sounds Series, Science in the City, Evenings on Campus, Notte Bianca, Ziguzajg – Arts Festival for Children and Young People and the Valletta International Piano Festival where she premiered 6 works by Maltese composers.
Williams currently forms part of three ensembles. ‘Crossbreed’ – promoting contemporary music rooted in Mediterranean heritage; ‘Equinox Trio’ of whom she is founding member- focusing on 20th century and contemporary music; ‘Nafra folk ensemble’ which is often invited to participate in international World Music festivals. Tricia Dawn Williams performs on the CD accompanying the award winning publication: ‘A Guide to Maltese Folk Music’ (2006), the CD ‘Arabesque’ (2009) featuring classical contemporary music and on the CD accompanying the publication ‘Maltese Folktales’ (2010).
She has also taken part in various other interdisciplinary projects: ‘ICONS’ – contemporary dance, music and projections celebrating Maltese culture; ‘PAN the Goat-God’ which combines contemporary music with physical action, choreography and video projections; ‘DEFORMIS’: a contemporary theatre performance based on visual references of Hieronymus Bosch; ‘HREJJEF’ (Maltese Folktales) – a production which combines traditional folktales, shadow puppetry, contemporary music and digital animation and KIRANA: A children’s opera designed to include the participation of children within the creative process.
In 2010 Williams was appointed secretary of the ‘Malta Association for Contemporary Music’ committed to establish new heights in its goal to promote the performance and understanding of contemporary music in Malta. In 2015 she joined the team of Encore – arts and culture magazine in her role of sub-editor.
Gisèle Grima is an acclaimed pianist and music educator from Malta who has rapidly established herself as a prominent performer and sought-after tutor and accompanist. Recognized as “one of the leading Maltese pianists of her generation” (The Sunday Times, Malta), Gisèle’s solo and chamber recitals have taken her to several concert halls around Malta, Sicily, Finland, Iceland, Berlin, Cologne, South-West France, Syria, Manchester, Edinburgh and London.
Gisèle has appeared as accompanist and soloist in various local and foreign festivals including the Malta Arts Festival 2007, International Spring Orchestra Festival 2010, 2013 & 2015, Victoria Arts Festival 2012, Three Palaces Festival 2013 & 2014, Music at Castelfranc 2008 (France), ECUME 2009 in Damascus and Chorlton Music Festival 2008 (Manchester). In May 2010 she made her début as a concerto artist with the Malta Philharmonic Orchestra performing Ravel’s Piano Concerto in G major under the baton of Michael Laus. Gisèle has also been invited to perform for distinguished audiences and has on a number of occasions appeared as a soloist at San Anton Palace, Attard.
Gisèle began her music studies in Malta with Josianne Vella Bardon, Lydia Buttigieg and later with Maria Dolores Amodio Chircop. In 2003, Gisèle won the Ian Tomlin Malta/Napier Scholarship and pursued music studies at Napier University, Edinburgh studying piano and accompaniment with Nicholas Ashton. In 2005, Gisèle was selected to further her training briefly at Tampere Konservatorio, Finland where she studied with Lauri Väinmaa and Tiina Kärblane. Gisèle graduated from Napier University with a First Class Honours degree in 2006 and was awarded scholarships from the Malta Government (MGSS), the Janatha Stubbs Fund and Dr. Ian Tomlin which enabled her to further her studies at the Royal Northern College of Music, Manchester. At the RNCM Gisèle was coached by pianist Paul Roberts, a world-leading exponent of French piano music. In 2008, she became a graduate of the RNCM obtaining a Master of Music in performance with Distinction and a Postgraduate Diploma in performance in 2009. Upon graduating, Gisèle was subsequently awarded the William Humphreys Dayas Prize as a result of her success to place as a finalist in the highly competitive Piano Recital Prize at the RNCM. Gisèle has also been praised and encouraged by other renowned musicians including Franco Foderà, Cynthia Turner, Carole Presland, Dina Parakhina, Graham Scott, Dmitri Rachmanov, Iris Senturker, Phillipe Cassard, Harold Gray, John Lill, Julius Drake, David Jones, Benjamin Frith, Simon Rowland-Jones, Ian Brown and Pavel Fischer.
Since 2013, Gisèle has regularly collaborated with pianist Erika Gialanze` in a piano duo partnership. In chamber music, she has also been a member of the Ars Vitae Ensemble and the Argotti Ensemble. As a firm believer in supporting local music, Gisèle has also premiered works by leading Maltese composers including those by Alexander Vella Gregory, Karl Fiorini, Mariella Cassar Cordina, Reuben Pace and Albert Garzia.
A keen and dedicated music educator, Gisèle combines her busy performing schedule with a love for teaching and believes in music as a pioneering source of inspiration for children and adults of all ages. In 2013, she was appointed as Trustee member for the Ian Tomlin Napier/Malta Scholarship Fund.
Gisèle is one of few musicians in Malta to hold a Fellowship of the Associated Board of the Royal Schools of Music in piano performance (FRSM).
Simon Abdilla Joslin
Simon Abdilla Joslin is one of Malta’s leading cellists. He began his cello studies at the age of nine with Monica Attard Miggiani and three years later he was placed first in the Young Musician of the Year Competition (Malta). He furthered hi studies abroad when he won a scholarship and went to Trinity College London where he studied under Derek Aviss and Arthur Davison. He also studied at the Conservatorio Santa Cecilia of Rome with Salvatore Degirolamo and Jorge Schultiz, first cellist of Rome’s Teatro dell’Opera. Simon Abdilla Joslin also took Master Classes with Daneil Veis, Julia Lichten and Stefan Popov. He has appeared very frequently both as soloist as well as in chamber music recitals in Malta, England, France, Belgium, Germany, Switzerland, the Vatican City, Greece, Italy, Tunisia, Egypt and the USA. Besides as soloist he has premiered works by Maltese composers such as Charles Camilleri and Joseph Vella.
On various occasions Simon Abdilla Joslin has been invited to perform with the National Orchestra of Malta, the Ochestra del Mediterraneo, the Accademia Musicale Siciliana, the Upper Austria Youth Orchestra and I Filarmonici di Bologna at such prestigious venues among which are the Manoel Theatre, the Mediterranean Conference Centre, the UN HQ in New York, the Sala Mozart (Bologna), Teatro Politeama Garibaldi and Teatro Massimo in Palermo. He has recorded for both radio and television and is responsible for cello tuition at Malta’s main music institution, the Johann Strauss School of Music. He plays a fine French cello, an Honoré Derazay, c.1860.
Alistair Attard is a composer and educator. His interests lie principally in sound art and live interactive music. Currently he teaches music and sound design at St Martins Institute of Higher Education, MCAST and in several primary schools. In his works he uses a variety of media, from purely electroacoustic and acousmatic music to instrumental music with or without electronics. His music was performed in Malta by the Malta Philharmonic Orchestra, after being selected in a young composers’ competition. Other works were performed in Bangor and Cardiff by the BBC National Orchestra of Wales.
In 2012 he finished reading a Postgraduate Certificate in Education of Music. Also, in 2012 he graduated with an M.A. in Composition and Sonic art at Bangor University 9wales) with Dr Pwyll Ap Sion and Prof Andrew Lewis, after being a recipient of a scholarship in 2010. In the same year he graduated with a B.A. (Hons) in composition from the University of Malta under the supervision of Dr John Galea.
In 2001 Sharon Bezzina completed an intensive three year drama course at the Malta Drama Centre. She followed this up with many other courses both in Malta and overseas. A few of these include a vocal course led by Patsy Rodenburg, a two week course on the techniques of Michael Chekhov and a course in physical theatre and mime. She obtained the Performance Certificate in Acting Studies from the Guildhall School of Music and Drama and furthered her studies with LAMDA examinations whereby she achieved with Distinction her Diploma Examination in Acting Studies.
A few theatre credits include: Ritratti Minn Berlin (Sally Bowles), Harold Pinter’s Landscape (Beth), Amadeus, Edel Quinn (Edel Quinn), Cabaret (kit kat girl), Six Characters in Search of an Author, Caligula, The Merchant of Venice, Caught in the Net (Vicky), The mysterious lady in George Bernard Shaw’s ‘The Man of Destiny’, Actus Melicus (physical theatre). The Pillowman (Little Jesus), Il Mistero Buffo (Mary), Guillaume Apollinaire’s ‘In the Sante’, Deformis (Physical Theatre: A monologue taken from Titus Andronicus – Tamara), L-Ghalliema (Alejandra), Ippermettili Nitlaq (Graziella), Camus’ ‘The Misunderstanding’ (Martha), La Matrona (Serva), Sartres’ No Exit (Estelle), The Rose Tattoo (Rose), a one woman show based on the poems by Doreen Mikallef entitled ‘Doreen’, Juliet in Shakespeare’s Romeo & Juliet, In-Nisa Maltin Jafu Kif (Gaby), Pretty Lisa – a play on domestic violence, and recently Cynthia in ‘Jiena Nhobb Inti Thobb’. Sharon also toured for 3 weeks with an Irish Theatre Company whereby she performed ‘Lament for Art O’Leary’ at the Cork and Dublin Fringe Festival in Ireland. She currently forms part of the theatrical group Theatrencore.
Renzo Spiteri is “an artiste who constantly surprises” and whose music “touches the soul directly”. An internationally respected sound artist, composer and musician, Renzo is renowned for his artistic versatility, creative use of sound and unlimited modes of expression. He shares his work base between the United Kingdom and Malta, although his own projects and collaborations with artists in all genres of artistic expression take him to different countries around the world.
As an experimental soloist and arts collaborator, Renzo blurs the boundaries between composer, improviser, sound artist and live performer to create innovative and dynamic artistic dialogues that bear his unique sonic signature. His on-going concern with expanding the musical vocabulary of his performance practice and compositional technique has led to in-depth study of modern technology and live-electronic manipulation that result in music that has a strong sculptural and dimensional aspect to it. Such elements are evident in Renzo’s solo performance Quintessence (2015) premiered at the Royal Northern College of Music in Manchester (UK) in partnership with Future Everything Festival 2015; in Anima/Animus (2015) commissioned by ZfinMalta, Malta’s national contemporary dance company; in compositions for Mavin Khoo’s contemporary dance productions Bla Konfini/Borderless (2014) and Akasha (2012); the music and 5.1 surround sound design for the video projection Shack (2011) by Derek Nice; the installation performance Re: Public that celebrated Cork (Ireland) as European Capital of Culture (2005); and in Sounds Unlimited (2004) presented in collaboration with the Sonic Arts Research Centre (SARC) in Belfast (N. Ireland), British Council and Arts Council (N. Ireland).
As a creative musician and music graduate with a performance career spanning more than 30 years, Renzo has a distinct artistic sensitivity and ability of adapting to a wide range of musical styles – classical to experimental, from solo percussion performances to improvisations, contemporary, jazz and world music. He performs as multi-percussionist and drummer in major festivals (WOMAD, Festival of the Desert, Musica Viva, PASIC) and venues (Royal Festival Hall- London, LSO St. Luke’s- London, Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts- Washington DC, SOTA- Singapore, National Concert Hall- Dublin, Babylon Club- Istanbul, Ludwig Forum- Aachen amongst others), and his on-site projects include scoring and recording of music for the visitors’ audio guide at Hal-Saflieni Hypogeum, Malta, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, which led to the creation of the concept album and live performance Silence, Sounds And Spaces (2011) featuring unique on-site recordings at various Neolithic Sites. Renzo has also given masterclasses and collaborated with the music departments at Queen’s University (Belfast), University of Iowa (USA), China Conservatory of Music (Beijing) and The Royal Conservatoire of Music of The Hague (The Netherlands).
In 2004, Renzo spent a 5-week work intensive at the Sonic Arts Research Centre (SARC) in Belfast (N. Ireland) as musician in residence, and in 2008 he was appointed National Ambassador to the European Union’s “Year for Intercultural Dialogue”. Renzo is co-founder and co-curator of the new media collective Open Works Lab; artistic director of Ghanafest, Malta World Music Festival; Cultural Ambassador to Le Meridien Malta; artistic director of the annual music event Teatru Unplugged held at Malta’s National Theatre Teatru Manoel, and an endorsed artiste for Yamaha Drums & Hardware, Paiste Cymbals & Gongs, Schlagwerk Percussion and Toca Percussion.
Renzo has produced and released four albums with his works: ANIMA/ANIMUS (2015); SILENCE SOUNDS AND SPACES (2011); INKONTRI (2010) and THIS IS MY LANGUAGE (2005).
Miriam Cauchi is a firmly established Maltese soprano, making a name for herself both in her native country and overseas. Graduating with full honours from the Sofia State Music Academy under the tuition of Prof Blagovesta Dobreva in 1997, she furthered her studies in Milan with Juliette Bisazza Zanni and attended master classes with Magda Olivero in Barcelona. She is the recipient of the Gheorghi Slatev Cherkin Competition and the Bulgarian XIV National Competition Svetoslav Obretenov. Possessing a rich, clear and velvety voice that enables her to tackle a wide range of repertoire from Italian bel canto opera, oratorio, to lieder and contemporary works; Miriam has performed extensively in Malta, Germany, Slovenia, Spain, Bulgaria, and the USA.
Miriam Cauchi is also very much in demand for recitals with pianoforte and chamber ensembles. She is a consummate interpreter of lieder by composers as diverse as Rachmaninov, Dvořák, Fauré, Grieg, Liszt, Gershwin, and Richard Strauss. She is a major ambassador of Maltese vocal music, singing and recording important compositions by Abos, Camillieri, Diacono, Isouard, Vassallo, Vella and Zerafa. Her operatic repertoire includes L’Elisir d’Amore (Adina), Lucia di Lammermoor (Lucia), Pagliacci (Nedda), La Boheme (Mimi), Le Villi (Anna), Suor Angelica (Suor Angelica), Turandot (Liù), Rigoletto (Gilda), I Capuleti e I Montecchi (Gulietta), La Cambiale di Matrimonio (Fanny). Sacred, orchestral and chamber works include include Handel’s Messiah, Rossini’s Stabat Mater, Abos’s Stabat Mater, Pergolesi’s Stabat Mater, Mozart’s Mass in C, Vassallo’s Requiem, Lloyd Weber’s Requiem, Strauss’ Vier Letzte Lieder and Villa-Lobos’ Bachianas Brasileiras No. 5.
On the 13th of December 2009 Miriam Cauchi was appointed to the National Order of Merit – M.O.M.