During the last celebrations of Santa Marija Feast, on a very warm and festive morning I had the privileged to meet Joseph Debrincat in a café in the heart of Victoria.

Joseph is an enthusiast of music and you can imagine what passionate talk we had!

I was so keen to know more about the cultural and musical initiatives coming in Victoria that with Joseph, Artistic Director of the International Festival Music+, I knew I would have found the right person!

Joseph introduced himself as a clarinet player (he is the Leader of the Leone Band Club of Victoria and a founding member of the Victoria Clarinet Quartet) and a Puccini “devotee” (I’m writing “devotee” as he truly is! He has named even his own son “Giacomo” as the great Italian composer).

So I asked him: “Joseph, you have been the youngest Gozitan conductor ever to conduct the National Orchestra of Malta. Simonetta Puccini (Puccini’s grand-daughter, in the left picture below) attended your opera debut Concert and you have also conducted the President’s New Year Concert! All of this is impressive! When has your passion for music and the clarinet started?”

“It has started at a young age and who surely inspired me to approach music was my Mum’s brother” . Dominic Grech, Debricat’s uncle was the Vocalist of The Tramps and he is renowned for the pop song “Xem” – “Sun” (Xemx wisq sabiha), one of the most popular Maltese love song, sang also by international singers!

I personally love this song and very probably everyone who comes to Malta will listen to this song and fall in love with it!

Joseph has been walking on a very fascinating musical path! He graduated at the University of Malta and has been developing his interest in Opera. At the moment he sits on the opera admistrative committee at the Aurora Opera House and for the last fifteen years he served as the backstage music coordinator and backstage conductor at the same opera house (the biggest in Malta and Gozo). As from October 2017, he also sits on the Cultural Council for Gozo within the Ministry for Gozo.

“So – I asked Joseph – would you agree that the young age is the best part of life to instil passion for music?”. “I do believe it – and he answered – a very young heart the perfec soil where to grow trees of inspirations!”

“Is this the reason why you’re teaching at the Gozo School of Music, looking after the young generation into this rewarding discipline?” “Not only! This year we are going to give them the opportunity to express themselves on the stage and let them feel what it looks like being in a Opera production! In fact, one of the main events of MUSIC+ will be BO-PEEP, a little opera for children”.

Bo-Peep, has been composed for children in 1968 by the Gozitan composer Joseph Vella (1942-2018). This little opera is scored for 4 young soloists, a children’s choir, and a small music ensemble.

The active commitment to develop and promote musical events in Gozo has taken a great part of Joseph’s life, since 2001, when he was the mastermind behind the birth of the Classique Foundation – the first of its kind in Gozo.

The Classic Foundation during the past years has organized highly successful music events featuring local and internationally renowned artists and the Malta Philharmonic Orchestra too!

After last year’s first edition of the Festival Music+, this year the Classique Foundation will present the second edition that will take place between 27th September and 1st November 2019.

Then I asked Joseph: “Would you mind telling us a bit more about Music+?”

Music+ – he replied – it is not just a Musical Festival it is also a way to educate people to classical music, because we believe that if you know how to interpreting, how to read classical music, you can better and deeply appreciate it. So our effort is also to invest in educational and masterclass both for children and adults. This year Music+ Programme is very rich as will perform top international artists (including world renowned clarinetist Corrado Giuffredi and violinist Anastasiya Petryshak), master classes in different instruments, workshops for Primary school students, talks and as we said the Bo-Peep, the children’ opera production”.

Let’s have a look at Music+ Programme of Events

Entrance Free for all the Events

Education: Masterclasses and workshop

– 28th September 2019: Master classes in violin (at the Sacret Heart Seminary) by Anastasiya Petryshak and in piano (at the Exhibition Hall, Ministry of Gozo) by Lorenzo Meo – 9.00am

19th October 2019: clarinetist Corrado Giuffredi will give a masterclass in clarinet at the Gozo VPA School, Xewkija – 9.00am.

2nd of October: this year two workshops intended for selected Primary School children, entitled The Magic Flute: A performance Worshop for Kids will take place at the Exhibition Hall, Ministry for Gozo – 9.30am and 11.30am.

Held at the Exhibition Hall, Ministry of Gozo, 7.30pm 

27th September Violin and Piano Recital: Anastaiys Petryshak violin and Lorendo Meo piano. 

28th September Vocal Recital: Soprano Rossana Potenza and pianist Leonardo Qaudrini.

– 29th September Cello and Piano Recital: cellist Akos Kertesz and pianist Rita Kertesz.

13th October Trumpet and Piano Recital: trumpeter Brendan Nall and pianist Elaine Mecieca.

– 19th October Piano Recital 1: Joanne Camilleri.

– 20th October Clarinet and Piano Recital: world-class clarinetist Corrado Giuffredi and his pianist Roberto Arosio. 

27th October Piano Recital 2: Daphne Delicata.

1st of November at St. Francis Church, Victoria, last recital will feature Italian string quartet Quartetto Mediterraneo, at 19.30 


Music+ is mainly supported by the Ministry for Gozo and visitgozo.com

Many thanks to Joseph Debrincat to have told us a more about his musical experience and the Festival!

Looking Forward for it!

Stay tuned as on Exploring-Gozo Facebook Page there will be live video and interviews 😉