News - News Releases 2015


Malta: The Focal Point for the European Central Bank’s European Cultural Days 2015

The Maltese Islands will present an extensive and varied programme in Frankfurt from 3 November, including a spectacular opening concert by internationally renowned tenor Joseph Calleja

Malta's vibrant cultural scene will be placed firmly in the international spotlight from next month, with the launch of the island's European Cultural Days programme in Frankfurt am Main - the seat of the European Central Bank (ECB).

Hosted annually by the ECB, the European Cultural Days initiative highlights the European Union's rich and varied array of cultures by focusing on a different EU country's cultural scene every year. Malta was chosen for 2015, and follows on from Bulgaria in 2014, Latvia in 2013 and France in 2012.

"Europe's self-image has a lot to do with individuality and self-determination," says President of the ECB Mario Draghi. "Working together to enhance awareness of a country's cultural heritage that is part of our roots and our identity, offers a good opportunity to educate and prepare future generations who will have a key role in strengthening cohesiveness and community spirit and in deciding the way in which European institutions will develop. The mission of the European Cultural Days fully meets this aim," he says.

Each year the ECB organises the European Cultural Days programme in conjunction with the relevant country's national central bank. Thus, the Central Bank of Malta has been the catalyst for the development of the dynamic programme being presented.

Governor of the Central Bank of Malta, Professor Josef Bonnici, says: "This initiative presents a unique opportunity for Malta to really showcase its developing cultural scene. We are thrilled to have this chance to share our heritage with the people of Frankfurt, and look forward to presenting a diverse programme of events including music, theatre, dance, opera and the visual arts."

Malta's programme will kick-start on 3 November, featuring a concert by internationally renowned tenor Joseph Calleja and the Malta Philharmonic Orchestra, under the direction of conductor Brian Schembri at the famous Alte Oper Theatre in the heart of the city. Other musical events will include those by sopranos Lydia Caruana, Claire Ghigo and Gillian Zammit, violinist Carmine Lauri, sound artist and performer Renzo Spiteri, concerts by the Cosmos Wind Ensemble, the Big Band Brothers and the Dominic Galea Jazztet, and a party hosted by top DJ Miss Roberta.

There will also be showcases from other artistic media, including national contemporary dance company ŻfinMalta, exhibitions from photographer Daniel Cilia and stone sculptor Joe Xuereb, a literary performance, a play directed by Albert Marshall, and talks by historians Professor Anthony Bonanno, Professor Denis De Lucca and Professor Keith Sciberras. The programme will close in February 2016.

"We believe that each of the artistic elements featured will enable the citizens of Frankfurt and their myriad international visitors to learn more about what the Maltese islands have to offer, and perhaps even visit us in the near future. We may be the smallest country in the Union but we have priceless cultural treasures to be proud of," concludes Professor Bonnici. 


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