An improvisation organ concert will be performed by John Aquilina at the parish church of Our Lady of Mount Carmel, Balluta, St Julian’s, tomorrow, at 7.15pm.

The improvisations will comprise a cycle of meditations on the theme of Jesus Christ’s ‘seven last words’, referring to the seven short phrases uttered by Jesus on the cross, as recorded in the four Gospels.

Joseph AquilinaJoseph Aquilina

At least 16 composers have written musical settings of the ‘seven last words’, for various combinations of voice and/or instruments. The best known is probably the instrumental setting by Joseph Haydn. During the 20th century, other composers, such as Charles Tournemire, Alan Ridout, and Ruth Zechlin, also composed organ cycles on this theme.

Aquilina is a leading Maltese organist. Between 2001 and 2017, he was the organist at Mdina Cathedral and is now its organist emeritus. He has also composed organ and choral works.

The organ at Balluta parish church, having about 1,700 pipes, is one of Malta’s main modern concert organs. Originally built by Zanin in the 1950s it was brought to Malta from a church in Italy in 2014.

John Aquilina’s concert at Our Lady of Mount Carmel parish church, Balluta, at 7.15pm tomorrow is being organised courtesy of parish priest Fr Renald Lofreda, O.Carm. Admission is free. For more information visit

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