The Manoel Theatre launches the first of this season’s Spotlight Concerts with clarinettist Lino Pirotta and pianist Gisèle Grima.

The first half of the programme starts with short French works by Pierné, Grovlez and two pieces by Poulenc. The second half features two premieres by local composers Ruben Pace (Fil-Qosor) and Alex Vella Gregory (Eleġija fuq il-Belt Valletta) as well as Charles Camilleri’s Four Greek Songs. The programme ends with the lesser-known El Casot by Bimbi.

A fellow of the London College of Music and the Victoria College of Music in Clarinet Performance, Pirotta is considered one of the most versatile clarinettists in Malta.

He furthered his clarinet studies with various tutors in Malta, and went on to study harmony, counterpoint and orchestration with Carmelo Callus and his brother Manoel Pirotta. He is currently music director of the Peace Band in Naxxar, with whom he toured in Egypt, Canada and Italy. Last year, he directed Karl Fiorini’s Cantata l-Għanja tal-Paċi at the Manoel Theatre, on the 150th anniversary of the same band.

He also forms part of the Denner Clarinet Quartet, The Equinox Trio and Ebony Duo. Apart from frequent recitals with these ensembles, Pirotta has also performed abroad, namely in the UK, Germany and Paris.

In 2007, he recorded Mouse in the Machine by Ruben Zahra, which was later released on CD. One of Pirotta’s main objectives is to promote the clarinet repertoire of Maltese contemporary compositions, but he feels as much at home with the standard clarinet repertoire.

Grima is considered to be one of the leading Maltese pianists of her generation. She has rapidly established herself as a prominent performer and sought-after accompanist both locally and overseas. Her solo and chamber recitals have taken her around several venues in Malta, Sicily, Finland, Iceland, France, Syria, Manchester, Edinburgh and London.

The first Spotlight Concert is taking place on Thursday at 8pm at Sala Isouard, Manoel Theatre, Valletta. Tickets are available online, by calling 2124 6389 or by sending an e-mail to

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