The Malta Cultural Institute, set up in 1949 by a group of University professors, under the leadership of Gaston Tonna Barthet, will celebrate its 70th anniversary with a concert at the G. F. Abela Junior College, Msida, tomorrow at 6pm.

It was set up with the aim of bringing back culture to the nation after the difficult years of World War II.  Among other activities, the institute set out to present nine concerts a year.  

With the help of the British Institute, different foreign embassies and other entities, they acquired the MCI Blüthner Grand Piano and the first concert was held on February 15, 1949 in the Ballroom of the Hotel Phoenicia in Floriana.

Since then, and for the last 70 years,the institute has presented nine concerts a year. 

Tomorrow’s concert commemorates the MCI’s unique achievement of 70 years of uninterrupted activity in the field of art and culture. Throughout these years most of the artists and musicians who have made a name for themselves both on our islands and internationally have made their debut with the MCI. Many international artists are regularly hosted on the MCI platform and perform alongside our own performers.

The MCI 70th anniversary concert will start off with a short presentation about the institute’s activities throughout the years. The programme will feature a dance presentation by Dancel Studio, under the direction of Celaine Buhagiar; a piano accordion recital by Adrian Agius; a Night with Astor Piazzolla; a programme of Argentinian tangos presented by the Sicily Ensemble; and a nine-piece orchestra under the musical and artistic direction of Franco Foderà, who will be joined by Marie Therese Vassallo as guest singer.

The Sicily Ensemble.The Sicily Ensemble.

The evening will be rounded off by the singers from Marie Therese Vassallo Voice Studio. The MCI painting exhibition for February features works by Madeleine Vella Satariano. 

Free parking will be available for guests in the grounds of the Junior College, which has lift facilities providing easy access to guests with special needs.

A contribution at the door is requested to help cover some of the expenses of the MCI and the use of the Junior College Theatre.

More information about the concert, which kicks off at 6pm, is available from the MCI director on 2133 8923 or 9980 0409 or by sending an e-mail to


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