Renowned mezzo soprano and prolific organiser Dame Marie Therese Vassallo has passed away, aged 71.

Known both locally and internationally, Vassallo was an acclaimed vocalist, having studied singing, violin and the piano. 

Throughout her lifetime, she was awarded several international prizes, and she won first place in festivals such as il Festival della Canzone Mediterranea.

She also received several awards for her service to local music. Two years ago, she was awarded honorary patronage of the Medina Foundation for Music in recognition of her lifetime of dedication.

She helped organise several concerts over the years, and was instrumental in most of the productions brought together by the Malta Cultural Institute Foundation.

She headed and then directed the institute since the 1990s. Vassallo also helped foster a cultural link with Russia, receiving recognition for her efforts to promote intercultural relations.

She is survived by her husband, Charles Axiak, and their two sons.

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