Applications for the second National Music Competition for Maltese Composers are out.

Entrants are to choose from two categories of composition and prizes will be awarded for each of the categories following adjudication by an independent international jury. The deadline for submission of scores is January 31.

One category of the competition, organised by APS bank, requires a sacred oratorio-type work setting the Latin text of the Stabat Mater Dolorosa lasting at least 45 minutes.

An orchestral piece which could take the form of a long orchestral introduction to the first movement, a prelude to the composition or an intermezzo can also be included.

The other category requires a suite for orchestra on a Maltese theme. The suite should have at least four movements and last a minimum of 30 minutes. Composers also have the option to include two other instruments from Maltese indigenous instruments such as iż-żaqq (Maltese bagpipe), iż-żummara (kazoo), il-flejguta (Malta’s folk flute), iż-żafżafa (friction drum) or it-tanbur (Maltese tambourine).

The two winning works from the First National Competition have been put together in APS bank’s latest boxed CD set. The works are Albert Pace’s Ghanjiet ta’ Bniedem Solitarju (Songs of a Solitary Man) and Joseph Sammut’s Il-Kantici ta’ San Luqa (The Canticles of Luke the Evangelist).

The first set of five CDs produced by APS Bank was entitled Three Hundred Years of Sacred Music composed by Maltese Composers while the second set of four CDs was Grande Messe of the 19th Century.

APS Bank has also announced that its next flagship annual concert will be held at St John’s Co-Cathedral in collaboration with the St John’s Co-Cathedral Foundation and the Malta Philharmonic Orchestra on December 2.

The concert will showcase some of Nicolò Isouard’s sacred works written for the Conventual Church of St John in the mid-1790s. They have since not been performed and are going to be revived where a congregation of Grandmasters and Knights of St John used to hear them when attending the liturgical rites for the major feasts the Order used to celebrate.

The scores have been edited by Richard Divall, an Australian musicologist, professor and conductor.

For more information visit or call 2122 6644.

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