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Christopher Muscat

Born in 1977

Creating accessible music that touches the audience's emotions has always been one of my primary targets in composition. Over the years, I have worked to develop an individual musical language that consciously tries to avoid any virtuosic prowess in order to focus more on the tone color and textural possibilities of the instruments or voices.


Recipient of first prizes in the Joyce Dixey Competition (UK) in 2000, the Jaume Dotras Serrabella Polyphonic Composition Competition (Spain) in 2006 and the APS Bank Composition Competition (Malta) in 2012, Christopher Muscat has been described by the local press as "a young composer of outstanding talent" (The Sunday Times) and the "stark originality" (The Malta Independent) of his works has earned him an ever-increasing reputation. His works have been performed in many important music centres in Italy, England, Spain, Finland, Czech Republic, Croatia, Slovakia, Poland, Russia, Belgium, Germany, Tunisia, China and the United States of America in such prestigious venues as the Philharmonie in Berlin, the Great Hall of the Tchaikovsky Conservatory in Moscow and the Shanghai Oriental Arts Centre in China.


As a conductor, his "clear conducting style" (It-Torċa), "high quality conducting" and "accomplished conducting technique" (The Sunday Times) have received constant public and critical praise. Since his professional conducting debut in 2000, Muscat has collaborated very closely with the Malta Philharmonic Orchestra and the Malta Youth Orchestra and has also guest conducted other local and international orchestras and ensembles. Muscat is widely regarded as the leading authority on the great Maltese romantic composer Paolino Vassallo having been largely responsible for the composer’s revival in 2006. Moreover, he has premiered numerous works by contemporary composers and also recorded for television as well as for the international label GegaNEW.


Over the years Muscat has worked and collaborated closely with various internationally-acclaimed artists such as the Medici String Quartet, Quatuor CoryFeye, Leipzig Sinfonietta, Virtuosi di Praga, Matus Jakabcic (jazz guitar), David Campbell (clarinet), Giuseppe Nova (flute), Miriam Gauci (soprano), Gianluca Libertucci (organ), conductors Leos Svarovsky, Robert Sund and Ben Parry, composers Karl Jenkins, Marco Frisina and Vytautas Miskinis, the Choir of Clare College Cambridge, the National Youth Chamber Choir of Great Britain and the Coro Sinfonico di Milano Giuseppe Verdi.


Christopher Muscat is also very much active in the field of sacred music. Besides his role as Music Director of the Jubilate Deo Choir, Muscat has worked with various other choirs and has also conducted numerous special occasions at St John's Co-Cathedral and Mdina Metropolitan Cathedral in Malta as well as Westminster Cathedral in London and St. Peter’s Basilica in the Vatican. Through his pioneering work with the Cappella Gregoriana Jubilate Deo Muscat is at the forefront of a movement that aims to revive the art of plainchant singing in the Maltese islands.


As founding conductor of VOCALISE (a voluntary organisation aiming at providing training and opportunities for talented singers), Muscat has coached and conducted a number of productions, amongst these Purcell's Dido and Aeneas and Saint-Saëns' Christmas Oratorio, entirely made up of young Maltese singers. For many years he was also the chorus master for operas held at the Teatru Manoel (Malta's national theatre). In January 2017 he has been appointed Music Director of Fondazzjoni Paulus, a foundation whose main interest is the promotion of sacred music.

Christopher Muscat holds a Bachelor of Arts (Honours) degree in music studies from the University of Malta as well as a Master of Music degree (with distinction) from the University of Surrey where he studied with Sebastian Forbes (composition and choral conducting), Steve Goss (composition) and Nicholas Conran (orchestral conducting). For many years Muscat has taught music at the University of Malta and sacred music at the Archbishop's Seminary. Since 2011 he has occupied the posts of Artistic Director and Chairman of the Malta International Choir Festival is a member of the World Choir Council and is regularly invited to judge international vocal, instrumental and composition competitions.


In December 2018 Muscat was appointed Director of Music of the Archdiocese of Malta and Maestro di Cappella of the Metropolitan Cathedral.

 

COMPOSITIONS

 
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SATB Choir

Sacred Music

2003

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SATB Choir

Sacred Music

2010

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Trio

Chamber Music

2004

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Choir

Sacred Music

2010

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Choir

Sacred Music

2013

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SATB Choir

Concert Piece

2007

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String Quartet

Sacred Music

2012

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Trio

Chamber Music

2012

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SATB Choir

Sacred Music

2012

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Wind Quintet

Chamber Music

2016

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Brass Ensemble

Concert Piece

2007

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Duet

Chamber Music

2013

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SATB Choir

Sacred Music

2008

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Piano Quintet

Chamber Music

2012

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SATB Choir

Concert Piece

2017

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