Malta sacks its maestro

Malta sacks its maestro


norman lebrecht

September 13, 2017

Brian Schembri has been dumped as artistic director and principal conductor of the Malta Philharmonic Orchestra. He was replaced in the last concert of the season after allegedly failing to show up for rehearsal.

Schembri has reacted on social media: ‘This decision is an absurd contradiction with the general consensus that the unquestionable and notable artistic development that the orchestra has gone through these last few years was the direct result of my contribution’.

And the tenor Joseph Calleja has offered his support: ‘Whereas I am not privy to the other side of this sad story, I can definitely vouch for the fact that we don’t have artists like Brian Schembri growing on trees in Malta. Brian is an accomplished musician and consummate artist with still a lot to give in our ever growing and dynamic musical scene. There is no denying the great work he has already achieved with the now excellent maltaphilarmonic  and it would be a great big pity if a compromise to retain the Maestro’s services is not reached. In the hope that good sense will prevail.’



  • Jane says:

    Brian Schembri is without a doubt the most experienced and talented Maltese conductor out there, so this begs the question as to who would replace him at the MPO. Having said that, Maestro Schembri’s biggest flaws are that he acts like a petulant child when he doesn’t get what he wants, and can be quite disrespectful in the way he goes about solving problems (and Malta has plenty of them!). When it comes down to it, he’s a great asset to the Malta Philharmonic. The orchestra has many systemic problems with regards to the way it’s run by the administration in collaboration with the corrupt government. The MD will always have to be Maltese because of the politics there, but there is absolutely nobody who could even come close to being at the professional level besides Brian (as far as I know).