VIAF 2016

The first chamber ensemble, from France, this evening

This evening sees the first of numerous chamber ensembles that make up the majority of concerts for this year’s 19th edition of VIAF.

Duo Aldante Pierre Henri Xuereb (Viola) and Vincent Beer-Demander (Mandolin) will team up with Gregory Daltin (Accordion) to perform a programme of mainly French works by Françaix, Poulenc, Lai, Ravel, Milhaud, Cosma and Bolling.

Pierre Henri Xuereb graduated with full honours from the Conservatoire de Musique d’Avignon and won first prize from the Paris Conservatoire in the Viola class of the famous Serge Collot at the age of sixteen. He perfected his studies at the legendary Juilliard School, New York, followed by a postgraduate course at Boston University.  Auditioning for Pierre Boulez in New York, he joined the Ensemble Intercontemporain as a soloist for two years.  He has collaborated with many prestigious ensembles and orchestras, namely, Audubon, Tchaikovsky Trio, Rosamonde Quartet, and Talich Quartet, and the Tel Aviv Symphony Orchestra, amongst others.  He has also performed in various Festivals, appearing alongside Pascal Devoyon, Natalia Gutman, Jean-François Heisler, Vladimir Mendelssohn, and others.  Pierre Henri has recorded numerous CDs for the labels Timpani, Harmonia Mundi, and Deutsche Grammophon, and he also teaches master classes in music festivals worldwide.  He works closely with the famous Martinů Quartet, with whom he performs in complex chamber formations.  He is currently Professor of Viola at the prestigious Paris Conservatoire, and at the Ecole Nationale de Musique de Gennevilliers.

Vincent Beer-Demander is the recipient of numerous first prizes of competitions all over France, including the famous Ecole superieure de musique, Paris, and others in Europe. After studying the Mandolin with Florentino Calvo and Ugo Orlandi, composition with Régis Campo, and chamber music with Alberto Ponce, he embarked on a hugely successful career, with performances taking him all over the world. Apart from teaming up with renowned musicians such as Riccardo Sandoval, Roland Dyens, Roberto Alagana, and others, Vincent has also performed with The National Orchestra of France, Opéra Bastille, National Orchestra of Montpellier, Philharmonic Orchestra of Nice, and many more. As a versatile composer and also a critic and writer of books published in Germany, Canada, and Spain, he has been commissioned works by famous musicians but still champions the original repertoire of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries.  He holds a higher degree in ancient instrument performance and teaches at the legendary Paris Conservatoire and at the Mandolin Academy, Marseille, where he is responsible for the artistic direction of the Academy.  His discography reflects his musical eclecticism.

Gregory Daltin hails from Toulouse, where he commenced his musical studies.  He embarked on his professional career as Assistant Professor of Accordion performance at the Conservatoire de Bordeaux.  He is an expert in the interpretation of classical, contemporary, and jazz music and has performed extensively with the Orchestre National du Capitole de Toulouse, Ensemble de musique contemporaine Pythagore, Orchestre de la Cité d’Ingres, Orchestre de Chambre de Toulouse, and many more.  He regularly collaborates on important projects with the National Cinema, Toulouse, and is a regular at major film Festivals.  An avid chamber music player, he has teamed up with well-known musicians, namely, saxophonist Didier Labbé, singers Mouss and Hakim of Zebda fame, baritone Omar Hasan, and major soloists from the Opéra de Paris, not to mention violist Pierre Henri Xuereb, mandolinist Vincent Beer-Demander, flamenco guitarists Bernardo Sandoval, Kiko Ruiz and Yvan Cassar, and South African percussionist Thlalé Makéné.  He has numerous CDs to his credit and his performances have electrified audiences, earning him rave reviews from critics.

The concert starts will be held at the Aula Mgr G. Farrugia, and starts at 8pm. Entrance to all VIAF events is free of charge.