The 19th edition of the Victoria International Arts Festival comes to a close on Monday, 11 July, at St George’s Basilica, 8pm. It will feature an orchestral concert with the participation of the Malta Philharmonic Orchestra (Leader: Marcelline Agius) and Serbian violin virtuoso Andrea Gajic under the direction of VIAF Artistic Director, Joseph Vella. The concert consists of Brahms’ Concerto in D Major for Violin and Orchestra op. 77, and Tchaikovsky’s Symphony in G Minor no. 1 (‘Winter Daydreams’), works that are representative of the glorious Romantic age which produced them.
Andrea Gajic made an early mark in the world of music, when, at the age of 12, she performed Bruch’s Scottish Fantasy at St James’s Palace, London, for the celebration of the legendary Yehudi Menuhin’s 60th birthday. Two years later, she won first prize in the Violin Competition organized by the American String Teachers Association. Andrea graduated from the prestigious Gnessin Academy of Music, Moscow, furthering postgraduate study at the Royal College of Music, London. Performances have taken her all over the U.K., the U.S.A., Russia, Lithuania, Finland, Germany, and France, apart from giving master classes in Serbia. As an avid chamber-music player, Andrea has led various ensembles, most notably the Fibonacci Sequence and the Research Ensemble, which resulted in a number of contemporary music performances including birthday celebrations for Sir Peter Maxwell and James MacMillan. She has recorded for BBC, STV, Bavarian Radio, Baltimore Radio, and more. Her vast repertoire includes the Brahms, Bruch, Prokofiev, and Sibelius Violin concertos. She has taught at the prestigious Menuhin School and the Music School of the Douglas Academy, Glasgow. CD releases include a recording of Beethoven’s Theme and Variations op. 107 performed with Michael Leslie Thomas. Music critic for The Scotsman has described her performances as “natural to the last wisp of sound”, while The Herald music critic praised one of her performances as “ravishingly conveyed”. Andrea plays a 1766 Nicolo Gagliano violin.