John Galea (composer)

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John Galea D.Mus.(Pavia),B.Mus.(Hons)(Dunelm),F.T.C.L.,L.R.S.M.,A.T.C.L. (born 1960) is a composer and academic at the Music Studies Department of the University of Malta.

After his early training as a pianist obtaining the Fellowship of Trinity College London and the Licentiate of the Royal Schools of Music (London) in pianoforte performance, John Galea graduated with honours at Durham University (UK) studying composition with James Ellis and John Gardner. He has also pursued post-graduate studies in musicology and graduated at the Università degli Studi di Pavia (Italy). John Galea studied contemporary composition with Charles Camilleri, furthering his studies wjohn_GaleaJPGith Franco Donatoni at the Fondazione Romanini in Brescia, Italy. His compositions have been performed in Malta, Greece, France, Italy, Switzerland, Germany and the United Kingdom.

He has been invited various times to sit on the adjudicating panel of the prestigious Valentino Bucchi Composition Competition in Rome and the Mikulas Schneider-Trnavsky Vocal Competition in Slovakia. His prowess for critical judgement earned him the prestigious role of President of the Jury for choirs’ section of the said international competition in Rome.

Since 1978, John Galea had been a regular guest conductor of the Manoel Theatre Orchestra. During 1998-2000 he was appointed Principal Conductor of the National Orchestra of Malta. Since then he has appeared regularly as guest conductor of the Malta Philharmonic Orchestra. As musical director of Opera Studio in Malta (1990-93) he collaborated with Prof. Dobreva in realising various operatic productions at the Manoel Theatre. Galea has also been instrumental in introducing children’s opera at the Manoel Theatre, conducting the Royal Academy Ensemble (London) in John Gardner’s Bel and the Dragon. John Galea is the long-standing musical director of the Chorus Urbanus since 1979. He has conducted the choir during its choral tours of Italy, Switzerland, UK, Bulgaria, Hungary, Austria, Greece and France.

During 1999, John Galea was commissioned to prepare a performing and critical edition of Nicolò Isouard’s Messa Leggiera, which had been successfully revived during the first edition of the Manoel Theatre Opera Festival. This work was recorded on the Mega Music label and launched on CD, meeting wide critical acclaim. This was followed shortly by the symphonic poem Ġgantija, featuring the Sofia Symphony Orchestra and the Chorus Urbanus under his direction. Another major work composed by John Galea, the oratorio Il-Qalb ta’ Kristu and its Italian version Il Cuore di Cristo, has been recorded at the Bulgarian National Radio Studios. EMI Publishing Milano published the work recorded during March 2005 on a double CD featuring the Sofia Collegium Symphony Orchestra and Chorus Urbanus during June 2005. During May 2006, John Galea’s compositions alongside other Maltese works were published on a CD entitled Unleash Your Senses, released on the Savina Creations label.

During August 2008, the oratorio Laurentius, another major work commissioned to mark the 1750th anniversary of Saint Laurence, the Deacon Martyr was premiered during August 2008. Recently his Missa In Fractione Panis, premiered in June 2009 at the Gozo Cathedral was chosen by the Vatican Liturgical Commission to be performed during Pope Benedict XVI’s mass at the Floriana Granaries next April.

John Galea has written a study on the music of Charles Camilleri published by Roberton Publications (UK). During November 2006, he was invited to participate and read papers in an international meeting of choir conductors and composers from the Mediterranean organised by the ‘Moviment Coral Catalunya’ in Barcelona.

As from October 2009, Dr John Galea has been appointed head of the Music Studies Department at the University of Malta whilst assuming also lecturing duties in composition and musicology.

ACADEMIC PUBLICATIONS, PAPERS AND ARTICLES 1. Charles Camilleri: Mediterranean Crossroads; B.Mus. (Hons.) dissertation, University of Durham, UK, 1991 2. The Clarinet in Contemporary Mediterranean Music; paper presented Clarinet Day, Concorso Valentino Bucchi, Rome, Nov. 1992 3. Mediterranean Piano, CD featuring Michael Laus, Booklet notes, 1995 4. Charles Camilleri: Ten Piano Sonatinas – Taqsim for two pianos – A study on their Mediterranean Genetics; Roberton Publications, UK, 2001 5. The Emancipation of Chaotic Structures in Camilleri; Paper presented at the Universit degli Studi di Catania, Italy, 2002 6. Gesti for Solo Harp by Charles Camilleri (An Introspective Study); World Harp Congress – Dublin, 2005 7. Unearthing the genesis of Giuseppe Giardini Vella’s Inno ‘A San Giorgio Martire’; The Sunday Times of Malta, 1 October, 2006 8. I Concorsi di Composizione e di esecuzione: esperienze pedagogiche o scrutinio artistico; Concorso Valentino Bucchi, Rome, Nov. 2007 9. Nicolò Isouard, Messa (Malta 1795): Studio ed edizione critica, D.Mus. thesis, Università degli Studi di Pavia, 2009 10. The genesis and compositional process of Menok I Xrat and Scambi; Paper presented at IP Mediterranean Sounds Festival, Conservatorio di Musica Antonio Scontrino, Trapani, May 2011 11. Opera: Of Conventions and Innovation up to 1950; 2011 12. La Musica Mediterranea: re-definizione degli spazi musicali I and II, Papers read at the Conservatorio di Musica Benedetto Marcello, Venezia 2012

CD PUBLICATIONS 1. Discover Malta: Camilleri, Galea, Pulvirenti; featuring Slovak Radio New Philharmonic Orchestra, conductor: Michael Laus, Discover International, DICD920163, 1994 2. Brass and Voices; featuring Thoresby Colliery Band and Chorus Urbanus, conductor: John Galea CU 101, 1996 3. Ggantija featuring Sofia Symphony Orchestra, Chorus Urbanus, conductor: John Galea, CU 102, Mega Music, Sofia, 1999 4. Nicolò Isouard: Messa Leggiera and Joconde Overture featuring Sofia Symphony Orchestra, Chorus Urbanus, conductor: John Galea, Manoel Theatre Opera Festival, Mega Music, Sofia, 1999 5. Anthology of Maltese Music; Enemalta Centenary CD Publication, 2003 6. Il-Qalb ta’ Kristu; featuring Chorus Urbanus, Sofia Collegium Symphony Orchestra, conductor: John Galea, BMG Sofia, EMI (Milano), 2005 7. Il Cuore di Cristo; Chorus Urbanus, Sofia Collegium Symphony Orchestra, conductor: John Galea, Balkan Multimedia Group, Sofia, published EMI (Milano), 2005 8. Soundscapes of a Mediterranean Culture; featuring Sofia Collegium Symphony Orchestra, conductor: John Galea, SV01, Balkan Multimedia Group, Sofia, published EMI (Milano), 2006 9. Mal-Kant tal-Baħar – Songs and Dances from Malta; Sophia Grech, soprano, John Galea (piano), published by HSBC Malta.

DVD Benedettu XVI f’Malta; live performance of Missa In Fractione Panis conducted by John Galea, Public Broadcasting Services, Archdiocese of Malta, April 2010

PUBLISHED MUSIC Piano Music from Malta, Lions Club St. Paul’s Bay Publication

Kinder Garden, BOV Publication

A Tribute to Mozart, MIA Publication