Mro. Joseph Debrincat
Mro. Joseph Debrincat M.Phil., B.A. (Hons.), ALCM born on 15 November, 1976. He comes from Victoria in Gozo, Malta, he is graduated in music from the University of Malta, studying with Malta’s leading composers Mro. Charles Camilleri, Mro. Joseph Vella, and Mro. John Galea.
Besides, he studied conducting with Maltese conductor Mro. Michael Laus and even pursued his studies abroad, attending master classes in Milan with conductor Herbert Handt. In 2005 Debrincat has been awarded the M.Phil degree from the University of Malta, submitting a dissertation focusing on Francesco Azzopardi’s unique compositions as found in Archives in Gozo.
Debrincat is a clarinet player (having studied with one of Malta’s leading clarinetists, Freddie Mizzi), holding a diploma from the London College of Music. He is the leader of the Leone Band of Victoria and was also a founding member of the Victoria Clarinet Quartet. However, Debrincat devotes most of his time to conducting.
At present, he is the assistant conductor of the Leone Band and since 2000, he occupies the post of maestro di cappella at the Sannat Parish Church. Debrincat also served as the first musical director of the Santa Margerita Band of Sannat, from its inception in 1997 until 2013. Due to these positions, Debrincat has a small number of compositions to his credit, one of which is the religious hymn Margarita Martyrum for choir (S.A.T.B.) and orchestra.
Debrincat holds keen interest in opera. He sits on the opera administrative committee at the Aurora Opera House and for the last fifteen years he served as the backstage music coordinator and backstage conductor at the same opera house. As from October 2017, he also sits on the Cultural Council for Gozo within the Ministry for Gozo.
In 2001 Debrincat was the mastermind behind the birth of the Classique Foundation - the first of its kind in Gozo - which was inaugurated with a highly acclaimed concert, Verdi in concerto. This was followed by many others, most of them with the participation of the National Orchestra of Malta (now MPO), making him the youngest Gozitan conductor ever to conduct the National Orchestra of Malta. His opera conducting debut occurred in June 2002, with a concert version of Puccini’s Le Villi (Malta Première) – an event attended by Puccini’s grand-daughter, Dr. Simonetta Puccini.
In 2004 he was invited to conduct the Jugend Sinfonie Orchester Konservatorium Bern in a concert held at the Aurora Opera House (Gozo, Malta) and in April 2017 he was invited to conduct the Radio and Television Orchestra of Albania for a concert in the orchestra’s 2016-17 season. Then, in May 2007, Debrincat was invited by the National Orchestra of Malta and the Manoel Theatre to conduct two revival-performances of Charles Camilleri’s opera Il-Wegħda. In this project Debrincat was also very actively involved in the revision of this opera, working side-by-side with the composer. November 2008, November 2011 and November 2014 brought about three other remarkable concerts for Debrincat: Puccini 150 – Anniversary Concert, Grand Operatic Concert, and Grand Operatic Concert 2014. During these concerts Debrincat had the opportunity to work with internationally renowned names such as Maria Pia Ionata, Alessandra Rezza and Norma Fantini (sopranos) and Ignacio Encinas and Francesco Anile (tenors). In 2016 he has been invited by the Malta Philharmonic Orchestra to conduct The President’s New Year Concert. This concert was even broadcasted live of Malta’s national television. In June 2017, he conducted the Malta Philharmonic in an open-air concert A Magna Maxima.
Mro Debrincat was mantion in serviral articles such as:-
The solid contribution of the Malta Philharmonic and the idiomatic conducting of Mro. Joseph Debrincat, together with the excellent acoustics of the Aurora Opera House made this event a wholly recommendable experience for the audience. (Tony Cassar Darien, The Sunday Times of Malta, 23/11/2011).
…Joseph Debrincat who showed an excellent knowledge of the operatic repertoire, conducting the orchestra with skill and practically from memory. (Abraham Borg, The Malta Independent, 14/12/2014).
It is such a nice and good thing that Joseph Debrincat can assembly these kind of programs with first rate soloists. It is clear that Debrincat knows well the repertoire and the styles, while being able to transmit it to the orchestra. In my opinion, he displays a correct and proper approach both to tempi and dynamics. (Victor Suzan Reed – Strategic Marketing & Classical Director, Universal Music, Mexico).
As from 2018, he is the artistic director of an international festival MUSIC+ that is being organized every year in autumn.
Debrincat is also associated with a number of premieres such as Charles Camilleri’s Messa in honorem Sta. Margarita V.M. for 3 Soloists, Choir (S.A.T.B.) and Orchestra and Preghiera Semplice for Strings. Apart from this he has also introduced several compositions to the Maltese public. These are Puccini’s first opera Le Villi, Capricco Sinfonico, Preludio a orchestra (1876), and Preludio Sinfonico (1882).
Furthermore, Debrincat has also arranged, orchestrated and edited a considerable number of works for clarinet quartet, wind band, orchestra, and other music formations. Worth mentioning is his orchestration of Puccini’s one-movement Requiem, originally for choir, solo viola, and harmonium.
In the academic field, Joseph Debrincat is a well-sought music teacher, teaching theory of music at the Gozo School of Music – now integrated within the Gozo Visual and Performing Arts School - since 1999, where he also conducts the school’s string ensemble. He is also a regular contributor to the school’s magazine The Buzz. He also teaches clarinet at the Leone Band Club.