Festival Artistic Board
Artistic Director of the European Foundation for Support of Culture
Over the past twenty years, Maltese conductor Alan Chircop directed several international orchestras and appeared in various theatres, concert halls and festivals in many different countries. Among others, he conducted the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra at the Royal Albert Hall and Westminster Central Hall in London, the London Concert Orchestra, the Sofia Philharmonic – National Orchestra of Bulgaria, the National Philharmonic Orchestra of Macedonia, Armenian State Symphony Orchestra and the National Chamber Orchestra of Armenia, the State Orchestra ‘Academy of Soloists’ of Kazakhstan, L’Orchestra Citta’ di Ravenna and L’Orchestra Sinfonica Duchi d’Acquaviva(Italy), the Royal Oman Symphony Orchestra, the Leopoli State Symphony Orchestra (Ukraine), L'Orchestre Lyrique de Region Avignon-Provence (France), the Karlovy Vary Symphony Orchestra (Czech Republic), the Mihail Jora Philharmonic of Bacau (Romania), the Karelia State Philharmonic Orchestra, the Kislovodsk - Mineralnye Vody State Symphony Orchestra and the Sochi Symphony Orchestra (Russia); the Pleven Philharmonic Orchestra (Bulgaria); the Westsächsische Philharmonie and the Felix Mendelssohn Bartholdy Symphony Orchestra Leipzig (Germany), the Camerata con Cor(d)e of Belgium and the Malta Philharmonic Orchestra.
Alan Chircop’s repertoire is very wide ranging and apart from an extensive symphonic and concerto repertoire, he has directed several opera productions, contemporary music premieres and also different genres arranged for symphonic orchestras.
In 1993 he obtained the Diplome de Fin d’Etudes in pianoforte with distinction at the Conservatoire Regional de Musique in Lyon (France). He pursued his studies at the Felix Mendelssohn Bartholdy Music Academy in Leipzig (Germany) obtaining two Masters Degrees: in Pianoforte under the tutorship of Prof. Christoph Taubert (1994-2001) and Orchestral Direction with Prof. Gert Bahner (1997-2003). He also followed a one-year specialization course in Orchestral Direction with Prof. Uros Lajovic at the Hochschule für Musik in Vienna (Austria).
Alan Chircop was also the Founder and Principal of the Euro Academy of Music and Arts in Malta; Artistic Director of the Virtuoso Classics Concert Series; and Artistic Director of the Renaissance Cultural Foundation and Principal of the Visual & Performing Arts Schools in Malta.
Since 2014, he is the Artistic Director of the European Foundation for Support of Culture, organising many festivals, competitions and events around the world and often serves as jury member of international music competitions. He is also the artistic director of New Names Malta - National Music Competition.
Principal conductor of the Armenian State Symphony Orchestra (ASSO)
Sergey Smbatyan is the Founder, Artistic Director and Principal Conductor of the Armenian State Symphony Orchestra (ASSO) founded in 2005 and the Principal Conductor of Malta Philharmonic since 2019.
A momentous point in Sergey Smbatyan's conducting career was his debut with the London Symphony Orchestra. In 2010, he conducted the joint Gala Concert with the distinguished artist Maxim Vengerov, for HRH Prince Charles’ “Prince’s Trust” event at Buckingham Palace. The spectacular success of the concert earned it the right to be repeated at Buckingham Palace in 2011, with Smbatyan once again conducting the Philharmonia Orchestra.
Smbatyan has had opportunities to perform with the Mariinsky Theatre Symphony Orchestra, the Moscow Philharmonic Orchestra, the DSO Berlin, the Dresden Philharmonic, the Warsaw Philharmonic, the Munich Symphony Orchestra, the Sinfonia Varsovia Orchestra, Philharmonia Orchestra, Russian National Orchestra and with many others.
The European tour with the Malta Philharmonic Orchestra (MPO) in 2018 is among the conductor’s achievements. In the framework of the tour Sergey Smbatyan and the MPO performed at the Mediterranean Conference Hall, Valletta; Philharmonie Gasteig, Munich; Liederhalle, Beethoven Saal, Stuttgart, Kurhaus, Wiesbaden, Philharmonie, Berlin; Musikverein, Vienna.
Later the same year, the tour continued in the USA, with performances at the Kimmel Center, Strathmore, Carnegie Hall, where the conductor was up the stage for the second time, as well as at the Great Hall of Moscow Conservatory and the Mariinsky Theatre in Russia.
Sergey Smbatyan is the first Armenian conductor and the second Armenian musician to be featured in a Mezzo TV documentary.
Sergey Smbatyan is the artistic director and the founder of 4 local and international festivals, 1 international music competition, 5 exclusive orchestras formed in the framework of significant events, 7 special musical projects and concert series and 7 educational projects.
WCIT World Orchestra, created in the framework of the 23rd World Congress of Information Technology, held in Armenia on October 6-9, 2019 was one of the great achievements of Sergey in a new format aiming at demonstrating the importance of culture in the information technologies.
During his professional career as a conductor, Sergey Smbatyan has received numerous distinctions in Armenia and abroad: Honored Artist of the Republic of Armenia” by the President of the Republic of Armenia in 2016, a Gold Medal by the Mayor of Yerevan in 2017.
Sergey is the youngest receiver of the Worker in Arts title in Armenia (awarded at the age of 27) and the first Armenian to be awarded the highest award of the Government of France in the field of art: the title of Chevalier of the “Order of Arts and Letters”, granted by the Minister of Culture and Communication of France.